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New Daily Beast Editorial Boss Asked Reporters to Publish Speculative Story About Ex-President Donald Getting ‘Raped in Prison’

Composite image of The Daily Beast editor Joanna Coles and former president Donald Trump
Source: MEGA

During Donald Trump's trial, The Daily Beast's new editorial boss asked reporters to publish a story speculating on the possibility of the former president getting raped in prison.

Jun. 28 2024, Published 1:30 p.m. ET

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During Donald Trump's trial, The Daily Beast's new editorial boss allegedly asked journalists to put together a sensational and speculative story about the former president, leading to turmoil at the publication, RadarOnline.com has learned.

Joanna Coles, who became The Daily Beast's chief creative and content officer in April, "wanted a story with a headline asking whether Trump would get raped in prison," reported The Washington Post, which spoke to three people who attended the meeting.

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joanna coles
Source: MEGA

Coles was hired as chief creative and content officer of The Daily Beast in April.

Coles, a 61-year-old media veteran from the United Kingdom, was brought on alongside new publisher and CEO Ben Sherwood to revamp and revitalize the New York-based news site.

She reportedly starts meetings by discussing what she's "obsessed" with and also pitched stories about the most obese members of Congress and an investigation into whether Trump was passing gas in court.

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Donald Trump
Source: mega

The United States Supreme Court ruled in a 6-3 vote on Monday that former president Donald Trump has "absolute immunity" from criminal prosecution for "official acts" during his tenure in office.

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Although none of Coles' more outlandish ideas ended up running, staffers allegedly grew concerned about her leadership, expressing fears that such stories could hurt their reputations and burn relationships with sources.

Sherwood, however, assured staffers that they didn't actually have to pursue all of her ideas, which he defended as part of the editorial process. He described Coles as a "hilarious British character that is full of life and full of ideas. She is like a defibrillator in an organization that was needing some electric shocks to get it going."

RadarOnline.com has reached out to the Daily Beast for comment.

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joanna coles
Source: MEGA

Staff have reportedly been "walking a tightrope in trying to please Coles."

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Staffers also worried about potential conflicts of interests. Coles is a longtime member of the board of Snap, the company behind Snapchat, and one former employee said that she "really pushed to cover things that were bad for TikTok," one of the app's main rivals.

Coles herself acknowledged the conflict of interest and said that she should probably recuse herself from TikTok coverage but continued to be involved anyway, according to multiple people who attended relevant editorial meetings.

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joanna coles
Source: MEGA

staffers grew concerned about her leadership, expressing fears that such stories could hurt their reputations and burn relationships with sources.

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Twenty-two people, roughly 60 percent of the publication's unionized journalists, accepted a buyout package this week, and eight non-union staffers were laid off on Thursday.

Luis Rendon, a senior photo editor and chairman of the Daily Beast union, said that more staffers than required signed up for the buyout due to discontent with Coles and Sherwood's management. "They're incredulous," he said. "They can't believe so many people are leaving."

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joanna coles
Source: MEGA

Sherwood described Coles as "described Coles as a "hilarious British character that is full of life and full of ideas."

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Sherwood said that the buyout represents a "new financial discipline to reposition and reset the Beast" and added that his team will unveil a new strategy on Monday, with a new newsroom and business structure to be announced in mid-July.

"While this has been painful, we have now met the target that we set for reducing our overall spending," he wrote in an email to employees. "We will turn that around in one year, and we will be a stable — I would guess profitable — business sometime next year."

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