There are many things Aaron Klein and I write about in our recently-released book, “Red Army: The Radical Network That Must Be Defeated to Save America,” that you will never hear about from the mainstream media.
One of those things, in fact, is about a prominent member of that group and his longtime relationship with Barack Obama. Neither this person nor Obama have revealed said relationship. Why?
Before I identify this well-known individual, let’s take a brief look at the circumstances under which he and Barack Obama shared an acquaintance.
Between 1997 and 2000, a group of individuals met for the Saguaro Seminars held at Harvard University. We describe these in “Red Army” as a “series of meetings with the obscure goal of determining what ‘we know about our levels of trust and community engagement’ while ‘developing strategies and efforts to increase this engagement.'”
The Seminar was mentioned in a 2009 post-inaugural statement by Thomas Sander, executive director of the Saguaro Seminar on Civic Engagement in America at Harvard.
Sander wondered, “Now that Obama is elected, how will the Obama administration rate in the care and feeding of this tremendous network?”
Speaking in general of all politicians and their interest in “stoking grass-roots networks before elections,” Sander wondered whether Obama, like other politicians, would “neglect” them after his election victory.
As we write, Barack Obama has made good use of his pre-election networks, including fellow members of the Saguaro Seminar.
Obama’s legacy media classmate with whom he attended the Seminar is none other than George Stephanopoulos of Clinton administration and ABC News fame.
Stephanopoulos’s Seminar bio reads:
Communications Director and Senior Advisor for Policy in the first Clinton administration. He led efforts to encourage dialogue with voters on issues of public concern in New Hampshire living rooms and town forums. He is now Visiting Professor at Columbia University and regular commentator on ABC News. He is interested in how television can play in sparking new forms of civic engagement.
In 1996, Stephanopoulos resigned his position in the Clinton administration. Beginning in 2002, he became a political analyst for ABC News, served as a correspondent on the Sunday morning news program “This Week,” the evening news broadcast “World News Tonight,” “Good Morning America” and “other various special broadcasts.”
Aaron and I write in “Red Army”:
… George Stephanopoulos has conducted a number of exclusive interviews with Obama. In May 2007, 13 weeks after Obama announced his candidacy in Springfield, Ill., Stephanopoulos conducted Obama’s first Sunday morning interview. On Jan. 27, 2008, a second interview centered on Obama’s primary win in South Carolina. Four months later, on April 17, 2008, Stephanopoulos defended his questions asked of Obama about Bill Ayers, during the recent Democratic presidential debate:
“We have been researching this for a while,” Stephanopoulos said in a phone interview from New York. ABC News political correspondent Jake Tapper, he said, had blogged about the issue April 10, after it was first reported by Politico, the political news website. “Part of what we discovered is that Sen. Obama had never been asked directly about it, even though it’s being written about and talked about and Republicans are signaling that this is gonna be an issue in the general election.”
This, of course, was the debate during which Obama delivered his most-untruthful response:
“This is a guy who lives in my neighborhood, who’s a professor of English in Chicago who I know and who I have not received some official endorsement from. He’s not somebody who I exchange ideas from on a regular basis. And the notion that somehow as a consequence of me knowing somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago, when I was 8 years old, somehow reflects on me and my values doesn’t make much sense, George.”
It is not beyond the realm of possibilities that Stephanopoulos was providing Obama with cover on the Ayers matter.
However, in his Sept. 8, 2008, interview with Stephanopoulos, things did not go so well for Obama. This is the interview in which Obama famously suffered a slip of the tongue and made the reference to “my Muslim faith.” (Obama’s hometown apologist, Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times, writes that Obama “was discussing false rumors [that he is a Muslim] when he slipped up.”)
On Jan. 10, 2010, Obama gave Stephanopoulos an exclusive retrospective on his first year in office. In his second interview of the year with Stephanopoulos, on April 9 on “Good Morning America,” after he had signed the START treaty, Obama slammed Sarah Palin – after Stephanopoulos set up a question for Obama to tee off:
Stephanopoulos: I want to get to some of those broader issues. Because you’re also facing criticism on that. Sarah Palin, taking aim at your decision to restrict the use of nuclear weapons. Your pledge not to strike nations, non-nuclear nations, who abide by the nonproliferation treaty. Here’s what she said. She said, “It’s unbelievable, no other administration would do it.” And then she likened it to kids on the playground. She said you’re like a kid who says, “Punch me in the face, and I’m not going to retaliate.” Your response?
Obama: I really have no response. Because last I checked, Sarah Palin’s not much of an expert on nuclear issues.
Clearly, Stephanopoulos was spinning for Obama on July 19, 2010, on “GMA” when, Scott Whitlock writes at the Media Research Center, he “lobbied that if one were to ‘set aside’ the Fort Hood terror attack and the botched Christmas bombing, there haven’t been successful attacks on America in the last few years.”
Stephanopoulos came to Obama’s defense again after Washington Post journalist William Arkin brought up the problems leading up to the Fort Hood slaughter: “That’s been conceded by the administration. But, the president came out, ordered a review and they’ve now addressed those problems, haven’t they?”
And let’s not forget the Politico reported in January 2009 that former Clinton administration spokesman, George 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.”
The Media Research Center’s Brent Bozell asks, “What’s worse than the liberal media’s sycophantic coverage of President Barack Obama? ABC’s George Stephanopoulos actively helping design and deliver the administration’s strategy and message – which he is then charged with reporting.”
Of course, there’s more.
Most recently, in an exclusive interview on Oct. 4, Stephanopoulos and Obama discussed the latest Democrat rendition of a jobs bill and Congress’ failure to pass it all or nothing.
Last spring, on April 13, Stephanopoulos scored another exclusive interview with Obama to discuss the deficit and the nation’s finances.
One interesting take on the interview comes by way of Scott Whitlock of Newsbusters. Apparently, Stephanopoulos let it be known that not only does Obama “love” talking about the “birther issue” but also thinks it will help his re-election bid.
As we write in “Red Army,” Stephanopoulos is not the only member of the mainstream media and Saguaro Seminar alumnus who has helped carry the Obama water. The Washington Post’s left-liberal columnist E. J. Dionne is another.
While there are a number of other interesting Obama Saguaro Seminar classmates, you’ll have to read “Red Army” to find out who they are.
Suffice it to say, several names will be quite familiar to you.
Brenda J. Elliott is a New York Times best-selling author whose most recent book is “Red Army: The Radical Network that must be defeated to save America.”