Disgraced lawyer Michael Avenatti was sentenced to 14 years in prison on Monday for cheating former clients out of millions and other financial crimes, the final downfall of the former ubiquitous cable news presence who became a media sensation.
His sentence will run after the five years he is already serving for stealing from his former client Stormy Daniels and attempting to extort footwear manufacturer Nike out of $25 million.
The news quickly spread across social media, with several users mocking the media for previously floating Avenatti as a presidential candidate with the ability to take down former President Trump.
Author and comedian Tim Young sarcastically congratulated Avenatti on his additional years in prison, and in a subsequent tweet ridiculed former CNN anchor Brian Stelter for once telling Avenatti that he was a serious contender for the presidency because of his “presence on cable news.”
Red State columnist Buzz Patterson made a similar comment upon hearing the news, writing “I’m old enough to remember when this chump was a Democrat presidential candidate and @CNN lapped it up.”
Greg Price, a senior digital strategist at XStrategies, resurfaced a 2018 video which showed “The View” left-wing co-host Ana Navarro comparing Avenatti to the Holy Spirit. The show also once had Avenatti on as a “guest co-host,” and when he discussed how one of his sexual fantasies involved handcuffs, then-co-host Meghan McCain could be seen looking disgusted.
However, not everyone was keen on Avenatti’s massive prison sentence. Billy Binion, an associate editor at Reason called the judge’s decision “insane.”
“We are addicted to long prison terms in this country,” he added.
Prior to his legal woes, Avenatti was once a media star, and appeared across all the major cable news networks over 250 times between February 2018 and 2019, according to the Media Research Center.
Avenatti appeared most frequently on CNN, which welcomed him an astonishing 121 times. MSNBC also had a high tally, having him on 108 times. He made 24 appearances on broadcast news; 12 on ABC, seven on CBS and five on NBC. He also made a memorable appearance on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” where a graphic referred to him as a “Creepy Porn Lawyer.”
During that time, Avenatti frequently dropped tidbits of information on television, asserting that he had damning evidence that would put an end to the Trump presidency. He also inserted himself into other major stories, such as the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation fight, where he represented a client who wildly claimed Avenatti had participated in gang-rape parties in his youth.
Vanity Fair published a feature outlining his skincare routine, and liberal hosts called him “Trump’s worst nightmare” who was “saving the country.” MSNBC’s Ari Melber called him the “belle of the ball” at a New York City media event. CBS “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert called Avenatti an “existential threat” to the Trump presidency, while HBO’s Bill Maher said he was “Donald Trump’s worst nightmare.”
MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace, praising a speech Avenatti was set to give in Iowa in 2018, said he hit a “lot of the right notes” and Democrats would be “foolish to underestimate him.” The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin told him on Twitter she loved him, and MSNBC’s Joy Reid tweeted he was “brilliant” and “mad telegenic.”
Far-left White House reporter April Ryan still has a smiling photo she took with him at the White House Correspondents Dinner.
Avenatti, who could recently be found in the Netflix documentary “Pepsi, Where’s My Jet,” was profiled in Politico last year, where he rued that he couldn’t properly defend himself on TV since his cascade of criminal activity came to light.
“No matter where you land on the question of his downfall, we are a part of this story, too. He used the media, and we used him,” Politico’s Ruby Cramer wrote at the time.