Fresh off of the wild success of his New York Times bestseller, Ship of Fools, Fox News host Tucker Carlson must have been suppressing an ear-to-ear grin as he broke the news that Michael Avenatti — whom he dubbed “Creepy Porn Lawyer” — “may have to cut the president … a check” to pay for Trump’s legal fees.
Pay the Piper
Carlson’s breaking news alert came after a California judge dismissed a libel lawsuit filed on behalf of adult film star Stormy Daniels (real name Stephanie Clifford.) Daniels alleged that an April 18th tweet from President Donald Trump referring to her as a “con” encouraged threats and unsolicited public scrutiny.
Daniels asserted that in 2011, an unidentified man approached her at a Las Vegas parking lot and told her to “leave Trump alone,” regarding their alleged 2006 affair. Referring to Daniels’ daughter, the man allegedly said, “That’s a beautiful little girl – it’d be a shame if something happened to her mom.”
However, when Daniels commissioned a composite sketch of the alleged villain which came out looking suspiciously similar to her husband, male porn star Brendon Miller, Trump couldn’t resist blasting it as “a total con job” via Twitter.
But U.S. Circuit Court Judge S. James Otero, a George W. Bush appointee, dismissed the case outright, ruling that “the tweet in question constitutes ‘rhetorical hyperbole’ normally associated with politics and public discourse in the U.S. The First Amendment protects this type of rhetorical statement,” he concluded
Responding to the turn of events, Carlson reveled in the irony. “Creepy Porn Lawyer may have to cut the president — his self-described nemesis — a check,” Carlson said, referring to the judge’s order that Trump’s legal fees be reimbursed.
Refusing to abandon an opportunity to go after a lawyer who he believes exploits women, Carlson said that he “suspects [Avenatti’s] check will bounce.”
While the defamation suit was dismissed, Trump’s legal team will meet Avenatti again as Daniels seeks to lift the nondisclosure agreement that she signed forbidding her from talking about Trump’s alleged affair. “[W]e can’t look away,” the Fox News pundit said of the ongoing litigation.
In September, Carlson and Avenatti came to verbal blows during a live broadcast of “Tucker Carlson Tonight.” The eponymous host of the Fox News show introduced his guest as “creepy porn lawyer” Michael Avenatti and taunted him for exploiting his client, Stormy Daniels.
Avenatti responded by asking, “How do you have a show and you’re this ignorant? How is that possible?”
Though Avenatti may not be experiencing much success in the courtroom, he has elevated his personal brand since taking on Daniels as a client and profiting from months of twice-daily media appearances. Despite his attempts to control the narrative, however, it was Carlson’s railroading that seems to have won the day. Following Avenatti’s Fox News appearance, his “CPL” nickname seems to have stuck, with even mainstream news outlets referring to the attorney by the abbreviated but no-less insulting moniker “porn lawyer.”