Networks Downplay Avenatti, Stormy Daniels Having Defamation Suit Tossed Against Trump

In a big legal victory for President Trump, a federal judge late Monday tossed out a defamation lawsuit filed against him by porn star Stormy Daniels and her lawyer/possible 2020 presidential candidate Michael Avenatti, demanding they pay Trump’s attorneys fees.

When it came to Tuesday mornings’s broadcast network newscasts, the news all but fell on deaf ears with only 63 seconds of coverage and none mentioning the judge’s request that Daniels pay for Trump’s attorney fees.

 

 

Since the President responded to the story later Tuesday morning by calling Daniels “Horseface” with Avenatti and Daniels responding in tweets of their own, chances are Tuesday night’s newscasts will see more of an incentive to give it oxygen.

CBS This Morning gave it the least amount of time (six seconds) in similar fashion to what Monday’s CBS Evening News did to the fiasco concerning Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren’s razor-thin Native American heritage, which was relegate the story to the show’s opening montage of news clips (inside and outside CBS).

NBC’s Today was a little farther ahead with a 28-second news brief in the 7:30 a.m. Eastern half-hour. Co-host Savannah Guthrie reported that “a federal judge has thrown out Stormy Daniels's defamation lawsuit against President Trump” that came as a result of their alleged 2006 affair. 

According to Guthrie, the judge ruled that the President’s comment about a sketch of man Daniels claimed had threatened her to keep quiet about the affair “was rhetorical hyperbole and was protected by the First Amendment.” 

Going lastly to ABC’s Good Morning America, co-host and former Clinton official George Stephanopoulos gave a 29-second news brief:

Also in politics a win for President Trump and his legal battle with porn star Stormy Daniels. A federal judge in California has dismissed Daniels’ defamation claim and ordered her to pay the President's legal fees. Trump had called her claim she was threatening to keep silent about her 2006 affair with Trump “a total con job.” The judge ruled that response was protected by the First Amendment because Daniels had sought to publicly present herself as an adversary to Trump. Her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, who’s considering a run against Trump in 2020, plans to appeal the ruling. 

But the most amusing media reaction might have been Monday’s The Situation Room as the CNN panel conceded that it was a “significant legal development” and “big win” for Trump, but panelists pathetically clung to hopes that Avenatti will appeal and that it doesn’t affect the legal tensions over the non-disclosure agreement pertaining to the alleged affair.

To see the relevant transcripts from the network morning shows on October 16, click “expand.”

ABC’s Good Morning America
October 16, 2018
7:10 a.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Breaking Overnight; Stormy Daniels Lawsuit Dismissed; Adult Film Star Sued President for Defamation]

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Also in politics a win for President Trump and his legal battle with porn star Stormy Daniels. A federal judge in California has dismissed Daniels’ defamation claim and ordered her to pay the President's legal fees. Trump had called her claim she was threatening to keep silent about her 2006 affair with Trump “a total con job.” The judge ruled that response was protected by the First Amendment because Daniels had sought to publicly present herself as an adversary to Trump. Her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, who’s considering a run against Trump in 2020, plans to appeal the ruling. 

(....)

CBS This Morning
October 16, 2018
7:02 a.m. [EYE OPENER]

UNIDENTIFIED JOURNALIST: Stormy Daniels' defamation case against the president has been tossed toed out. Daniels' lawyer says he plans to appeal. 

(....)

NBC’s Today
October 16, 2018
7:31 a.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Today’s Headlines]

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: A federal judge has thrown out Stormy Daniels's defamation lawsuit against president Trump. The adult film star claims she had an affair with Trump in 2006. Well, years later, she says an unidentified man threatened her and told her to keep the affair quiet. Daniels worked with forensic artists to create a sketch of a man. The President responded by calling the sketch “a total con job.” Well, on Monday, the judge ruled that Trump's comment was rhetorical hyperbole and was protected by the First Amendment. 

NBDaily ABC Good Morning America CBS CBS This Morning NBC Today CNN The Situation Room Video Michael Avenatti Stormy Daniels Savannah Guthrie George Stephanopoulos Donald Trump
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