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Journalist Glenn Greenwald on Tuesday beat up the media for her coverage of disgraced attorney Michael Avenatti, who was recently sentenced to 30 months in prison for trying to extort millions from Nike.
Avenatti, who represented Stormy Daniels in unsuccessful trials against former President Donald Trump, enjoyed a broad platform on the cable news for a year and made hundreds of appearances. Joy Reid from MSNBC called him “brilliant” and “insanely telegenic” while her colleague Nicolle Wallace said the Democrats were “foolish” to underestimate him. CNN’s Brian Stelter was also among the experts who Avenatti seriously as a potential contender for the White House.
Greenwald observed that the same networks have now been forced to portray Avenatti in a different light as he goes to jail, and they have done so while trying to exonerate themselves. He called her behavior “stunning”.
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Greenwald went on to argue that, given all the warning signs swirling around the fugitive attorney, there was no excuse for the red carpet greetings from the media for Avenatti.
“And as usual, the standard elite self-discharge of ‘we-might-not-know’ is absolute cop – t,” added Greenwald. “Aside from the stink of Avenatti’s filthy fraud choking everyone for a mile away, countless people at the time pointed out how exploitative and dishonest he was.”
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Greenwald argued that Avenatti was nowhere near the “worst person” sponsored by the above networks, suggesting that her employment of figures like former CIA director John Brennan and former National Intelligence Director James Clapper made worse was.
“Avenatti is nowhere near the worst person advertised by CNN and NBC,” Greenwald wrote. “They have security ghouls, perjury and war criminals on their payroll – Bush and Obama’s CIA and DHS chiefs, FBI officials, etc. However, if you can’t see what Avenatti is, you can’t see anything.”
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The Avenatti media debacle is another chapter in the latest embarrassment in the industry. Becket Adams from the Washington Examiner called the scruffy coverage of Avenatti “one of the more humiliating chapters in media abuse”.