Monday, February 17, 2020

Truest statement of the week

The people who treated Avenatti as a credible, serious individual deserve all the ridicule and scorn they get, and then some. The attention and praise the news and entertainment industries heaped on the then-lawyer for a porn star far outweighed the news value of the lawsuits he championed, which alleged Trump paid off adult performer Stormy Daniels to keep an illicit affair between the two of them a secret.
But what do you expect from the same people who built up the infamously unreliable author Michael Wolff only to have him self-immolate with ludicrous, lurid claims about U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley? News anchors and commentators who had previously downplayed the factual errors in Wolff’s book, Fire and Fury, with amended versions of “fake but accurate” were left with the embarrassment of trying to disavow the very person they had turned into a national star.

The Avenatti case is a lot like the Wolff episode. If you have something salacious and negative to say about Trump, then all the standards go out the window. It may be great television for the anti-Trump “resistance” faithful, but it is poisonous to the credibility of the organizations that promote this stuff, especially when it involves the elevation of individuals who are obviously untrustworthy. 
Like Wolff before his implosion, Avenatti was ubiquitous in American media. CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, and NBC hosted the disgraced attorney for a combined 147 television interviews between March 7 and May 15, 2018. That is an average of two interviews per day. This is to say nothing of Avenatti’s many other appearances at the height of his media-promoted stardom, including at the 2018 White House Correspondents' Association dinner and the MTV Video Music Awards.
By the way, after all the hype, all the interviews and late-night appearances, both of Daniels’ lawsuits were dismissed in federal court in 2019. Daniels, who alleges now that Avenatti stole nearly $300,000 from her, was ordered by a judge to pay $300,000 in Trump's legal fees. It is hard to lose a case much worse than that.

-- Becket Adams, "The media elevated Michael Avenatti to stardom; his felony conviction reflects on them" (WASHINGTON EXAMINER).

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