Avenatti and the Media Swindlers
If you want to feed on fake news, be bombarded by endless praise-filled coverage of scoundrels whose fame is undeserved, and listen to just plain idiocy, keep watching television news. With the latest conviction of former media star Michael Avenatti, I’ve made my case. Not only does the story of his rise and fall illustrate my point, but the failure of the media that gave him so much praise and coverage is not the end of it. Their lack of curiosity about his funding, even to this day, further condemns them as mere propagandists for the Left.
At present, he’s facing a number of charges for extortion and fraud. He’s charged with shaking down Nike, stealing $1.6 million from a California client, and defrauding a bank in Mississippi by using fake tax returns to secure a loan. And he still owes the IRS almost a million dollars in unpaid taxes, penalties, and interest.
This week he was convicted of stealing $300,000 in book proceeds from his client Stormy Daniels, the woman who claimed she had had an affair with Donald Trump and received hush money from his lawyer.
The most recent Avenatti conviction brings to my mind the history of his rise and fall, which some may have forgotten.
Following his first conviction -- for extortion against Nike -- Stephen L. Miller detailed the sickening sanctification of this loathsome crook by the media which had even at one point touted him as the next president. Now some of these same people claim it’s Trump’s fault for making him a star, but, of course, that’s nonsense. They made him a star all on their own because he served their ends -- smearing Trump.
...he went beyond the screen and attended Hampton soirees with the likes of [Don] Lemon and PBS Firing Line host Margaret Hoover. Avenatti walked red carpets and attended the MTV VMA Awards. On Instagram, White House credentialed reporter April Ryan danced with Avenatti in a gleeful post at a private party. ‘Republican’ strategist Rick Wilson was pictured chewing the fat with Avenatti at various events, while Avenatti spoke at New Hampshire Democratic party picnics and dinners where his remarks were carried on cable news and C-SPAN. He attended summit panels hosted by Vanity Fair’s Emily Jane Fox. On The View, he was praised as the lord and savior by Republican strategist and NeverTrumper Ana Navarro. Avenatti even visited Iowa, speaking for the County Iowa Democratic Elected Officials Association at the Iowa State Association of Counties Annual Conference. He fundraised for Democrats in Las Vegas. Kathy Griffin interviewed him at Politicon at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Behind the scenes, Avenatti became an intimate figure with members of the media and pundit elite. He was welcomed into their club with open arms, was hailed in green rooms and on red carpets, and he was propped up by desperate political strategists who have never been able to understand why the Republican party accepted Trump. Those that despise Trump the most should take a hard look in the mirror about how we got here, because if the way they behaved around Michael Avenatti is any indicator, they haven’t learned any lessons.
Since “The View,” the program that I can imagine is only watched by persons too invalided to reach the remote, is in the news with Whoopi Goldberg’s suspension, here’s a sample of “The View’s” tongue baths of Avenatti.
Besides promoting the befuddled Stormy Daniels, Avenatti served the leftist Democrats in another way, piling on the fact-free charges against then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, a position so loved by the press that in one week alone during the confirmation process he was interviewed 147 times alone. Mark Judge, Kavanaugh’s lifelong friend and high school classmate, details the role Avenatti played there. Kavanaugh’s accuser, the tearful, unconvincing Christine Blasey Ford, claimed Judge was in the room when Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her The charges were easily disproven, although outfits relied on sources whose stories were readily falsified. The Washington Post even went so far as to withhold exonerating evidence in its possession. Avenatti jumped into the fray, producing a woman named Julie Swetnick who claimed she’d attended parties where Kavanaugh and Judge drugged and raped girls, and that she, herself, had been one such victim. NBC’s Kate Snow even put Swetnick on air with the story without there having been any vetting of her or it. Avenatti claimed he had a witness who corroborated Swetnick’s story, but when reached, the woman denied the claim and said Avenatti had twisted her words, a denial NBC sat on for weeks. Only three weeks after Kavanaugh’s confirmation did NBC come clean and admit there were “inconsistencies” in Swetnick’s claims and that her purported witness had repudiated the sworn statement Avenatti provided to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Judge reminds us of the still unanswered question. Who paid Avenatti for smearing Trump? Was it Hillary Clinton or the DNC? The question was not first raised by Judge but by Mark Penn, a former Bill Clinton adviser:
From the beginning, this has been fishy. Daniels’s previous lawyer advised her to stick to her agreements. In contrast, Avenatti okayed her violating with impunity her non-disclosure agreement on ‘60 Minutes’ despite a binding arbitration judgment against her. She acknowledged on Twitter that she is not paying for her lawyer. So who is? And did he indemnify her against all multimillion-dollar penalties?
It took a long time and even a court battle to find out that the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee paid for the Fusion GPS dossier, a fact that was disclosed only after the damage was done, as former British spy and the dossier’s compiler, Christopher Steele, had already created a vast echo chamber as though the material he was peddling had been verified in some way, which of course, it never was. Now Avenatti is being allowed to repeat this same process, mixing truths with half truths and evading accountability.
Avenatti has been given a free, unfettered media perch on TV to spread his stuff without the networks forcing him to meet any disclosure requirements, saying that he is Daniels’s attorney when someone else entirely is paying for this operation is not true disclosure that allows the viewer to evaluate the source and potential conflicts. He is now being given deference as though he is a journalist interested in protecting unverified sources while he makes headline-grabbing pronouncements. Lawyers need to disclose the source of their evidence.
Of course, Avenatti is just the most notorious example of promoted witnesses undeserving of media fame. Here’s MSNBC’s historian, Douglas Brinkley, touting Liz Cheney and comparing the January 6 riot to the Holocaust, 9/11, and Pearl Harbor.
Such an outrageously false comparison by a man some university entrusts with teaching history. A closer comparison in my mind would certainly be to the Kavanaugh hearings where the hearing room and Capitol halls were full of screeching meemies who bought Avenatti, Ford, and the media’s lies to interfere with the confirmation.