Media

Flashback: The Media Drooled Over Avenatti

CNN

Mike Brest Reporter

Disgraced celebrity lawyer Michael Avenatti was once a media sensation who was routinely fawned over by major personalities in the establishment media.

Avenatti faced multiple indictments Wednesday for allegedly committing fraud and aggravated identity theft related to his former adult film star Stephanie Clifford, professionally known as Stormy Daniels. He is accused of forging Daniels’ signature and using fake documents to persuade an agent to divert over a quarter-of-a-million dollars in payment from the porn star’s book advance.

Back in May 2018, MSNBC contributor Eddie Glaude said on the network, “Michael Avenatti is a beast. He’s a beast and he keeps popping Donald Trump and all of his folks in the mouth, repeatedly.”

Stephanie Ruhle agreed, adding, “I am intrigued, I’m excited, I’m scared, I’m a little grossed out. And you know what? I owe Michael Avenatti an apology. For the last few weeks, I’ve been saying, ‘Enough, already, Michael, I’ve seen you everywhere. What do you have left to say?’ I was wrong, brother. You have a lot to say. The Democrats could learn something from you. You are messing with Trump a lot more than they are.”

That was one of 147 appearances Avenatti made on cable news during a 10-week period around the time of Ruhle’s comments. These platform gave him ample opportunity to attack the president and gain attention for doing so. (RELATED: CNN Hosts Avenatti 59 Times In Two Months)

Of those appearances, 131 of them came on either CNN or MSNBC, with 74 coming on CNN and 57 on MSNBC. Avenatti most frequently appeared on “Anderson Cooper 360.” He also made 16 appearances on MSNBC’s “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell.”

Attorney Michael Avenatti speaks at the ‘How to Beat Trump’ panel at the 2018 Politicon in Los Angeles, California on October 20, 2018. – The two day event covers all things political with dozens of high profile political figures. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

Then, as his stardom continued to rise, Avenatti co-hosted “The View.” Guest host Ana Navarro praised the celebrity lawyer in the highest terms during the episode, saying, “Lately, to me, you’re like the Holy Spirit. You are all places at all times. Right. I mean, I do — I see you all over cable news, I see — there’s a seat available if you want to be a co-host at ‘The View.’”

He also later appeared on CNN’s Reliable Sources with Brian Stelter, who said he took Avenatti “seriously as a contender.”

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York indicted Avenatti back in March for allegedly threatening to release damaging information about Nike if the company didn’t pay him and a colleague $20 million. He was also arrested for domestic abuse back in November.

Follow Mike on Twitter