At many times, 2016 seemed like the year that wouldn’t end. From non-stop presidential campaign theatrics and a surprise victory; to the untimely deaths of David Bowie, Prince, Anton Yelchin, and others; terrorism attacks in Brussels, Nice, and Orlando; to Ryan Lochte’s scandal during the Olympic Games in Rio; not to mention the record number of celebrity breakups.
But those were the stories we were bombarded with in 2016. Here are some we thought deserved more attention.
1. Voter Suppression
Leading up to the 2016 election, a panicked GOP recalled the unprecedented turnout that elected President Obama in 2008— and responded with a slew of new voting right restrictions for minorities.
Citing illusory “voter fraud” to explain why 15 million voters would cast their ballot for Obama, 14 states introduced new voting restrictions for this year’s election.
Although federal judges from North Carolina to Michigan to New Orleans found “voter ID” laws to be in violation of voter-suppression laws, the GOP went into “overdrive” to restrict voting rights for minorities.
And The Daily Beast’s Jay Michaelson warned the day before the election that these laws were working in North Carolina.
2. The Tech World’s Role in Politics
Fake news has been the big post-election story of 2016, including speculations as to what role Russia played in the election of President-elect Donald J. Trump. But what about the people behind those fake news stories, the various hacking incidents, and those using the internet to spy on people? The Daily Beast’s reporters went to the dark edges of the internet to bring you these stories.
Back in September, Daily Beast reporters broke the story of how Palmer Luckey, the founder of Oculus, was funding a pro-Trump group circulating memes maligning Hillary Clinton.
The Beast also found the author of a faked WikiLeaks document— who fabricated an expense report showing the Clinton Foundation’s donations to Black Lives Matter, The Black Panthers, and the “Sharia Law Center”— and couldn’t believe high-profile people fell for it.
Beyond WikiLeaks, The Daily Beast also broke the story of how AT&T is spying on Americans for profit— conducting NSA-style snooping for the U.S. Justice Department and earning a major payoff.
3. Corruption at Home and Abroad
Living up to the mission of standing up to bullies, bigots, and hypocrites, The Beast broke stories about corruption in the U.S. and beyond; including new details about the Wounded Warrior Project veteran’s charity’s lavish spending on candy and gimmicks.
The Beast’s Rome Bureau Chief, Barbie Latza Nadeau, also highlighted an Australian royal commission on clerical crimes finding that one of the Vatican’s senior cardinal turned a blind eye to sexual abuse– and remained part of the clergy.
Right under our own noses, the creators of Suboxone— the U.S.’s most popular narcotics addiction treatment— used “fear-based messaging” to gain $1 billion and a new patent. Their scheme? Claim Suboxone was killing kids.
All this, in addition to a district attorney who intervened to prevent a killer cop who shot an unarmed man; an exposé on states who have failed to report cop killings to the Justice Department;and a witness to a serial killer, who claims the prosecutor— now a federal judge— raped her during the trial.
4. The Horrors of Syria and the People Behind It
Daily Beast senior editor Michael Weiss has been carefully covering the conflict in Syria, foreign intervention, and political turmoil.
The Beast was covering the conflict back in August, while the West was still deciding how to proceed in the opposition-held eastern sector of Aleppo, rebel forces led by jihadis and Salafists broke the Assad regime’s blockade of the city.
Helping to break stories about war crimes perpetuated by Russia and Syria in Aleppo on hospital and other civilian infrastructure as well as the life-saving work of Syria’s “white helmets.”
In addition to investigating the political effects of the bombings and rebel attacks in Syria, the Beast has also covered the human aspect of the tragedy in Aleppo, including interviews with individuals on the ground.
5. The Rise of Authoritarian Populism
2016 has also been a year of note with regards to the rise of authoritarian populism– seen in Donald Trump’s political campaign tactics, as noted by Daily Beast editor in chief John Avlon— as well as other places in the West, with the rise in popularity of far right politicians.
A recent crackdown in Turkey led to the arrest of one newspaper editor and the closure of more than a dozen media outlets. Similar detainments have occurred with some frequency since the failed coup in July.
Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, has been engaged in a ruthless, large-scale war on drugs. The movement has led to the imprisonment of thousands and murder of hundreds.
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These are just some of the underreported stories The Daily Beast has been dedicated to telling in 2016— there’s even more to come in 2017.