Friday, December 1, 2023

Blatant Double-Standard on Display in Coverage of Alleged Abuser Avenatti

‘He wouldn’t hit anybody. Especially a woman. He’s got two daughters…’

(Ben Sellers) Let us take a moment to remember the “Believe all women” movement.

Lawyer Michael Avenatti, while representing Brett Kavanaugh accuser Julie Swetnick in her salacious—and now largely debunked, potentially perjurious—claims against the Supreme Court nominee, would certainly have wanted us to, no matter the credibility.

But as Avenatti, who was arrested Wednesday following an apparent incident of domestic violence against a female companion, now faces his own scandal, the circumstances are, uh, different.

As the story broke Wednesday, with celebrity gossip site TMZ leading the charge, it was widely reported in the media—including by Liberty Headlines, which culled its information from the Tribune News Service’s subscription-based wire content—that the victim was Avenatti’s estranged ex-wife.

However, CNN national political correspondent MJ Lee later tweeted that she had spoken with ex-wife Lisa Storie-Avenatti by phone and that the latter strongly denied involvement. Interestingly, she explained that Avenatti, as a family man, could never have done such a thing.

It’s easy to imagine what the reaction on CNN would have been to such a statement had it come during the Kavanaugh hearing.

Rather, when Kavanaugh became emotional before the Senate Judiciary Committee while discussing his two daughters and the difficulty he and his wife had faced explaining the situation to them, he was mocked and scorned.

Kavanaugh even had his temperament questioned by politicians like Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, and soon-to-be-former-Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., as well as left-wing media commentators.

While Avenatti’s ordeal has helped the Left to suddenly recover its empathy, it also has helped liberals to regain another virtue, recognizing the importance of concepts like “due process” and “innocent until proven guilty.”

TMZ reported that Avenatti’s most famous client, Trump accuser Stormy Daniels, issued a statement urging people not to jump to conclusions. “We should all reserve judgement until the investigation—an investigation Michael has said he welcomes—is complete, and that’s what I’m going to do,” Daniels said.

However, it seems unlikely that Avenatti, who had declared himself a 2020 presidential challenger to Trump but was already seen by some on the Left as harmful to the cause, will be able to regain his standing.

While conservative Fox News pundit Sean Hannity said on his show Wednesday that he intended to reserve judgment now that the tables have turned on Avenatti, actress and #MeToo activist Alyssa Milano was less forgiving.

Milano, the former child star of sitcom “Who’s the Boss” and films like “Poison Ivy II,” has become one of the Hollywood-driven feminist movement’s leading voices. At the invitation of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, she was seated prominently in the gallery during the Kavanaugh hearings.

On Wednesday, she tweeted her condemnation of Avenatti following the “totally disgusting” allegations.

The “#Basta” hashtag—Italian for “enough”—had been used by Avenatti in his own tweets advocating women’s causes. Others Twitter users also have begun repurposing it, now with an added layer of irony.

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