Joel Stein

Joel Stein

Joel Stein (born 23 July 1971) is an American journalist. He is a columnist for the "Los Angeles Times" and a regular contributor to "TIME". He is married to Cassandra Barry and lives in Los Angeles.

Early life

Stein grew up in Edison, New Jersey and attended J. P. Stevens High School, where he wrote for and edited "Hawkeye", the student paper. He majored in English at Stanford and wrote a weekly column for "The Stanford Daily". He graduated in 1993 with a BA and an MA and moved to New York.


Stein's career began as a writer and researcher for "Martha Stewart Living". He worked a year for Stewart and would later quip that she had fired him twice in the same day. He did fact-checking at various publications before becoming sports editor and columnist for "Time Out New York", where he stayed for two years. While working at Time Out New York, he was a contestant on MTV's short lived game show "Idiot Savants" where he ended up in the Dunce Corner three days in a row, before coming back on Day 4 to go all the way to the Grand Savant Round and win in his chosen Savant category, "Taxi". Stein joined "TIME" in August 1997. He gained notice for his arch celebrity Q&As and for his anecdotal humor columns. His 1998 cover story on Michael Jordan was a bestseller. In 2000 he contacted singer-songwriter and composer [ Joel Stein] and covered their phone conversation in a humorous TIME article.

He can sometimes be seen as a talking head on television programs such as "I Love the '80s". He also co-produced three TV pilots, an animated series for VH-1, and two for ABC. The animated show, titled "Hey Joel", aired only in Canada while the other two were never picked up. He was a writer/producer for the sitcom "Crumbs", created by Marco Pennette.

Stein taught a humor writing class at Princeton before moving to Los Angeles in early 2005 to write for the "Los Angeles Times".

Controversial editorial

On 24 January 2006, the "Los Angeles Times" published a column by Stein under the headline "Warriors and Wusses" in which he wrote that it is a cop-out to oppose a war and yet claim to support the soldiers fighting it. "I don’t support our troops....When you volunteer for the U.S. military, you pretty much know you’re not going to be fending off invasions from Mexico and Canada. So you’re willingly signing up to be a fighting tool of American imperialism..." He prefaced his argument by stating that he does not support the troops in Iraq, in keeping with his views on the war. There was an immediate response—notably, Stein was the same day invited on "The Hugh Hewitt Show", a conservative talk radio program that broadcasts from Los Angeles. Hewitt asked Stein questions about the breadth of his relationships and experiences with people in the military, his views on recent deployments, and how he acknowledges those on active duty—and also one who died on active duty.

Stein conceded a lack of personal relationships or interactions with military servicemen and women. Concerning Afghanistan, Stein indicated mixed feelings towards sending troops there and expressed doubt that invading the country had made Americans safer. As for other troop deployments, Stein acknowledged recent humanitarian interventions as being generally agreeable but expressed disapproval towards actions he felt station troops as a "police force." Stein stated that he honors the service of those who defend his country, but reiterated his view that he does not support troops in a military action he does not believe in, indicating that consenting to their involvement might only prolong their stay. He expressed sympathy for a U.S. Marine, cited by Hewitt, who died in Fallujah in 2004 and admiration for his bravery, but held that he felt there was no purpose for his death. Concluding the talk, Hewitt asked if he would do it "over again," that is, write the column, and Stein said he would. Stein's "Times" column and subsequent chat with Hewitt were discussed nationally on talk radio and blogs.


External links

* [ Joel Stein Official Site]
* [,1,715325.blurb?coll=la-news-columns Biography] at "Los Angeles Times" website, retrieved May 2, 2006
* [,9565,494014,00.html Biography] at "TIME" website, retrieved May 2, 2006
* [ Joel Stein at The Hoover Institution] video

NAME= Stein, Joel
SHORT DESCRIPTION= American Journalist
DATE OF BIRTH= 23 July 1971

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