Patterico's Pontifications


Michael Avenatti Arrested On Suspicion Of Domestic Abuse

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:12 pm

[guest post by Dana]

I wish I were surprised by certain events instead of just cynically nodding my head as if this were business as usual…

Michael Avenatti, attorney for porn actress Stormy Daniels, is alleged to have been involved in a domestic violence incident in Los Angeles:

Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for porn actress Stormy Daniels, has been arrested in Los Angeles on suspicion of domestic violence, police said.

The celebrity attorney was arrested around 2 p.m. Wednesday in the 10000 block of Santa Monica Boulevard based on allegations stemming from an incident that took place in West L.A. on Tuesday, said Officer Jeff Lee, a Los Angeles Police Department spokesman.

The allegations were made by a woman who had “visible injuries,” including bruises, according to a law enforcement official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Avenatti was released after posting $50,000 bond late Wednesday.

Avenatti, a self-described advocate for women, gave a statement to the press after his release:

“I wish to thank the hard working men and woman of the LAPD for their professionalism they were only doing their jobs in light of the completely bogus allegations against me,” a statement from his law office read. “I have never been physically abusive in my life nor was I last night. Any accusations to the contrary are fabricated and meant to do harm to my reputation. I look forward to being fully exonerated.”

“I have never struck a woman,” he said. “I will never strike a woman.”


Avenatti also spoke to reporters, saying he’s “not going to be intimidated from stopping what I am doing. I am a father to two beautiful, smart daughters. I would never disrespect them by touching a woman inappropriately or striking a woman.”

Avenatti is due in court on Dec. 5.

TMZ first reported the story, claiming that the alleged victim was the attorney’s estranged wife, Lisa Storie-Avenatti. However, Storie-Avenatti denies that it was her, and claims that she has never known Avenatti to be violent. The alleged victim has not been identified.

It’s tempting to joke about this because Avenatti. But there remains the possibility that a woman has been physically injured by him. (LAPD would not confirm if the woman suffered any injuries.) In the same way, a false allegation made against any man is no laughing matter.

A shrewd observation:

He can say he’s an advocate for women all he wants but the bottom line is that he’s saying the woman accusing him is not telling the truth and shouldn’t be believed. That’s a contradiction he should be asked about the next 12 times he’s on CNN.

Avenatti, who has flirted with the idea of running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, might want to rethink it:

It has been widely reported by ABC News and other outlets that Michael Avenatti has been arrested in Los Angeles, California on charges of suspected felony domestic violence,” the party’s Communication’s Director R. Christopher Di Mezzo told The Hill in a statement.

“The Vermont Democratic Party has cancelled Mr. Avenatti’s forthcoming scheduled appearances in Vermont, and will be refunding all ticket sales.”


Perpetrator of Deadly SWATting Call Enters Guilty Plea

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:50 pm

He is looking at a lot of time. Good.

A California man has admitted making a hoax call that ultimately led police to fatally shoot a Kansas man following a dispute between online gamers over $1.50 bet in a Call of Duty WWII video game.

Twenty-six-year-old Tyler R. Barriss pleaded guilty to making a false report resulting in a death, cyberstalking and conspiracy related to the deadly swatting case in the Kansas. The deal with prosecutors will send him to prison for at least 20 years, if the judge accepts it. He had previously pleaded not guilty in Kansas.

As part of the plea agreement, Barriss pleaded guilty to a total of 51 charges that included similar charges initially filed in California and the District of Columbia.

What a tragic case. It was, in truth, a murder. But this is at least some justice for Andrew Finch and his family.

If you’re new to this story, you can read my post about this deadly SWATting here, as well as my own account of having been a SWATting victim in the past. I published the audio of the SWATting call and the body cam footage of the shooting here. I posted about the arrest of the suspect here.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

FOX News Supports CNN In Lawsuit Against President Trump

Filed under: General — Dana @ 1:08 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Just days after CNN filed a lawsuit against President Trump and five aides, Fox News announced that it is backing CNN in the lawsuit. Reports say the organization filed an amicus brief, and will be joined by 12 other major media organizations, including the Washington Post and the New York Times.

From Fox News president, Jay Wallace:

“FOX News supports CNN in its legal effort to regain its White House reporter’s press credential. We intend to file an amicus brief with the U.S. District Court. Secret Service passes for working White House journalists should never be weaponized. While we don’t condone the growing antagonistic tone by both the President and the press at recent media avails, we do support a free press, access and open exchanges for the American people.”

The statement is similar to a statement issued by CNN, which made clear that the suit is intended to provide protection for other journalists and reporters, many of whom President Trump considers enemies of the people:

“While the suit is specific to CNN and Acosta, this could have happened to anyone,” the [CNN] network said. “If left unchallenged, the actions of the White House would create a dangerous chilling effect for any journalist who covers our elected officials.”

As a reminder, during his campaign days, CNN gleefully gave then-candidate Trump oodles and oodles of free airtime to campaign. Theirs was a symbiotic relationship from which both entities richly benefited. The love-fest helped propel Trump to the White House. With that, we all know that Fox News has also had their own unique “special relationship” with both candidate-Trump and President Trump. At the end of the day, however, it appears that the the network has opted to play the long game here. Not surprising. After all, if Trump and the Republicans lose the White House in 2020, there is no guarantee that a President Harris or President Booker wouldn’t also start revoking the press pass of anyone daring to grandstand and advocate while while masquerading as a reporter.

Interesting to note that Fox News has recently made efforts to distance itself from any “closeness” to Trump:

The president has called into “Fox and Friends” several times, granting them at times nearly 40-minute interviews. The coziness between the president and the network was also underscored this summer when Trump hired former Fox News executive Bill Shine to lead his communications team. And Trump has given exclusive interviews to Fox News hosts Sean Hannity and Jeanine Pirro, who joined him on stage at a rally leading up to the midterm elections.

But the network has made several moves in recent weeks to distance itself. Fox News was quick to condemn the two hosts for appearing to campaign with Trump, especially after Hannity had pledged to not take the stage with the president.

“FOX News does not condone any talent participating in campaign events,” a Fox News spokesperson said in a statement at the time. “This was an unfortunate distraction and has been addressed.”

And earlier this month, Fox News pulled an immigration ad put out by the White House, which other networks had labeled as racist.

In spite of all of this, one wonders whether the organization will find itself in the same fix as CNN and not be able to quit Trump:

“We’ve seen that anytime you break away from the Trump story and cover other events in this era, the audience goes away,” [CNN president Jeff Zucker] added. “So we know that, right now, Donald Trump dominates.”

I just checked President Trump’s Twitter feed, and so far he has not tweeted about the decision made by Fox News.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


Alarmist Global Warming Study Turns Out to Have Been Flawed

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:52 am

Global Warming Earth

The #FAKENEWSBEZOSPOST has the story:

Scientists behind a major study that claimed the Earth’s oceans are warming faster than previously thought now say their work contained inadvertent errors that made their conclusions seem more certain than they actually are.

Two weeks after the high-profile study was published in the journal Nature, its authors have submitted corrections to the publication. The Scripps Institution of Oceanography, home to several of the researchers involved, also noted the problems in the scientists’ work and corrected a news release on its website, which previously had asserted that the study detailed how the Earth’s oceans “have absorbed 60 percent more heat than previously thought.”

“Unfortunately, we made mistakes here,” said Ralph Keeling, a climate scientist at Scripps, who was a co-author of the study. “I think the main lesson is that you work as fast as you can to fix mistakes when you find them.”

I’m not someone who believes climate change is a “hoax”; I call myself a “global warming skeptic skeptic.” (Yes, I meant to type that word twice.) My fuller thoughts on the topic are available here. For non-clickers, here’s the summary:

[I]t’s my belief that the planet is warming, and my best guess is that man contributes to that. I don’t know to what extent man’s contribution affects the rate of warming.

I think the idea that climate scientists are engaged in some kind of active “hoax” or “conspiracy” seems, um, conspiratorial. It does not strike me as likely. But, just as folks in Big Media tend to lean mostly one way politically, I can believe that climate scientists, by and large, have a herd-like mindset.

It doesn’t strike me like a hard science the way physics is. The models never seem to predict anything accurately. Predictions are commonly and provably exaggerated.

But, in the end, I am a lawyer by trade and a writer (and musician, and other things) by hobby. What I am not, is a scientist. And I recognize my limitations.

My concern with the Scripps study is the “herd-like mindset” of climate scientists, which causes them to be less critical of studies warning about dire consequences of climate change, and to unthinkingly reject as ignorant any criticism of such studies. I understand the mindset, since much criticism of climate science is indeed ignorant. But some of it is also appropriately skeptical about the limitation of what we can know, and this skepticism is far too often dismissed with an airy wave of the hand by Those Who Know Better.

Instructive in this regard is the way that the problems with the Scripps study were found: by an independent researcher who said the errors were … rather glaring.

However, not long after publication, an independent Britain-based researcher named Nicholas Lewis published a lengthy blog post saying he had found a “major problem” with the research.

“So far as I can see, their method vastly underestimates the uncertainty,” Lewis said in an interview Tuesday, “as well as biasing up significantly, nearly 30 percent, the central estimate.”

Lewis added that he tends “to read a large number of papers, and, having a mathematics as well as a physics background, I tend to look at them quite carefully, and see if they make sense. And where they don’t make sense — with this one, it’s fairly obvious it didn’t make sense — I look into them more deeply.”

Gee. How did “fairly obvious” deficiencies in a climate change study make it past the Hard Scrutiny of all of those scientists?

(He asked, with a wry smile, knowing that his audience recognizes the rhetorical nature of the question.)

The studies of climate scientists, endorsed by other climate scientists, are then amplified by Big Media, which is also largely populated by people who share the scientists’ political views as well as their views about climate change (and one’s views on the politics are, unfortunately, often closely linked with one’s views on the science — a problem evident on both sides of the political aisle). For example, the Washington Post, which is reporting the errors in the Scripps study today, was unsuspecting in October, when they called the study “startling.” (And as of the publication of this post, the October article has no addendum regarding the infirmities in the study — meaning that if you run across that article through Google, you wouldn’t know any better.)

This is a problem, whether you are a climate change believer or skeptic. Everyone should want science to be carefully examining evidence and questioning the soundness of conclusions — regardless of one’s politics, and regardless of the issue.

With climate change, one worries that this isn’t happening.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

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