Betteridge’s law of headlines states that the answer to any headline that ends in a question mark is “no,” and in this case I am trying to speak that into being. Because when you look at the credibility of the reporters behind this story and the actors in it, the odds seem to point towards “yes.” Per Mike Schmidt and Maggie Haberman of the New York Times:
A television show featuring Michael Avenatti, the lawyer who is suing President Trump on behalf of a pornographic film actress, and the former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci was pitched to two cable networks in recent weeks, people briefed on the matter said on Thursday.
The prominent television agent Jay Sures discussed with executives at CNN and MSNBC the concept of a program where the two men would square off, according to three people briefed on the issue. Both have become frequent cable network guests — Mr. Avenatti as one of Mr. Trump’s greatest antagonists, and Mr. Scaramucci as a loyalist to the president even after flaming out after less than two weeks at the White House.
We live in hell, and this TV show being greenlit would be more proof of the flames. But don’t take it from me, take it from some folks who just recently converted.
We already know that Anthony Scaramucci is a slimy social climber who has way overshot his destiny of playing the token greedy trader with one line in The Wolf of Wall Street, but it may be less well-known that Michael Avenatti isn't exactly a hero either. Sure, going after President Trump on behalf of Stormy Daniels—and, symbolically, every woman this president has violated—is an unimpeachably good thing, but it's not like Avenatti is some martyr for the cause. Hell, the only reason we're talking about him is because of this lawsuit, and his insane luck of having the bombshell of the year leaked to him by a law enforcement official. If all you knew about Avenatti was what you saw on cable news in the past couple weeks, you'd never know he was representing a porn star's case against the president over a non-disclosure agreement.
Not to mention, cable news just loves Avenatti. That same cable news that constantly cut away from live speeches in the Republican primary to show an empty podium soon to feature Donald Trump. Anyone they really gravitate towards like this should raise red flags in your brain, and cable news' constant back-rubs of Avenatti have become patently obvious for all to see.
Plus, Avenatti threatened journalists at the Daily Caller with lawsuits. That's Trumpian nonsense. It's not just conservatives who are offended by this clear intimidation tactic either.
Placing the cherry on top of this deflating sundae, Avenatti’s former partner is suing over the time Avenatti allegedly stiffed him on $2 million in debt. An arbitration panel of three retired judges found that the firm, Eagan Avenatti, had “acted with malice, oppression and fraud.”
Ultimately, Avenatti and Scaramucci are perfect for each other, and it makes complete and total sense why TV folks would want to pair them together. They’re cable news darlings who draw their fame from America’s ongoing Trump-themed soap opera, but without the orange ignoramus in the Oval Office, no one would know who these two schmucks are. Now it looks like they will further capitalize on their weird fame to bring us the pure distillation of everything that is wrong with cable news in Crossfire 3.0. We live in hell.
Jacob Weindling is a staff writer for Paste politics. Follow him on Twitter at @Jakeweindling.