SThe Daily Download had an inexplicable presence on the internet—why was top shelf pundit Howard Kurtz doing a low-rent YouTube series? It turns out his co-host Lauren Ashburn had an inexplicable presence of her own: a spacious office next to Howie at The Daily Beast. Where she didn't work.
Ashburn, although not a daily fixture in the office, came and went as if she were any other employee—a privilege never afforded to any other non-staffer. But Kurtz's will was done. Ashburn was able to treat the space like her own to run her own small media firm, to the chagrin of everyone else at the Beast (particularly fashion scold Robin Givhan, at the time relegated to a cubicle). Ashburn's Beast office was generally known to be her turf, and no one—including Kurtz's superiors—did anything to oust her while she leeched Tina Brown's internet and indoor plumbing.
All of this, for what? The show itself is comedically bad, with all the production value of a YouTubing tween given public access cable gig. Many of the episodes look like they're filmed in a janitorial closet—perhaps inside the Beast's digs. It sure looks cozy in there, and we hear the duo were "inseparable" around various DC social and political functions, too.
A Daily Beast rep declined to comment on what he referred to as "personnel matters."
Heard anything else? Let us know.