Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center regularly attacked Michael Avenatti, whom it loved to tag as a "creepy porn lawyer" for the ofense of representing porn star Stormy Daniels (whom the MRC also attacked) in her accusations that Donald Trump had an affair with her -- an accusation that was seemingly proven by the fact that Trump paid her hush money. When Avenatti got in trouble with other extralegal shenanigans, the MRC was even happier to bash, continuing to tie him to the "liberal media" though it had long abandoned him. When Avenatti was sentenced to prison in July for his misdeeds, the MRC was ready to rehash his story yet again:
- The Man They Helped Build: CBS, NBC Ignore Avenatti’s Prison Sentence
- EMBARRASSING: MSNBC Ignores Buddy Michael Avenatti Being Sentenced to Prison
- Lying CBS: ‘We’ Didn’t Misjudge Avenatti (Fact Check: They Called Him a ‘Rock Star’)
- NewsBusters Podcast: The Very Quiet Downfall of Avenatti
- The Media and St. Michael Avenatti
Of course, the MRC built up its own favored attorneys as well ... and then went silent when they went bad. Last September, we argued that John Pierce -- whom the MRC had lionized as the attorney for Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager who shot and killed two people during a protest in Kenosha, Wis., last year -- was a right-wing Avenatti who had engaged in financial shenanigans and hostile and threatening behavior toward his ex-wife, serving as Rittehouse's defense attorney while also running a foundation paying for Rittenhouse's legal fees. Our last update on Pierce noted that he had left the foundation, but the story didn't end there. In December, Pierce was barred from representing Rittenhouse as a defense lawyer in Wisconsin (Pierce is based in California) because of his financial shenanigans -- which include "the collapse of Pierce's law firm earlier this year 'under a cloud of debt,' and several lawsuits alleging Pierce defaulted on hundreds of thousands of dollars in business and personal loans" -- and because he continued to use the foundation to fund-raise for Rittenhouse' legal defense. Pierce then withdrew as Rittenhouse's criminal attorney but stayed on to pursue civil cases against media outlets who had purportedly defamed Rittenhouse.
In February, Rittenhouse fired Pierce from even that bit of representation, suggesting it was because Pierce opposed setting up an independent trust for Rittenhouse. And around the time the MRC was obsessing over Avenatti yet again, it was reported that Rittenhouse's family and current attorney accused Pierce of still trying to siphon away money raised for Rittenhouse and keep control of the $2 million that was raised.
Since then, we have an even more apt candidate for the MRC's Avenatti. Back in 2019, the MRC was cheering attorney L. Lin Wood -- who, it so happens, operated that defense fund along with Pierce -- for planning to file nuisance lawsuits for needlessly large amounts against media outlets for supposedly defaming high school students (best known as the Covington kids) caught up in a protest while visiting Washington, D.C. Curtis Houck gushed over Wood's "incredibly-detailed" $250 million lawsuit against CNN, while Nicholas Fondacaro made a point of noting that a similar lawsuit against the Washington Post was "lengthy."
When Wood reached confidential settlements with a couple of the media outlets it sued -- which suggest that Wood likely got llittle more than token going-away money for his student clients -- the MRC nevertheless insisted there were massive victories despite there being no public retraction as part of the settlement, and Kristine Marsh even gushed over "eagle-eyed lawyer" Wood for freaking out over such speculation over the settlements.
By August 2020, the MRC was cheering Wood joining Rittenhouse's legal team, with Alexander Hall touting one media outlet "recounted how Wood is a battle-hardened veteran of America’s recent culture wars, and Corinne Weaver complained that Wood was briefly "suspended from Twitter on September 1 for 'glorifying violence.'" Wood then joined Donald Trump's post-election team attempting to turn over the election; Weaver complained in one November post that a Wood tweet was "censored" -- it wasn't; Twitter simply flagged it as pushing dubioius claims about election fraud.
The trail ends there for Wood at the MRC; he got only two passing mentions after that. But the rest of us know what happened next: Wood drunk deep from Trump's bogus conspiracy theories; implicated himself in possible voter fraud by suggesting he voted in Georgia despite living in South Carolina; has had his law lilcense challenged and was ordered to undergo a mental evaluation as part of it; argued that Mike Pence shoiuld face a firing squad, which even the "free speech" folks at Parler objected to; annoyed GOP officials by running for the chairmanship of the South Carolina Republican Party; President Trump ultimately distanced himself from Wood; tried to defend himself against disbarment in Michigan by arguing that he had nothing to do with legal filings there despite his name being all over them; posted a video clip of those proceedings on Telegram despite being ordered not to; and blames communist conspiracies, not his own behavior, for his current legal woes.
Lin Wood is the man the MRC helped build, and they no longer want anything to do with him. Double standard, anyone?