The Media and St. Michael Avenatti

July 10th, 2021 4:00 PM

Over there at The Daily Caller, Greg Price has written and reminded of the liberal media’s stupefying love affair with Michael Avenatti. Avenatti, of course, is the lawyer who burst onto the national scene representing stripper Stormy Daniels and her accusations against President Trump. (Note: Price previously interned with the Media Research Center, writing for NewsBusters.) 

This dreadfully shameful episode in media history is nothing if not a serious reminder of just how bad the liberal media bubble really is and how it affects the delivery of the news.

Avenatti has this week been sentenced to 30 months in jail for running a $20 million extortion scheme on Nike. There will also be 3 years of supervised release.  A tearful Avenatti addressed the court and said this: 

“I betrayed my profession. I became driven by the things that don’t matter in life. Over the last two years, I have often thought to myself, why did this need to happen? What lessons am I supposed to learn from this experience, from what I’ve done?

Your honor, I’ve learned that all the fame, notoriety and money in the world is meaningless. TV & Twitter mean nothing. Everyone wants to ride in a limo with you but very few are willing to sit next to you on the bus.”

To borrow language from the playground? “Well, duh!”

But well aside from Avenatti’s own soul searching, the obvious question here is to ask what, if anything at all, has the liberal media learned from this episode? 

Back there in April of 2019 when Avenatti was first indicted, NewsBusters’ own Bill D’Agostino wrote up the Media Research Center’s tally of Avenatti’s media hits.The headline: "TV News Hosted Michael Avenatti 254 Times in One Year." 

D’Agostino wrote:

“MRC analysts combed through recordings and Nexis transcripts of every Avenatti interview on major cable (CNN, Fox, MSNBC) and broadcast (ABC, CBS, NBC) news networks since his first 2018 TV appearance on the March 7 edition of NBC's Today.  

CNN was the porn lawyer’s top cable enabler with a whopping 122 appearances; MSNBC earned a close second with 108. Broadcast networks hosted the attorney a combined 24 times (ABC: 12, CBS: 7, NBC: 5), while the Fox News Channel brought up the rear with just two appearances.”

The Daily Caller’s Price reminds in detail of just how off the rails the media went in these appearances. Consumed by Orange Man Bad/Trump Derangement Syndrome, one media figure after another humiliated themselves as they slobbered over Avenatti in these appearances because he was perceived as The Man Who Would Bring Down Trump.  

On ABC’s The View he was “like the Holy Spirit” and “the savior of the Republic.” 

MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle gushed as follows:

“I owe Michael Avenatti an apology. For the last few weeks, I’ve been saying, ‘Enough, already, Michael, I’ve seen you everywhere. What do you have left to say?’ I was wrong, brother. You have a lot to say. The Democrats could learn something from you. You are messing with Trump a lot more than they are.” 

Over on CNN Brian Stelter mused to Avenatti on a potential presidential run: 

“I don’t know that it’s a good thing that star power and TV savvy is required for the job, but I think it is. Looking ahead to 2020, one of the reasons why I’m taking you seriously as a contender is because of your presence on cable news.”

Then there was the not-so-small Julie Swetnick episode. Hungry to stay in the television lights, Avenatti used the occasion of Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court to surface an utterly bizarre - not to mention untrue - allegation from client Swetnick that when in high school Kavanaugh had participated in a gang rape. 

New York Magazine bit, swallowing the tale hook, line and sinker. The headline by the Trump-hating Jonathan Chait: "Julie Swetnick’s Allegations Likely to Finish Off Brett Kavanaugh." 

NBC News took the story as well. The eventual result was the network receiving headlines like this one from The Miami Herald:  "NBC knew Kavanaugh accuser’s account was shaky. But it sat on the story anyway." 

Leave it to Fox’s Tucker Carlson to shine the light of harsh reality on this media circus with a dead-on sarcastic reply to Avenatti - whom he dubbed “the creepy porn lawyer.”  When Avenatti asked Tucker if he watched porn, Tucker’s reply was priceless: “I’m actually into humiliation porn. That’s why I watch you on CNN.”

Indeed, Tucker’s reply was an apt description not just of Avenatti himself but of all those liberal media outlets and personalities who, utterly clueless, completely humiliated themselves, their networks and publications with their seemingly endless swooning over “the creepy porn lawyer.”

The real question now? Will the liberal media and its population of Trump-hating, conservative-hating talking heads, now roundly humiliated by its Aventatti worship, have learned their lesson? Will they clean up their act? 

Easy answer?

They are utterly incapable of it. And when another moment like the Avenatti episode surfaces you can bet that, having learned nothing and forgotten everything, they will do it again.