This last year was intense. Beyond intense—disturbing, wild, kaleidoscopic, and bike-stuck-on-a-train-track riveting.
In other words, it was a damn fine time to be a reporter. It was a damn fine time to be at The Daily Beast.
Take a look at this list of our 20 most-read stories and you’ll see what I mean. As the world got freakier, our reporters dug in deeper, delivering the groundbreaking investigations, exclusive interviews, and WTF moments you’ll see below. We exposed villains and the systems that protected them. We highlighted heroes trying to bring a little goodness to the planet. We caught Steve Bannon calling Jared Kushner a “cuck.” It was weird. It was frenetic. It was awful. It was glorious.
A note on the list: These aren’t the stories that got the most clicks, or the ones with most shares (although many of ’em went viral). These are the 20 articles that our readers spent the most time consuming.
So kick back, take a read, and get ready for an even wilder 2018.
Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar’s death looked suspicious from the start. But even the most hard-bitten observers gasped when they learned how the Green Beret really died.
The assault was caught on tape. And yet prosecutors wanted to give only the lightest of sentences to the man who did it.
The Trump fangirl was not at her best—claiming the president isn’t actually in charge of military operations and decrying “racism against white individuals.” Maher and his panel pounced, viciously.
Clooney pushed hard for Hillary Clinton. In an exclusive interview, the Oscar-winning actor-filmmaker-humanitarian explained why all the endorsements, money, and institutional oomph weren’t enough to beat Trump.
He was cleared by the school and the Army—and became captain of the football team. She says she was shamed by fellow cadets and disrespected by the academy’s leaders.
Allegations of sexual violence have followed the acclaimed comic and actor years. Finally, accuser came forward.
The #MeToo moment claimed the biggest name at NBC News—as the network braced for even more horror stories to emerge.
Even diehard Trumpkins screamed to the sky during the rhythmic stylings of Ravidrums and the marshmallow rock of 3 Doors Down.
Trump’s “Apprentice” was bringing a little too much reality-TV drama to the Oval Office. So the general told her to GTFO.
It took just nine days for the first major constitutional crisis of the Trump presidency to erupt.
“You can’t do this to me,” the cop allegedly messaged over and over. “You can’t.”
A new photo supposedly showed the aviatrix taken alive, but eyewitness testimony unearthed by The Daily Beast proved the claim was false.
Seemingly stripped of formal responsibilities, the onetime TV villain appeared to spend her White House time—and taxpayer salary—planning her wedding.
“Last spring I was sexually assaulted in broad daylight in Mexico City. It nearly destroyed my career, forced me to flee the country, and alienated me from society.”
“Prancing around on a stage in a cowboy suit.” At first it looks like a standard, if slightly harsh, political insult. But parse that phrase closely, and you realize it’s a body blow—not just to Roy Moore, but to the politics he champions.
Historians will likely look back at the spring of 2017 as the Golden Age of White House Backstabbing.
When Last Week Tonight skewered a West Virginia coal magnate, he responded with a “rambling and semi-coherent” legal threat.
Don’t wait until Hollywood turns it into a blockbuster. Read this thriller now.
The Daily Beast’s Clive Irving had the inside track on the couple that scandalized Swinging London. After all, he worked with the future Lord Snowdon and brother-in-law to the queen.
“This is a place where adults have more direct and inappropriate connection with children than probably anywhere else in the world.”