There has been a lot of scoffing on Facebook and beyond about this Dec. 15 report. But the journalist responsible for the claim that a certain 70-year-old Hollywood icon is being considered for the leadership of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is no beginner.
The career of New York-based Daily Mail senior reporter Ben Ashton dates back to before the debut of NBC’s The Apprentice. He started out in the U.K. with the Croydon Advertiser and in 2004, moved on to the position of crime reporter with Tindle Newspapers in London:
I was responsible for covering major crimes, murders and gang culture in some of London’s toughest neighborhoods. I accomplished this by gaining the trust of the police and building lasting relationships with victims and anti-crime campaigners. These contacts enabled me to generate a regular stream of exclusives and front-page stories and help the South London.
The quality of my work also captured the attention of some of the U.K.’s top media outlets and I was able to supplement my experience with freelance assignments for the likes of The (London) Times, The Guardian, the Daily Mail and ITV News.
From there, Ashton worked at The Sun, NewsCore and South West News Service before joining the Daily Mail in New York in January 2015. On the other coast, Deadline’s Mike Fleming is currently trying, via Stallone’s reps, to confirm Ashton’s reporting.
Update (11:30 p.m.):
Stallone has released a statement:
Breaking: Sylvester Stallone says he is "flattered" to be suggested for NEA job, but won't be doing it. pic.twitter.com/NIog9IRyai
— Chris Geidner (@chrisgeidner) December 19, 2016
Screen grab via: dailymail.co.uk