The press that gave us this rapacious troll are now stuck with his stain on their reputation.
Give rockstar lawyer Michael Avenatti credit for one thing — When he gets in trouble he does so in a grand, multi-layered fashion. It was a few weeks ago when he was handed down a series of indictments over various professional misdeeds from multiple authorities across the country within hours of each other. This week he was delivered more legal problems when he was charged with stealing of the funds from Stormy Daniels’ book advance, and identity theft, and a separate indictment concerning his attempt to extort millions from the Nike corporation.
These charges arrived immediately after Vanity Fair published a lengthy piece on Avenatti rise and fall in the past year, complete with interviews conducted with Avenatti. The piece by Emily Jane Fox paints a picture of a man with swings of emotional polarity. He could be absorbing and engaging with individuals, he would fly into fits of rage when he felt wronged. He would be the tough-talking barrister we saw on camera, but Fox also detailed that numerous times in the interview he would break down crying.
The most damning segment of her piece comes not from Avenatti, but from reporters. She provides a number of quotes and anecdotes about Avenatti’s behavior during some of his hundreds of television appearances.
“He had a terrible temper,” one prime-time anchor told me. “He never lost it with me, or really with any of the talent, as far as I know, because it was mostly for the bookers or the people who were behind the scenes.”
Clearly a tough guy with the little guys.
“But he would tell people, ‘I’m going to fucking bury you. Why the fuck would you do that?’ if he didn’t like something.” A number of reporters recalled that he would physically invade their space. “His nose gets millimeters from your face and it’s clear he knows no boundaries,” one broadcast reporter and producer told me
More than simply a lone party pull quote, this appears to have been a regular pattern of behavior. Fox found another example of the lawyer acting like a street thug.
Last spring, a print outlet published a story that called into question whether Avenatti had paid someone for information that would have helped his client. According to two people, he confronted the reporter on a cable set to express his displeasure and started to shout: “Fuck me once, shame on you.” People came up to her afterward to make sure she was O.K. “That’s how aggressive and alarming it was.”
Understand what was happening here. This unhinged behavior was taking place WHILE the media was foisting this man on the public. He was behaving in this unacceptable fashion at the very same time the press was fawning relentlessly over the man. Ann Navarro likened this guy to The Holy Spirit, all while he was behaving in demonic fashion off set.
The media both got played, and they played themselves in the process. It is blatantly obvious what was transpiring during Avenatti’s media coronation. He was the tool they could use to bring down President Trump, and Michael became their mouthpiece of opposition. He was willing to say nearly anything disparaging about Trump, and thus became a journalistic cutout for the press. They got to broadcast all manner of slanderous commentary all while being able to dismiss accountability as something a guest on their program had said — not themselves.
What better way to maintain at least the claim of objectivity by having on a man they describe as a newsmaker, and then allowing him on air to say all of the things they wish they could in their reports? By giving Avenatti the keys to the news set the press could get in all of the cuts and digs on the President they desired. And they embarrassingly hailed the lawyer in the process.
Avenatti clocked over 100 appearances on both CNN and MSNBC. Now he is an absolute pariah, and the press is looking all the more foolish in the aftermath. They gave this man his stature. They swooned in front of the cameras anytime he appeared. Where is the journalism these days from these same people?
His temper often flared when producers and bookers tried to vet stories he was involved in. “It felt like we were enabling a total rage-oholic,” one booker told me. “It was pathological.
The very figure they gave us as the savior of the country was, behind the scenes and in back of the cameras, fighting them rabidly when they attempted to engage in journalism. Attempting to do the work they are charged with would send him into a rage, yet even as they saw this transpiring the media kept right along with the charade. Even as he fought them to prevent actual journalism from being practiced the press trotted out this ogre as a salvation.
Giving us the truth was not a consideration. Giving airtime to a man pledged with taking down the accursed President Trump was viewed as vastly more important of a task. Avenatti is proof that the media does not engage in “fake news” – they are forwarding an agenda of non-news, and telling the public otherwise.
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