Everything Wrong With CNN You Can Hear in Jeffrey Toobin’s Avenatti Mea Culpa

Attorney Michael Avenatti leaves Manhattan Federal court, Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Jeffrey Toobin, CNN’s chief legal analyst, admitted he felt tricked by Michael Avenatti in the wake of his recent conviction on three charges connected to his attempt to extort millions of dollars from Nike.


“I remember once at the peak of all of this, we went to lunch in midtown, when our offices were in midtown, and we walked back together to CNN, and it was like walking with a major, major celebrity,” Toobin told Anderson Cooper. “People came up to him. It’s like, you know, ‘Go for it! Go get Trump!’ … And at the peak of this, he even announced he was considering running for president, and he went to Iowa, he went to New Hampshire. And to call it hubris […] doesn’t do it justice. I mean, the craziness of this.”

But the most telling part of Toobin’s interview was when he admitted, “Frankly, you know, I feel kind of snookered, because I took him seriously.”

This, in my opinion, tells you everything that’s wrong with the media, and why they deserve to be called “fake news” and “enemies of the people.” Toobin recounted the celebrity status Avenatti experienced simply because he was a media-savvy lawyer who wasn’t just anti-Trump, he was promising to end Trump’s presidency. Avenatti literally guaranteed Trump would not finish out his term. Toobin may have been recalling people on the street treating him like a celebrity, but the fact is the left-wing media did too. They made him a celebrity by giving him a platform, even though anyone with just a smidge of common sense could see that Avenatti was not someone to be taken seriously.


What Toobin didn’t admit to directly was that he and others in the liberal media took Avenatti seriously because they wanted to believe him. They wanted so much for his promises to be true. He gave them juicy anti-Trump stories to report on and gave them hope that he had something that would end his presidency. They gave Avenatti air time, and therefore legitimacy because they didn’t care to vet this guy and now we’re supposed to just shrug it off because now they’re saying “our bad,” — are they kidding?

Toobin and his network took Avenatti seriously, not because they were snookered, but because they cared more about trying to get Trump than being objective reporters of the news. Avenatti should have never gotten the red-carpet treatment from the media but they were too blinded by their anti-Trumpism to care.


Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis


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