Oliver Darcy tries to distance CNN by suggesting it was all a conservative news conspiracy.
Admittedly it has been with no shortage of gloating that many on the right have watched the crater-inducing downfall of former Stormy Daniels lawyer, Michael Avenatti. It normally carries some distaste to take glee in this sort of self-immolating demise, but there are two predominant factors driving this reaction.
First, we had all of the predictions from those not enraptured by the lawyer that he was a bit of a slimy sort who exemplified all of the contempt people have for his profession. We watched Avenatti do things like exposing private documents of Trump’s lawyer, as well as someone who shared the same name. He tried to extort a corporation. He was told by a judge to suspend his media tour at the risk of his case and he resorted to recusing himself rather than shake his shot at fame.
The second reason is the media. They pounded this man down our throats in 2018, trotting him out at every opportunity and allowing him to spout off on all manner of slander against the President — with barely anything approaching criticism or challenging questions. He was positioned as their cudgel against President Trump as they feigned preserving their objectivity by having him serve as their cutout; ”Hey,’’ they were attempting to say, ”those are just HIS opinions. He is a figure in the news and we are covering this accordingly. We are not taking sides!’’
The ruse behind this is exposed by the fact there was no equal amount of contrasting coverage. For all of the airtime granted for this figure to deliver his accusations, there was a microscopic amount of rebuttal offered.
Now that Avenatti has been convicted in just the first of many legal proceedings he is facing, the press has fallen remarkably silent about the mouthpiece they once gave access to their microphones. Amazingly, CNN reporter Oliver Darcy has taken the desperate step of claiming that Avenattti was NOT this monumental media presence. In the Reliable Sources newsletter put out primarily by Brian Stelter and Darcy, he goes so far as to try to suggest that this was a myth created by the likes of Fox News.
The right-wing media universe might have been reeling from the DOJ’s McCabe decision, but it soon started celebrating over another legal story: Michael Avenatti’s conviction. The Avenatti story was the top story Friday afternoon on websites like Fox News, Breitbart, Newsmax, and others. Breitbart teased how much time he might serve in their homepage headline. Fox (predictably) characterized Avenatti as a “media darling.” Other right-wing personalities did the same, zinging not only Avenatti but news organizations for having given him so much air time back when the Stormy Daniels story was dominating headlines.
Seriously. To even pretend this was a creation by the right-wing media universe is as pathetic a dosage of spin-control as we may ever see. The way the media swooned in totality for Avenatti is not just recognizable but measurable. Michael Avenatti was far more than a ‘’Media Darling’’ — he was practically elevated to fiance’ status. Let us just begin with Oliver’s effective boss, who himself acknowledged the sway that the porn lawyer had over their own industry.
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) May 9, 2018
Curious how, when Fox ”characterized” Avenatti in the exact same way, Darcy only has contempt. Across broadcast and cable news organizations, Avenatti had made more than two hundred and fifty media appearances in 2018. Read that once again — TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY. Most of those transpired within a two-month time frame, and on one particular day, in May of that year, he was seen on ten different networks in that 24-hour cycle. Over time, both CNN and MSNBC had Avenatti on the air over one hundred times.
But Oliver Darcy wants to pretend that his elevated media status is all the creation of Fox News.
More than just the voluminous time granted to the man we have to also note the sheer fawning coverage he was receiving. Understand below, in reading just a few of the direct quotes, these are from media figures and journalists. Not only do these comments prove the ”media darling’’ status that is being denied, but they also disprove any claim to objectivity and unbiased reporting they might make.
LAURENCE O’DONNELL – ‘‘No ONE – has talked tougher to Donald Trump on TV.’’
STEPHANIE RHULE – ”The Democrats could learn something from you.’’
PHILLIP RUCKER – ”You take a look at the field of Democrats right now and Avenatti is the one who stands out.’’
ANNA NAVARRO – “You’re like the Holy Spirit. You are all places at all times.”
JON MEACHAM – ”He is the savior of the republic.”
EDDIE GLAUDE JR. – ”Michael Avenatti’s a beast.’’
BILL MAHER – ”He’s Donald Trump’s worst nightmare. You are something of a folk hero, now.’’
JOY BEHAR – ”He’s out there saving the country.’’
STEPHEN COLBERT – ”He is an existential threat to the Trump Presidency.’’
This, of course, is just a sampling of the fawning, rapturous attention that was poured out for the man. But look elsewhere at the places Avenatti was embraced. Vanity Fair ran a glowing personal article on the man, describing him as ”The man who launched a thousand heart-eye emojis.’’
He was enthusiastically welcomed at the White House Correspondents Dinner.
He showed up on the pink carpet of the MTV Video Music Awards…for some reason.
He was also seen with CNN host Don Lemon at The Hollywood Reporter event for The Most Powerful People in Media.
And oh, look — there is Avenatti once again with Don Lemon and other CNN personalities, this time at a private party for many of the pundits. The wife of CNN fixture Errol Lewis has since deleted the post of this bash.
As an outside observer here, it would certainly seem that for someone who gets invited to attend private parties in Sag Harbor with prominent on-air talent from CNN the term ”media darling’’ becomes more than a little accurate. Unless, of course, Avenatti was a guest in Don Lemon’s home at the invitation of Fox News.
It does not end there, however. As if this orgiastic embrace of the man on the news airwaves were not enough, the lawyer continued to inject himself into the news cycle. He tried to become a player in the legal wranglings of rap-star R-Kelly. He barnstormed his way in on the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation fiasco, making that Democratic party clown show an even bigger punchline as a result.
Then, to feed the rapacious maw that was the Avenatti ego even more, the man announced he would add his name to the list of Democrats running for president. Just to jog Oliver Darcy’s memory on the matter, CNN was more than willing to give the media whore even MORE airtime to promote his fledgling bid for the highest office.
Said Oliver’s boss, Brian Stelter, at that time: ”I’m taking you seriously as a contender.’’
If only Stelter, Darcy, and the others at CNN had taken their jobs as seriously. Instead, they allowed their obsession with toppling the President to take over, and they permitted this perceived threat to President Trump to take over their networks. Now they are smeared with all of the grime that Michael Avenatti naturally exudes from his pores as a corrupt lawyer.
Oliver Darcy wants to pass off the blame onto conservative media for the perception they are entwined with Avenatti’s corruption. Well, unlike Brian Stelter, NOBODY is taking that claim seriously. The evidence prevents the accountability from being placed in anyone’s lap but their own.