HuffPost Chief White House correspondent Sam Stein found himself squeezed into a Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski sandwich Wednesday morning as the hosts ripped his website for putting presidential frontrunner Donald Trump in its entertainment section.
HuffPost announced its editorial decision last Friday that daily, so-called trivial news concerning Trump would no longer be found in its news or politics sections. Instead, the real estate magnate who now tops GOP presidential hopefuls in the polls, will be relegated to the entertainment pages with Kim Kardashian and her ilk.
The news even reached Italy.
Brzezinski and Scarborough were astounded by the call and razzed Stein about it for much of the show.
“We’re not passive observers,” Stein said, trying to speak for HuffPost. “We made an editorial judgement.”
Scarborough: “That’s absurd.”
The hosts noted that Trump has personally insulted editor-in-chief Arianna Huffington, calling her a “liberal clown” and called HuffPost a “money losing” site. This was Trump’s reaction to the site’s editorial policy concerning him. But previous tweets make it clear that he’s never been too fond of Huffington.
Stein attempted to explain that the daily antics Trump pulls in his front-running campaign don’t deserve to be taken seriously.
“We have made an editorial decision that that is not politics,” he said.
Brzezinski wanted to know why HuffPost didn’t do that with Sarah Palin or Herman Cain in previous elections. Stein really had no response.
“OK,” she sighed. “Seems sort of similar.”
When the suggestion was made that somehow the media had created Trump, Stein said, “I don’t think the media is creating Trump. The media is sustaining Trump.”
Later on during the show, the topic of New York Mayor Bill de Blasio in Rome arose. The mayor was 80 minutes late for a speech at the Vatican because he cut his arrival time too close — specifically, by two hours. Scarborough thought it was ridiculous and mentioned that de Blasio is late for funerals and other events around New York. Brzezinski blamed an obviously terrible scheduler.
But in a bizarre comparison meant to tweak Stein, she also compared his lateness to HuffPost’s dense editorial policy concerning Trump.
In the show’s “What Have We Learned” segment, Stein got the last word.
He cracked, “I’ve learned that apparently Donald Trump is running for president? I had no idea.”