Stephanopoulos has a previously undisclosed connection to President Obama – the two were part of a small group at Harvard University that met for a period of three years purportedly to promote involvement with U.S. community institutions.
Participants at the research project, which took place between 1997 and 2000, included scores of individuals with ties to Obama, including several activists who were later appointed to positions in the Obama administration. Media Research Center’s Joe Schoffstall, who asked the ABC host whether he believes there is a liberal bias in the media. “I don’t,” he replied. When asked again, Stephanopoulos walked away. Prior to joining ABC News, Stephanopoulos was a senior political adviser to the 1992 U.S. presidential campaign of Bill Clinton and later served as Clinton’s White House Communications Director for two years.
However, an overlooked detail of Stephanopoulos’ work history is his participation alongside Obama in Harvard’s Saguaro Seminars, a long-term research project aimed at significantly increasing Americans’ connectedness to one another and to community institutions. Saguaro’s signature effort was the 1997-2000 dialogue “on how we can increasingly build bonds of civic trust among Americans and their communities.”
The idea for the Saguaro Seminars begins with author Robert D. Putnam, who is attributed with charting the “decline of civil engagement in the USA over the last 30 years or so.” Putnam defines social capital as connections among individuals and “‘community’ adapted to a large-scale capitalist society.” Social capital, Moberg explains, is “more abundant in small communities than in big cities, but networks that constitute social capital develop in churches, unions, PTAs, neighborhood clubs. Saguaro Seminars consist of a number of people who have either been instrumental in promoting Obama’s agenda or have used their positions of influence on his behalf. Vanessa Kirsch and Katrina Browne, at Obama’s suggestion, interviewed his wife, Michelle Obama, to head a new Chicago office. Michelle Obama served as executive director from spring 1993 until fall 1996.
A second Saguaro Seminar member close to Obama is Rev. Bliss W. Browne. In December 1995, Browne’s United Imagination Network, also called Imagine Chicago, a collective of five elementary schools and one high school, was one of the first 35 school networks and their partners to receive school-improvement funds from the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, or CAC. The CAC was founded by Weatherman domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, who served as the group’s director. With Ayers, Obama served as president of the CAC board of directors from 1995 to 1999. He continued as a member of the board until 2002. Also at the Saguaro Seminars with Obama and Stephanopoulos was Martha Minow, then–dean of Harvard Law School.
Minow is the daughter of Newton Minow, the former chair of the FCC, who serves as senior counsel at Chicago’s firm Sidley Austin. Obama named another fellow Saguaro Seminar member, Xavier de Souza Briggs, in January 2009 to serve as associate director of the White House Office of Management and Budget. Briggs served as a team leader on the Obama-Biden transition team for the Department of Health and Human Services, Federal Housing Finance Board, and Interagency Council on Homelessness Review. Also at Saguaro Seminars with Obama and Stephanopoulos was the Reverend Jim Wallis, publisher of Sojourners magazine. Obama appointed Wallis as to his Advisory Council for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Wallis is a socialist activist who has championed communist causes and previously labeled the U.S. “the great captor and destroyer of human life.” The Associated Baptist Press described Wallis as a “politically progressive evangelical and longtime advocate for the poor.”
Wallis began his activism as a protester and then later Michigan leader of the Students for a Democratic Society, the 1960s anti-war group from which Ayers’ Weather Underground domestic terrorist organization splintered. Sojourners’ official “statement of faith” urges readers to “refuse to accept [capitalist] structures and assumptions that normalize poverty and segregate the world by class.” Discover the Networks notes how Sojourners originally formed a socialist commune in Washington, D.C. Saguaro Seminar member William Julius Wilson, meanwhile, also has ties to Obama. Politico reported in January 2009 that Stephanopoulos, “has daily strategy and message chats with former Clinton administration alumni: Rahm Emanuel – Obama’s White House chief of staff – and CNN pundits Paul Begala and James Carville.”
Stephanopoulos actively helping design and deliver the Administration’s strategy and message – which he is then charged with reporting.”
Sources—wnd, aaron klein, politico,