As liberal media members go, this NewsBuster finds Sam Stein to be among the most affable. And for years, he has good-naturedly rolled with Morning Joe's frequent ribbing about his youthful looks.
But Politico needs to give up any pretense of objectivity after recently hiring Stein to head up its coverage of the Biden White House. Stein is an avowed, liberal. He comes to Politico after stints at HuffPost and the Daily Beast, two outfits that make no bones about their left-wing advocacy.
And while one can't assume that spouses invariably share the same views, it is notable that Stein's wife, as our Tim Graham has reported, is a former Obama official, and someone who made big contributions to the Biden campaign.
On today's Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough, far from questioning Stein's impartiality in his new job, was "really excited" about the move, adding that Politico is "really humming" now that Stein is aboard. "You never lose investing in Sam Stein," added Willie Geist.
There was a decidedly light-hearted tone to the repartee. After Stein came in for yet another round of ribbing, Joe Scarborough asked "what's the worst thing that's happened to you since you've been at Politico?" Stein's deadpan reply, "well, I'm living it right now," reduced the panel to laughter.
So a good time was had by all. Fair enough. But would the liberal media be so amused if Politico put a committed conservative in charge of its Biden White House coverage? Rhetorical question.
Here's the transcript.
6:48 am ET
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Second thing, Willie Geist, regarding Sam Stein, I don't know if you know it or not, but I had no idea he was going to work for Politico, but when I did I did something that I've never done before. Everybody knows what you and I invest in. Right? -- Off-track betting.
WILLIE GEIST: Yeah. Scratch-off tickets, yeah. Off-track betting.
SCARBOROUGH: Scratch-off tickets. These are -- it is a diversified portfolio. Scratch-off tickets, the dogs, OTB. But the second I heard that Sam Stein was going to Politico, I took all of our winnings—right?—from the dog track over the last six days—we do it every day by the way—and I piled it all on Politico. And let me just tell you something, I made a lot of money on the back of Sam Stein. Lot of money
That guy. I mean, that institution, it's humming now, Sam. We're really excited. Straight from prep school to Politico: that's pretty good!
GEIST: You never lose investing in Sam Stein.
SAM STEIN: This is the most important news -- yeah, this is the most important news of the week, definitely, is my new job. Thank you.
GEIST: Sam, congratulations.
SCARBOROUGH: Sam, let me ask you really quickly. Congratulations. What's the worst thing that's happened to you since you've been at Politico?
STEIN: Well, I'm living it right now. So --
SCARBOROUGH: [panel bursts into laughter] And now you know why we love having Sam stein on. All right!
GEIST: We'll get back to personnel moves at Politico in just a moment, but for now, let's get back to the news.