Michael Avenatti plays the media like a virtuoso plays the piano. A bit of evidence dropped here, a cryptic tweet dropped there, each holding out promise for the next mini-bombshell, keeping reporters and public alike riveted. This guy and his client, whom Colbert once called “porn star and historical figure Stormy Daniels,” are beating Trump at his own media game, and “Avenatti” is becoming a household name. And we’re all loving it, because he has the goods and isn’t constrained by protocols as is Robert Mueller, so he can spill a bit at a time and promise more to follow and slowly damn Trump with the drip, drip, drip of truth.
So what’s wrong with this picture?
I have to admit that when I first learned Avenatti was taking a strongly investigative and PR approach, I wondered if he was outside his purview… whether a judge would look askance at his media work once he was in court. And there are those who opine so, see here. But not all agree, and he doesn’t seem to worry about it, and those who do agree are often those who are trying to character-assassinate him and therefore are not to be credited.
I guess I’m just not used to seeing a lawyer be someone who digs up incriminating information and then makes it public. I’m used to seeing that done by… oh, who are they again, the profession that does that, think think think, it’s been a while… oh yeah.
The media are running to Avenatti because he’s doing their job for them. I suspect also that’s why he’s getting some hate from those journalistics outlets which aren’t pure Trump propaganda organs; he’s embarrassing them by disseminating exposés that they aren’t. The see him justly lionized and feel outdone. As they should.
Let me give you some suggestions, dear friends at the MSM, if you don’t want to be put to shame by someone who’s not in your club.
Do your damn job.
Expand your investigative journalism budget. Develop your relationships with people who will leak information that’s actually substantive, rather than glitzy and gossipy. Publish stories that are mercilessly true even if that pisses off the liars. Quit normalizing this administration and present it as it really is, instead of guarding your precious access to a bunch of mobster perps who you know damn well are a bunch of mobster perps.
You say Avenatti has protections and freedoms you do not, because he works in the regime of rule of law? Try advocating then for some freedom-inducing rule of law applied to your own profession. Push bringing back the Fairness Doctrine, or making advertiser influence illegal, or breaking up media conglomerates—all things which hinder freedom of the press, ergo trust in journalism, ergo your reputation.