Daily Beast Senior Politics Editor Sam Stein Thought DACA Participants Could Vote

September 5th, 2017 11:36 PM

Perhaps no one illustrates how "Screw up, move up" works in the establishment press as it often works in government bureaucracies more than The Daily Beast's Sam Stein.

With all of his alleged knowledge, an Ivy League undergraduate and masters education, and over a decade of experience, how is it even remotely possible that he believed (until he was humiliated into withdrawing his related tweet) that some of those who have benefited from the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (DACA) could legally vote?

Former President Barack Obama unilaterally imposed DACA on the country five years ago via executive order. The current Donald Trump administration announced Tuesday that it "will be phasing out the program over the next two years."

In June, Stein moved from a long-held position at the Huffington Post (now known as HuffPost) to the Daily Beast.

Saturday evening, fewer than 90 days into his new gig, apparently believing that he had insight into a unique potential story angle, and mindful that the Trump administration would likely soon announce the aforementioned phaseout of DACA, Stein posted the following since-deleted tweet:


Good heavens, Sam:

  • Just before the November election, "Voting rights remain(ed) an issue for undocumented students" — because they couldn't legally vote, and wanted to.
  • On Saturday, CBS News quoted women who said they were DACA program participants as follows: "As a DACA recipient, I can't vote but this is my vote per se," Angel (Romero) told CBS News. "Going out to canvass, knocking on doors, it is kind of my way of informing people who can vote," he said."
  • A separate 2015 news report referred to Cesar Vargas, "the first undocumented lawyer in the state of New York," as a person with a DACA permit allowing him to work legally in the country. Vargas lamented that "when he looks at the American flag, he is reminded that he could be deported and can’t vote."

This expressed dissatisfaction over something which should be obvious — if you're not a citizen, you can't vote — leaves wide open the question, especially in light of the weak administration of voter-registration, early voting, and Election Day balloting in so many states, how many DACA beneficiaries, illegal immigrants, and other noncitizens were registered to vote and voted anyway in the 2016 general election. The answer, according to one research study, contrary to the naysayers, appears to be between 594,000 and 5.7 million.

But getting back to Stein, one would think that a guy who received his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College in 2004, has a masters from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and has spent well over a decade in journalism, would at least know that DACA participants, as well as illegal immigrants and non-citizen legal immigrants, can't vote. Or, as some Twitter commenters asked before he pulled his tweet, does Stein possess knowledge about pervasive illegal noncitizen voting that he is unwilling to share?

Any reader looking at the history of NewsBusters posts with Stein's tag going back over eight years will quickly realize that the man has never been the brightest bulb in the room.

Going back a bit further, Stein tried to pretend in September 2008 that "(the GOP presidential nominee John) McCain Camp Didn't Search Palin's Hometown Paper Archives," and therefore hadn't genuinely vetted his vice-presidential nominee, because "The paper’s (massive) archives are not online."

Uh, yes they were. When I demonstrated that the newspaper involved had "over 10 years of archived information available on Sarah Palin in hundreds of articles" online, Stein never admitted that he was wrong. He first contended that what was available online represented "only a handful" of articles, even after I had shown that a related Google News search returned 944 items, i.e., 188.8 hands, going back to 1998. I also confirmed with the newspaper involved that its "archives have been online for many years." Stein still didn't back down, weakly claiming without offering any genuine evidence that the online archive was "far from comprehensive."

Thus, it's absolutely unsurprising that that I could find no evidence of an apology for his breathtaking ignorance at Stein's Twitter feed relating to his head-shaking Saturday belief that DACA program participants can legally vote (let alone that any DACA participant in today's threatening and violent antifa environment would admit that he or she would vote for Donald Trump if they could).

This latest episode leaves one wondering how someone can "achieve" the career success Stein has. In addition to being the Daily Beast's Senior Politics Editor, he is an MSNBC "contributor" who has frequently appeared on the Morning Joe show.

The only plausible answer was noted in this post's introduction: "Screw up, move up."

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.