Military keeps Camp David open, cuts NFL, baseball coverage to troops overseas

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Sports,White House,NFL,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Barack Obama,Government Shutdown

President Obama has visited the Navy-run presidential retreat Camp David in central Maryland only 32 times, but it is being kept open during the government shutdown for his entertainment and security at the same time the Pentagon is cutting sports coverage to hundreds of thousands of troops around the world.

A phone call to the retreat found it open, confirming a TMZ report.

Camp David is one of the most highly secure areas in the nation and provides the president with a safe haven. The president has been known to shoot skeet at Camp David, which he most recently used for his 52nd birthday, according to CBS White House Correspondent Mark Knoller.

Obama has spent just 78 days at the retreat, choosing instead to spend his weekends in Washington and hitting military golf courses, which are also being kept open during the government shutdown.

In the meantime, overseas troops who typically look forward to watching NFL games and the baseball playoffs provided by the American Forces Network, will get little if any service due to the shutdown. A notice on the AFN page reads:

“GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN. Due to the government shutdown, the Defense Department can only provide limited overseas television, radio, print and web services.”

The virtual elimination of sports coverage was noticed by the New England Sports Network, co-owned by the Boston Red Sox and Boston Bruins. “AFN provides a form of escape for many troops stationed around the world. Let's hope the popular station gets back on the air soon,” they reported.

Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.