I don’t mean to harp on the many recent media appearances of attorney Michael Avenatti, but these numbers continue to astound.
Between March 7 and May 15, Stormy Daniels’ lawyer has done a staggering 147 TV interviews on both cable and network television, according to a new analysis by the right-leaning Media Research Center.
One wonders if Avenatti even bothers at this point to remove his studio makeup.
The updated MRC estimate means the Orange County, Calif., attorney is averaging an astonishing two interviews per day. That’s quite a feat for someone who only occasionally has something truly newsworthy to say. And that’s not just me being snide. Most of Avenatti’s appearances involve him merely rehashing the details of a story that first really broke in January.
This hasn’t dampened the press’s appetite for its latest obsession.
Of the 147 appearances clocked by the MRC, 74 of those were with CNN, an accomplishment to which no single member of Congress or the White House can lay claim.
An additional 57 appearances were with MSNBC, where host Lawrence O’Donnell once joked, “Michael Avenatti is becoming my co-host. I’ve got to say.”
O’Donnell’s conspiracy-mongering colleague Joy Reid responded, “He’s good.”
On May 3, Avenatti appeared on MSNBC seven times, starting at 7 a.m. on “Morning Joe” and ending at 10 p.m. on “The Last Word.”
Dear cable news producers: Your guest is not going to say anything newsworthy in his third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh interviews. You can just bring on one of your reporters to repeat what he said in his first two appearances. Either that or just give the man his own show already and be done with it.
Over at the networks, there is no shortage of love for the California lawyer, though it’s not as heavy-handed.
Between March 7 and May 15, he has appeared six times on ABC, five times on CBS, and four times on NBC News.
Avenatti, for his part, is openly grateful for the press’s obsessive attention.
“There’s been some criticism about our media strategy and how often I’ve been on CNN,” he told Anderson Cooper recently, “Here’s the bottom line, Anderson: It’s working. OK? It’s working in spades … because we’re so out front on this, people send us information. People want to help our cause.”
Farcically enough, in some panel appearances, Avenatti barely even speaks. He just sits there while the other guests chat away about whatever it is they’ve been brought on to discuss.
The MRC grouses, “There’s no conservative lawyer in the universe who could ever expect to get even half as much free airtime to bash a liberal President. The media’s massive donations to Daniels and Avenatti [through free airtime] can only be explained by their shared interest in making life as miserable as possible for President Donald Trump.”
It’s probably not as insidious as all that. Avenatti’s newfound celebrity is likely nothing more complicated than sex sells, and Lord knows he has a terrifically sleazy story to sell.