Also, was Clifford threatened? Last Thursday evening, a loud, sustained cheer went up from the Analyst Viewing Facility.
Because it was during the 9 PM Eastern hour, we were somewhat puzzled. When we hurried into the cavernous hall, we were pleased to learn that an unnamed major cable news had very much gotten it right, even as she was getting it somewhat wrong:
MADDOW (3/15/18): We have some breaking news about the lawsuit between the adult film actress who is suing the president."Credit where due," the cheering analysts lustily said. Even as the cable star called attention to herself and to her own alleged feelings, she referred to Clifford as an "adult film actress," not as a "porn star."
This is a thing you get to say in 2018, but I still admit it feels weird to be talking about the president and the adult film actress.
We agreed with the youngsters' assessment of this description. As we left their spartan quarter, their cheering continued behind us.
Is there really anything "wrong" with calling Clifford a "porn star?" On a journalistic basis, we'd say there possibly is.
The designation is quite exciting—but that's what could be wrong with it, journalistically speaking. Referring to Clifford as a "porn star" may tend to generate a bit more heat than light.
Maddow chose to go with a different description. In our view, she got it right.
Granted, everyone else is doing it. On Sunday morning, this headline appeared atop page A6 of our Washington Post:
Airing of porn star's story halted in 2011The day before, the Post had run this headline on page A6:
Lawyer: Porn star liable for millionsIn the Washington Post, as in most cable precincts, Clifford is a "porn star," full stop. Where possible, we'd go with Maddow's designation, or with some other description.
We now come to a new, extremely smokin' hot topic. We refer to the exciting claim made by Clifford's lawyer last Friday—the claim that Clifford "was physically threatened to stay silent about what she knew about Donald Trump."
Michael Avenatti made that claim last Friday morning while speaking with Chris Cuomo on CNN. Earlier that morning, he had made a similar, much fuzzier claim while being interviewed on Morning Joe, in one of the patently stage-managed interviews for which the inexcusable program is becoming famous.
(To watch that stage-managed "interview," you can just click here. Move ahead to minute 9 to see how stage-managing works.)
Even when he spoke with Cuomo, Avenatti refused to say if the threat had come from Donald J. Trump or even from someone close to Trump.
Earlier, Mika had flopped and floundered about in the wake of Avenatti's response to her stage-managed question. Avenatti wouldn't even say if someone had "pointed a gun at" his client, one of the possibilities Mika had excitingly conjured for him.
Has Stephanie Clifford been physically threatened? We have no idea! Tomorrow, though, we'll help you remember some of the greatest such claims from the past, including the exciting claim—a claim which was later proven false—which almost got Cody Shearer killed.
Exciting claims of physical threats are common in these cases. They often emerge from stage-managed interviews, like the inexcusable Hardball session which created the (flatly false) claim which almost got Shearer killed.
People like Mika and Joe play along. It's the way this destructive game is played as the American project continues to go down.
Except at the occasional rogue site, you aren't allowed to hear about such matters. What occurs in the press corps stays in the press corps—and that's especially true when the exciting claims are made on behalf of "porn stars," the favorite species of humanity known to our "cable news actors."
Tomorrow: The claim was extremely exciting—and it was totally false. After it almost got Shearer killed, it was sent to the memory hole.
(This is the way these people work. You aren't encouraged to know that.)