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Michael Avenatti: A Modern P.T. Barnum

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Michael Avenatti: A Modern P.T. Barnum

Michael Avenatti: A Modern P.T. Barnum
April 30
14:41 2018

If the legal profession had not corrupted itself over the past few generations, Stormy Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti would more likely be disbarred than be the star of the news industry.  Younger Americans do not know of the days when it was unethical for lawyers to advertise. Those who went case hunting were derogatorily referred to as “ambulance chasers” and could suffer legal consequences.  Lawyers who “tried their cases in public” were viewed as low life sleazebags.

Avenatti is considered by the media to be  a serious and even effective litigator only because the ethical bar of the law profession has descended to accommodate the sleazebags.  There is no doubt that he is a fairly decent lawyer regarding the law, but his most masterful skill is media manipulation.  He is a P. T. Barnum in the court-of-public-opinion.

Like the legendary circus master, Avenatti draws his audience in with grandiose promises – and the media gets suckered in like those spending their food money in the belief that there really is a snake woman or a Cardiff Giant.

The first evidence of Avenatti’s emphasis on public relations over judicious legal matters is his frequent – almost constant – appearances on the so-called news programs.  To understand just how extremely unprofessional Avenatti‘s actions are, one must consider a real legal pro like Special Counsel Robert Mueller.  The latter’s appearance before the cameras comes only when there is a substantive action to announce – an indictment or a guilty plea.   He then again slips out of public view to do the investigative work in private. Even in high-visibility cases, where public interest is high, an attorney generally makes brief public responses to developments in the courtrooms and goes back to the office instead of to the television studio.

Avenatti, however, plays the public relations card as a constant.  He employs Barnum-style teasers to draw in the media.  There was that tweet containing an image of a DVD and a warning to Trump of what “might” be contained on that plastic disc.  This was at a time when Avenatti was spreading baseless hints of photographic evidence of the alleged sexual encounter – or at least recorded conversations.

As things again cooled down on that issue, Avenatti then produced a concocted sketch of the person who supposedly threatened his client ten years ago.  He told the public that the man in the sketch undoubtedly worked for Trump or his attorney, Michael Cohen.

Avenatti piled on with a $100,000 reward for anyone who could identify that “person.”  It was not a bold move since there is virtually no chance anyone can identify the mystery – or should I say mythical – man.

Though Avenatti and Daniels had no real reason to show up at the court hearing for Michael Cohen, Avenatti made several rounds of the media outlets to presage the dramatic revelation that would be forthcoming from Daniels’ first major media interview.

It was so overhyped that even the salivating press had to call him out for delivering a lot less than promised.

Of course, Avenatti’s Circus Maximus plays to the prejudices of the press.  He knows his audience  much as Barnum knew his.  In the anti-Trump left-wing media, there is – as Barnum said – a sucker born every minute.  It is a situation where the corruption of the news media meets the corruption of the law profession.

If you want to understand Avenatti, get a copy of the Broadway musical “Chicago.”  It is about a sleazy lawyer played by Richard Gere.  Listen to the song sung by Gere describing his technique of giving them “the old razzle dazzle.” There is actually another song in which Gere manipulates the press.  Avenatti has reprised Gere’s role and taken it on the road.

About Author

Larry Horist

Larry Horist

Larry Horist is a conservative activist with an extensive background in economics, public policy and politics. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman, as well as the White House. He has testified as an expert witness before legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress, and lectured at major colleges and universities. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He can be reached at lph@thomasandjoyce.com.

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  1. Timbuktu
    Timbuktu May 01, 08:54

    It’s hard to fathom why SOMEBODY will work so diligently and hard to be the most reprised human in this great country of ours as Michael Avenatti – a greedy opportunist mercenary with a like minded client not worth her weight in salt.
    Avenatti leaves other contenders, like Coney and Hillary, in the dust as Michael wins it by a tail tucked between his legs.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Big Mike
    Big Mike May 01, 10:53

    What a great story! Too bad the fake news allows itself to be played by individuals such as Michael Avenatti

    Reply to this comment
  3. William
    William May 01, 11:23

    Sleazebag is almost complimentary to Avenatti. I have a few other choice names for that guy.
    I would love having someone pull some of the trash out of HIS wall locker.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Hurricane
    Hurricane May 01, 16:53

    I am amazed no one else has picked up on the fact Avenatti has managed to have his Wikipedia page edited. The facts of his tax liens and shady dealings in the Tully Coffee buyout have been removed. It’s not libel or a slur; merely facts. A lawyer suing him for breach of contract filed a complaint with the California Bar. No mention. The Seattle Times have followed Avenatti’s shady dealings but you have to know it to find the info. Not on the quick Google search–another fun fact.

    Reply to this comment
  5. gigi
    gigi May 01, 21:07

    only fake news cnn brings this schiester on their failing cable show.

    Reply to this comment
  6. Al
    Al May 02, 15:58

    After watching this administration brag about pushing ethics just to the point of not violating the law and having legal “experts” on fox around the clock you complain about Stormy’s lawyer?

    Reply to this comment
  7. Annie
    Annie May 02, 18:04

    If the President of the Highest Office in the land had not allegedly shamed our country with his admitted (on public TV on that bus) his exploits with sexy time ladies, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

    I think you need a new PR firm . I don’t know if this is the best PR move because most people loved the movie about PT Barnum that just came out, and loved going to the circus as a kid. So, the punch is lost on comparing a modern con man who made it to the most powerful position in the free world by what appears to Compliments of Russia, a known enemy with plans to be leaders of the one world government themselves — with a circus entertainer played in a recent movie by a popular movie actor known for being a family man loyal to his wife.

    It just doesn’t work PR wise. Anyway if either side of the isle wants the vote, they need to save the middle class who is working 2 – 3 Jobs even with degrees while billionaires get huge tax breaks to impress people they don’t like with money we don’t have.

    Reply to this comment

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