Politico named a new White House news editor this week and in the process accidentally revealed everything wrong with modern political journalism.
On Monday, two of the online media outlet’s top editors – Blake Hounshell and Carrie Budoff Brown – announced that reporter Sam Stein will be the lead guy in their White House news division effective January 4th. Their excitement was palpable:
While to some this news might sound like mostly inside-baseball stuff, it actually becomes a lot more interesting and revealing once you find out Stein’s journalistic background:
He’ll need little introduction to most of you, having made his mark at not one but two innovative digital startups that came of age along with POLITICO, while being a longtime MSNBC contributor and a general force of nature in Washington journalism.
Sam joins us after three-and-a-half years as politics editor at The Daily Beast and 10 years prior to that as a White House correspondent and politics editor at HuffPost.
So … an MSNBC contributor, an editor for the left-wing Daily Beast and a reporter for the far-left online political tabloid the Huffington Post. His Everipedia bio states that Stein “makes regular appearances on Morning Joe and Hardball with Chris Matthews” (obviously that last part needs a bit of updating).
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Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand Stein’s obvious political leanings. Considering the news outlets he used to work for and the fact that he’s been a frequent critic of President Trump’s over the last four years, it’s not hard to guess where he stands on the issues. And that’s the problem. He’s going to work for a supposedly “objective” news outlet in a senior role while carrying leftist creds that would earn the seal of approval from Media Matters and CNN if they gave such things.
There’s also the little matter of Stein’s wife Jessica Leinwand and her close ties to the Obama-Biden administration. She now works for Facebook – in a key position:
But Stein’s proximity to President-elect Biden runs even deeper. Stein’s wife, Jessica Leinwand, previously served in President Barack Obama’s administration as Deputy Associate Counsel at the White House and as a trial attorney for the Department of Justice.
Federal Election Commission records also show that Leinwand had contributed nearly $10,000 dollars to Democrats and progressive organizations – including more than $5,700 to Biden’s presidential campaign.
Leinwand now works for Facebook as a public policy manager – something Stein alluded to in October when he admitted to having “conflicting opinions” on social media companies’ censoring of a New York Post expose on Hunter Biden.
GOP rapid response director Steve Guest got to the heart of the matter in his reaction to the news: