Take Action: Daily Beast Should Apologize for Dismissing Prison Rape

This post was written by Prison Culture and originally published at the Prison Culture blog. Thanks to Prison Culture for letting me post it here.

Update: At 6 p.m. (central), the Daily Beast issued a response to their original Op-Ed. You can read that response HERE.

In terms of responding to the requests made below:
1. The Daily Beast will not remove the column from its site. Here’s how they responded to that demand:

The column that sparked all the outrage will remain online, although in its edited form.
“There’s no such thing as ‘removing’ anything from the Internet. Anyone who wants to find the story can find it, whether we remove it or not,” Depke said. “And I also don’t want readers to think that we are trying to cover something up. We made a mistake, and we’re acknowledging it in the most transparent way we can.”

2. The Daily Beast has not issued any specific apologies to Chelsea Manning or to survivors of prison rape. Below is as close to an apology as was offered:

Does The Daily Beast regret publishing the piece? “Yes.” Depke said. “It was an error, plain and simple, and I’m personally sorry about it.”

3. There was no specific promise to publish a fact based article about prison rape (especially as it affects trans people).

[In addition to all that Prison Culture pointed out, I would add:

4) A “personal” sorry from a Daily Beast Editor is not the same thing as an apology from the Daily Beast.

5) The Daily Beast also neglected to identify which editor(s) allowed this article to run and then decided to quietly cover their tracks and lie to their readers.

6) They have not made any statement as to how they plan to make sure such a horrific lapse in editorial judgment doesn’t happen again.]

We leave it up to you to decide if you are satisfied with the Daily Beast’s response to this incident.

Yesterday, the Daily Beast published a vile and harmful column about Chelsea Manning and prison rape. [Major trigger warning for transphobia, homophobia, rape apologism, and blaming of queer and trans prisoners who are survivors of prison rape. – G]

After many expressed outrage at the victim-blaming and rape apologia, the Daily Beast first issued a vague editor’s note and then began to surreptitiously edit the content of the column. You can now read their edited column here. [Again, trigger warning.]

For the Daily Beast to have published this fact-free, victim-blaming, and harmful piece is unconscionable. The fact that the column has not been removed from their site and an apology issued to Chelsea Manning and victims of prison rape is wrong and unacceptable.

According to Just Detention International, an organization that addresses the issue of prison rape, “every year roughly 200,000 adults and children in U.S. detention are sexually abused. In most cases, the perpetrators are corrections staff — officials whose very job it is to keep inmates safe” They have collected countless prison rape survivor testimonies that belie the reality and scope of this problem.

We ask everyone to take action to tell the Daily Beast to:

1. Remove the column from its website.
2. To apologize the Chelsea Manning and her family.
3. To apologize to the survivors of prison rape.
4. To solicit and publish a new article/column to illuminate the real scope and impact of prison rape.

You can let the Daily Beast know how you feel by:
1. Calling them at (212) 314-7300; (212) 445-4000.
2. Emailing them at editorial@thedailybeast.com, tina.brown@thedailybeast.com (Editor in Chief), and deidre.depke@thedailybeast.com (Managing Director).
3. Contacting them on Twitter at @thedailybeast, their editor in chief Tina Brown at @TheTinaBeast, or managing director Deidre Depke at @deidredepke.

Please TAKE ACTION TODAY and let the Daily Beast know that we will not stand for this type of harmful polemic about such an important issue.

If you are on Twitter, you can also retweet the following – G:


"One in every 20 people in prison were sexually assaulted. For juvenile inmates, the annual rate is one in eight." Text over image of two silhouetted figures sitting on benches, behind the bars of an open prison cell.

Image from Prison Culture, used with permission.

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