Mainstream Media Featured Avenatti 254 Times in One Year, With Half Of Appearances Coming From CNN Alone
Attorney Michael Avenatti attends the 2019 Adult Video News Awards at The Joint inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on January 26, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images

Michael Avenatti — the attorney who represented porn star Stormy Daniels in her case against President Donald Trump — was sentenced yesterday to thirty months in jail.

Avenatti had attempted to extort $25 million from Nike. According to prosecutors, Avenatti “sought to enrich himself by weaponizing his public profile in an attempt to extort a publicly traded company out of tens of millions of dollars.” He has also allegedly stolen $300,000 from Daniels.

It was only a few years ago, however, that Avenatti was seen by many as a rising star in the Democratic Party. Some even saw him as a presidential contender who could reciprocate Trump’s aggressive campaign tactics.

According to The Daily Signal’s reporting on analysis from Newsbusters, Avenatti appeared on major television networks 254 times in the year preceding his arrest for domestic abuse charges. CNN alone represented 48% of the appearances.


Brian Stelter, for example, invited Avenatti onto his show for a nine-minute segment unpacking Avenatti’s recent interview with Tucker Carlson. Stelter praised Avenatti for “turning [questions] around” on the Fox anchor.


“Many Democrats say ‘no’ to Fox’s interview requests. Many 2020 hopefuls. So I’m curious: why did you say yes?” asked Stelter. Avenatti responded: “Well, Brian, if you’re going to be a fighter — and if you’re going to be a fighter for the future of this country and lead the Democratic Party — then you can’t be ducking fights. Frankly, sometimes you have to go into the belly of the beast, as they say.”

Chris Cuomo and Avenatti discussed allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

“You are not the story — I do not intend to make you as such — but I do think you have to be given a chance to respond to the President of the United States who called you a con man,” said Cuomo.

“If anyone knows a con, I guess it would be Donald Trump based on the last two years,” Avenatti replied. “He’s a habitual liar. He’s trying to distract away from the very serious allegations made by multiple women against Brett Kavanaugh, who has no business being on the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Far beyond CNN, personalities from virtually every other left-leaning outlet gushed over Avenatti.

MSNBC’s Joy-Ann Reid called him “brilliant” and “telegenic.” 

The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin — telling Avenatti “I love ya” — encouraged him to run for Congress.

Slate called him “the brilliant egomaniac who could bring down Donald Trump.”

“There should be an enormous lesson here: the media is incredibly vulnerable to a certain variety of camera-savvy huckster who tells them what they want to hear,” commented journalist Drew Holden. “The media was the mark, and boy did they get taken by Michael Avenatti.”

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