Remember way back in March of this year when a relatively unknown lawyer made a huge splash on MSNBC when he joined Ari Melber for one of his first television interviews after taking on a new client - Stephanie Clifford, the porn star who goes by the name "Stormy Daniels." Avenatti was representing Daniels' in her effort to get the NDA thrown out, arguing that it was not legally enforceable for a litany of reasons.
Avenatti made a ton of wild statements during his blockbuster interview rotation - and many of them have actually come true. One of the most shocking ones came true just in the last few days, when news broke that there are recordings of Trump and Cohen. In fact, Avenatti asserted months ago that are more tapes of Donald Trump and Cohen, although so far we only know the details of one. That tape talks about coordination of payments between Cohen, Trump and AMI (parent company of the National Enquirer) to silence a Playboy Model, Karen McDougal, who alleges she had a year long affair with Donald Trump.
But just yesterday, his claim that the "Cohen Tapes" (plural) exist came to pass. There are, in fact, 12 tapes, which were just turned over to the government.
Avenatti didn't hold back on Twitter:
A critical point on finding the right venue: Although Avenatti made the rounds on nearly every channel, he has become a staple on Ari Melber's The Beat, and that relationship has not only benefited Avenatti, it also helped propel The Beat to the highest ratings in June for any show in it's time slot. And as The Beat approaches its one-year anniversary, its reach continues to grow through a steady stream of amazing guests and unbiased reporting. In fact, they continue to beat every single other news show in its time slot - averaging 1.3 million viewers per night, beating CNN for all hours, not just the 6pm time slot. One of the most staggering statistics is the number of viewers between the age of 25 - 54 (key demographics) - The Beat is up 15% in that group alone. For those who don't keep up on statistics, these are HUGE numbers for a show in its first year.
News only breaks if viewers tune in. Michael Avenatti chose the exact right venue at the exact right channel to make his name. Viewers of The Beat instantly latched on, followed him to other shows, but always returned to The Beat to see follow-up interviews with amazing back and forth conversations where news broke literally every night. Avenatti's story became front-page news instead of being buried, had it been done with less enthusiastic hosts on another channel. This could have slowed down the Stormy Daniels case and maybe dulled to push to keep Michael Cohen in the news.
Will it matter? We shall see. We continue to agree with Avenatti that Cohen is a greater danger to Donald Trump's presidency than anyone knows.