CNN's Cuomo Skips Avenatti Arrest Story, Rest of Network All But Ignores It


CNN’s Chris Cuomo did not cover the arrest of Stormy Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti on domestic violence charges on his program Wednesday night, and the rest of the network dedicated scant time to it the entire evening.

MSNBC also offered little coverage of the story despite it being confirmed by The Associated Press and other outlets and later publicly verified by the Los Angeles Police Department.

Mediaite reported that TMZ first tweeted its breaking story about Avenatti’s arrest at 5:46 p.m. Eastern time.

AP followed less than a half-hour later, with Fox News covering the story shortly thereafter.

CNN’s first mention came at the top of Erin Burnett’s “Out Front” show at 7 p.m. with a tease, but the story was not covered until 40 minutes later.

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The Media Research Center clocked CNN spending 2 minutes and 23 seconds on the Avenatti segment, of which it devoted about one minute to covering the charges themselves, an additional minute discussing that TMZ had mistakenly reported the woman who Avenatti allegedly battered was his estranged wife, and 19 seconds speculating how the charges might affect his 2020 presidential aspirations.

Cuomo’s 9 p.m. Eastern program did not cover Avenatti’s arrest at all.

Meanwhile, CNN host Don Lemon waited until his second hour of programming, dedicating a two-minute segment at 11:29 p.m. to the story, which largely consisted of Avenatti’s offering his denial following his release from police custody after making bail.

MRC contrasted the slowly rolled out, scant coverage CNN offered the Avenatti arrest to the speed with which it jumped on the uncorroborated claims of sexual misconduct his client Julie Swetnick made toward then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in September.

Do you think CNN failed to adequately cover the Avenatti story because he was a frequent guest?

“CNN’s Kate Bolduan interrupted a segment on trade to spread the smears until ‘Inside Politics’ began at the top of the hour,” MRC said. “They then spent an additional 30 minutes on it. On that same day, had 12 articles mentioning Swetnick.

“As of the publishing of this piece, had exactly one on Avenatti’s charges.”

In late October, Senate Judiciary Committee Chuck Grassley referred Avenatti and Swetnick to the Department of Justice for criminal investigation relating to a “potential conspiracy to provide materially false statements to Congress.”

MRC tabulated that Avenatti appeared on CNN 59 times from March 7 to April 30 — averaging over one appearance a day — to discuss matters relating to his client Daniels, a porn star with whom President Donald Trump allegedly had an affair.

MRC president Brent Bozell tweeted, “Let’s see: Avenatti accuses Trump of being a misogynist and gets hundreds of media interviews. Avenatti is arrested for reportedly beating up a woman and the networks don’t care.”

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According to The Washington Free Beacon, the attorney made at least 108 appearances on CNN and MSNBC from March 7 to May 10, which amounted to nearly $175 million in free media coverage.

MRC pointed out that MSNBC was also slow to report on Avenatti’s arrest, waiting until just before 7 p.m. Eastern, when host Ari Melber dedicated 15 seconds to the story.

Host Chris Matthews did not mention Avenatti at all in his “Hardball” program that followed.

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 2,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Graduated dean's list from West Point
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith