Disgraced attorney Michael Avenatti was sentenced Monday to 14 years in prison for defrauding former clients out of millions and other financial crimes, the final downfall of a former cable news anchor who has become a media sensation.
His prison term comes after five years he served for stealing from his former client Stormy Daniels and trying to extort $25 million from shoe company Nike.
The news quickly spread on social media, with several users mocking the media for Avenatti, who had previously floated as a presidential candidate with the ability to take down former President Trump.
Author and comedian Tim Young sarcastically congratulated Avenatti on his extra years in prison, and in a follow-up tweet, former CNN anchor Brian Stelter mocked Avenatti for once saying he was a serious presidential contender because he was “on cable news.”
Red State columnist Buzz Patterson made a similar comment when he heard the news, writing, “I’m old enough to remember this guy being the Democratic presidential nominee and @CNN mentioning it.”
Greg Price, senior digital strategist at XStrategies, retweeted a 2018 video in which “The View” left-wing host Ana Navarro compared Avenatti to the Holy Spirit. The show also once featured Avenatti as a “guest co-star” and when he discussed how one of his sexual fantasies involved handcuffs, then-host Meghan McCain could be seen cringing was
However, not everyone was amused by Avenatti’s hefty prison sentence. Billy Binion, associate editor of Reason, called the judge’s decision “insane.”
“We are used to long prison sentences in this country,” he added.
Before his legal troubles, Avenatti was once a media star, appearing more than 250 times on all major cable news networks between February 2018 and 2019. According to the Media Research Center.
Avenatti has appeared frequently on CNN, where he has been credited an astonishing 121 times. MSNBC also had a high rating, playing it 108 times. He participated in 24 broadcast newscasts; 12 on ABC, seven on CBS and five on NBC. He also made a memorable appearance on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” where the graphic artist called him “The Scary Porn Lawyer.”
During that time, Avenatti frequently dropped news stories on television, claiming he had damning evidence that would end Trump’s presidency. He also inserted himself into other high-profile cases, such as the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation battle, where he represented a client who claimed Avenatti had attended gang-rape parties in his youth.
Vanity Fair published an article detailing her skin care routine, and liberal hosts called her “the country’s savior” “Trump’s worst nightmare.” MSNBC’s Ari Melber called him “the bell of the ball” in New York media coverage. CBS’ “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert called Avenatti an “existential threat” to Trump’s presidency, while HBO’s Bill Maher called him “Donald Trump’s worst nightmare.”
MSNBC’s Nicole Wallace praised Avenatti’s 2018 speech in Iowa, saying he hit “a lot of the right notes” and that Democrats would be “foolish not to underestimate him.” Washington Post reporter Jennifer Rubin reported on Twitter he loved herand MSNBC’s Joy Reid tweeted that he was “awesome” and a “crazy telegen.”
White House Correspondent April Ryan still has a picture of him smiling he took it with him to the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.
Avenatti, who can most recently be seen in the Netflix documentary “Pepsi, Where’s My Jet,” was featured on Politico last year and has been defending himself on TV since his criminal activities were exposed. he was upset that he didn’t get it.
“Wherever the question of his downfall falls, we are part of it. He used the media and we used him,” Politico’s Ruby Cramer wrote at the time.