Political media is a haven for new hawkers

From the depths of the scandal, Michael Avenatti gave an interview to Vanity Lounge. He cried four times and said: “SSome would say at this point that I flew too close to the sun. As I sit here today, yes absolutely I know I did. No question. Icarus. “

Michael Avenatti is not Icarus, nor any other Greek mythical figure. He’s just a jerk. The quote is the self-promoted sleaze-dog lawyer version of owner Alex Rodriguez two portraits of himself in the form of a centaur.

Already billed for Nike extortion attempt and for embezzle $ 12 million from a batch of customers, he was new indictment. He is accused of detonating proceeds from the book case of pornstar Stormy Daniels on things like his monthly $ 3,900 Ferrari payment, while stalling it with an apology that the publisher was late or “resisted … due to poor sales of [Daniels’s] delivered.”

The fate of Avenatti-Icarus is intimately linked to that of Ed and Brian Krassenstein of #Resistance fame. The flying Krassensteins have just been deleted from Twitter, allegedly for using fake accounts and “buying fake interactions”.

This occurs three years after their the house was searched by federal agents, and nearly two after a confiscation complaint publicized the 13-year history of the Krassensteins of owning and operating sites pushing “high return investment plans” or Ponzi-type HYIPs. Authorities said the pair “generated dozens of thousands complaints from victims of fraudulent HYIP. (Emphasis mine)

After their Twitter ban this week, in one of the finest details you could find in a report, the Krassensteins have been contacted. by Jacob Wohl, the infamous pro-Trump conspiratorial peddler who is himself banned. Wohl is said to have proposed that they all come together to “fight Twitter and Internet censorship.”

Confused? You shouldn’t be. The Krassensteins and Wohl are just two sides of the same coin, just as Avenatti is a more transparent and pathetic version of the man he claimed to oppose, Donald Trump.

The Trump era saw the rapid proliferation of a new type of political con artist. He or she often creates huge Twitter followers with hyper-partisan content, dumping relentless aggression in the form of dunks and shots while promising big Kaboom-y reveals that may or (more often not) be factual. . They often amplify attendance by using large networks of puppet accounts.

Avenatti made 254 appearances on cable last year, including 147 on MSNBC and CNN alone within a 10 week period. Cable reporters fell so head over heels in love that they almost propelled him into the presidential race, at a time when, among other things, he allegedly stole $ 1.6 million from a paraplegic.

Waytago, cable! Kudos for giving airtime to any slimeball that throws enough coal on your furnace, starting of course with the chair.

The first time I covered Trump, I thought it was obvious what he was doing:

We let our electoral process turn into something so bogus and dysfunctional that any crook half-shining with the stones to try it out could walk through the front door and tear it to shreds the first time.

And Trump isn’t a half-brilliant con artist, either. He is much better than the average.

Trump understood that the modern press is not only geared towards the outrageous, but discouraging moderation in any form. In the WWE landscape, people like Jeb Bush and John Kasich have emerged as boxes of tomatoes to be spilled by Trump, using shareable slurs, extravagant political promises, and uplifting antics.

Trump, it seemed clear, entered the presidential race as a publicity stunt, maybe as a way to sell books or steaks or whatever. He knew that if you peddled vicious conspiratorial stories about things like Obama’s birth certificate, you can get billions in free public relations from stations like Fox. What he couldn’t have known is that America is so fucked up, its collection of real politicians seemingly so universally hated, that his Bulworth law would end up being more trustworthy than the “legitimate” alternatives.

For the money, he ended up with a questionable consolation prize called the Presidency – which comes with all kinds of nasty legal complications, as well as real heavy responsibilities (not that he’s ever tempted to embrace him. ).

The press reportedly learned its lesson after Trump’s victory, adopting a mantle of intellectual gravity “Democracy dies in darkness.” Then they turned around and immediately started falling in love with the same scam.

Avenatti became an instant celebrity after having filed a complaint seeking to rescind the non-disclosure agreement between Trump and Daniels, in which she received a payment of $ 130,000 to shut up on what she would later call “the least impressive sex I’ve ever had” .

In this, Avenatti had something that cable TV wanted more than anyone: details about the President’s “smaller than average” tackle and Daniels’ story about “getting fucked by a guy with a yeti pubic hair. and a dick like the mushroom character from Mario Kart. “

Avenatti took advantage of being the keeper of this story in daily TV appearances, where he quickly became a full-fledged political figure, someone who would play the Democrats’ bare-handed answer to Trump.

Last summer in Iowa, he was already giving speeches as a presidential hopeful. CNN gushed:

Criticizing but amending Obama, Avenatti added: “When they go down, I say, we hit harder …”

Whether by calling Michael Cohen a “thug, “or by requiring a”immediate charge”On the question of secret money, one could count on Avenatti to adopt the most aggressive posture. Media personalities cannot congratulate him enough. It was awesome, emotionally satisfying television! Our own version of Trump!

Ana Navarro compared him to the “Holy Spirit” to View, while Joy Behar said “being a lawyer is minimal compared to what he does”. MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle said, “Democrats could learn something from you. “Brian Stelter, who then excused his admiration on the grounds that Avenatti showed”Masters a la Trumpmedia said Avenatti should be taken “seriously as a competitor.” In another column, he was called the “savior of the Republic”.

Avenatti was the savior of nothing. He turned out to be an epic buffoon and a net less massive one for Democratic causes. Her performance in the fight against Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation last fall – where the self-proclaimed feminist citing Maya Angelo ended up having her own witness tell nbc he had “twisted” his words – was just a facial plant.

It was soon after arrested for domestic violence. This helped cancel campaign events as Democratic organizers realized they were a hair’s breadth away from printing bumper stickers and posters for a collapsing Enron.

Avenatti’s indictments read like a slapstick novel about a testosterone-brained chiseller throwing an armful of juggling pins in the air, then trying to make his way to the White House before d ‘to land. If Hollywood doesn’t make a clever, dialogue-based black comedy about its exploits (The appalling lightness of being?) it will be a shame.

Mark Strong comes to mind for the lead role, but Avenatti’s story is such a particularly American mark of silliness that the cast will be screaming for a local artist with a knack for the awkward antihero roles. Kevin Spacey would have been perfect, but there’s still William Fichtner, or maybe Corey stoll

There is now a literature of Avenatti’s denials, and they have a certain style. Of course, this is Trump’s style. He uses an impenetrable narcissism in the hope of making his defense as convincing to us as it should be to him, ie “In my mind above all, I am completely innocent of all the accusations made by the many. ungrateful jealous losers who want to have me. ” Sadly, both are probably too egotistical to appreciate the irony.

Krassenstein’s tale is another puzzle. the deed of confiscation of 2017 described how the brothers operated a network of sites providing a “forum for the promotion and discussion” of these Ponzi-type investment vehicles.

Essentially, the Krassensteins were pulling an Internet version of a “big storeCon, creating the illusion of a thriving multi-site market that was actually a handful of people working together to help attract fish. Authorities seized a property they said had been “bought with the proceeds of wire fraud,” and as part of a settlement agreement the Krassensteins agreed to forgo $ 450,000 from the sale. .

The political public literally didn’t care that these dopes were presented as mini-Madoffs of the internet world. They liked the post and rushed to it. The #Resistance Twins even made an effort to strengthen their credibility by creating the “KrassencastA podcast so excruciatingly boring that its recordings will one day be used to force hostage-takers to surrender.

Like Avenatti, they took maximalist positions, pushing for indictments and impeachment, with Ed even saying that Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen was invoking the Fifth Amendment. meant “basically admit he’s a criminal. “

From Charles Ponzi to Mike Milken to L. Ron Hubbard, Bernie Madoff and Jack Abramoff, Americans have a long history of embracing snake oilers and schemers, inundating them not only with money but also social approval. . In America, even after exposure, the barker is still often revered for his entrepreneurial spirit. Strangely, we tend to admire the effort.

It’s one thing to give these clowns our money and our time. But should we also give them our respect? Make them political heroes? Are we really that stupid?