The journalistic lying and distancing from disgraced attorney Michael Avenatti went into hyper drive on Thursday and Friday. The anti-Trump lawyer was sentenced to prison for his effort to extort Nike of up to $25 million. But while ABC and NBC continued to bury the story, CBS This Morning co-host Tony Dokoupil falsely tried to claim CBS had nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to the porn lawyer.
Talking about what led up to Avenatti’s attempt to extort Nike, Dokoupil explained, “He had some very big financial problems. He had a big win in a lawsuit that then was reversed, and so maybe needed some money and went about getting it the wrong way.” Reporter Jamie Wax made things awkward by telling the co-host: “Maybe we went about covering him the wrong way.”
Dokoupil indignantly (and falsely) pushed back: “I wouldn't say we. I wouldn't say we.” Oh, so CBS covered him carefully and in a reserved tone? Well, no. From March of 2018 to March of 2019, CBS This Morning interviewed Avenatti six times.
And if that’s not enough to prompt shame, on the June 14, 2018 CBS This Morning, co-host Gayle King discussed the possibility of Avenatti getting a TV show: “I would love to see Michael Avenatti. He’s going to do something. I just don’t know what it is.... He's a rock star.”
What was that about “we,” Tony? Of course, after Dokoupil chastised him, Wax backed down, suggesting he meant “the press collectively.” Well, that’s embarrassing too. According to a Media Research Center study, the network and cable channels interviewed Avenatti 254 times over a one year period, from spring of 2018 to spring of 2019.
On Friday, ABC’s Good Morning America skipped the Avenatti sentencing. NBC’s Today allowed a scant 30 seconds. CBS This Morning totaled one minute and four seconds. On Thursday night, CBS and NBC ignored it. Worse yet, MSNBC also skipped the prison term for Avenatti too on every single Thursday program.
A transcript of the CBS This Morning segment is below. Click “expand” to read more.
CBS This Morning
7:48:31 to 7:49:35
1 minute and 4 seconds
JAMIE WAX: Attorney Michael Avenatti will spend two and a half years behind bars for attempting to extort Nike. The celebrity lawyer-turned-criminal defendant was sentenced in a New York federal court yesterday. He was convicted last February of threatening to release damaging information about Nike unless the company paid him up to $25 million. Avenatti, of course, shot to fame after representing adult film star Stormy Daniels in her defamation case against former President Trump.
VLAD DUTHIERS: I thought it was interesting that when he was speaking to the judge, he was openly weeping. And he talked about the platforms that fueled his rise to fame, TV and Twitter. He told the judge they mean nothing.
WAX: Yeah. It was — that's a big fall from grace.
JAMIE YUCCAS: His legal woes aren't over yet. He’s got two more cases in California.
TONY DOKOUPIL: He had some very big financial problems. He had a big win in a lawsuit that then was reversed, and so maybe needed some money and went about getting it the wrong way.
WAX: Maybe we went about covering him the wrong way.
DOKOUPIL: I wouldn't say we. I wouldn't say we.
WAX: The press. Collectively.
DOKOUPIL: It’s a big tent.
WAX: Yes, it is. Yes it is.