By Andrew O'Reilly
Published April 21, 2019
Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz said Sunday that CNN kept him off the network due to his analysis of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, and claimed that the channel once booted him from appearing on air in favor of troubled lawyer Michael Avenatti.
Dershowitz made the claims during an interview with Howard Kurtz on Fox News’ “Media Buzz,” saying that he knew “for a fact” that CNN President Jeff Zucker nixed his appearances because of Dershowitz’s views on the Russia investigation.
“CNN, which used to have me on all the time, on Anderson Cooper, on Cuomo, on Lemon, as an analyst, as a centrist analyst, they decided no, no, it is okay to have extreme Trump supporters, because people just use them as a stick figure exhibits,” Dershowitz said. “What they didn't want was a centrist liberal that went against their narrative.”
"Walter Cronkite could not get a job in the media today."
CNN did not immediately respond to Fox News' requests for comment.
Dershowitz added that if he were to grade the media on their coverage of the Mueller probe, he'd give them an “F.”
“Even with grade inflation, I just think the media comes off awful, terrible, for the most part. I think we are seeing an elimination of the distinction between the editorial page and the news pages in some of the leading media in the country, and that’s a shame. Walter Cronkite could not get a job in the media today,” he added.
In regards to Zucker’s alleged order, Dershowitz said: “I asked [Zucker] how come I am not on anymore, and he said, oh, no, no, no, you will be on, but since the summer I’ve never been on a single time. I have been on all of the other networks repeatedly. But clearly, they made a decision. They did not want my kind of analysis.”
What appeared to really rile up the Harvard Law professor was that CNN chose frequently to use Avenatti – over Dershowitz – for its analysis of the Mueller investigation.
“They had a choice of a Harvard law professor for 50 years who has been getting it right, a centrist liberal and who has credibility, or Michael Avenatti,” Dershowitz said. “And they picked Michael Avenatti.”
He added: “He became their go-to guy. Every one of his predictions turned out to be false.”
Avenatti, who previously represented adult-film star Stormy Daniels in her feud with President Trump, recently has become embroiled in a series of legal quagmires of his own.
Earlier this month, he was hit with a 36-count indictment that accused him stealing millions of dollars from clients, cheating on his taxes, lying to investigators and trying to hide money from debtors in bankruptcy proceedings.
Avenatti denied the charges on Twitter, saying he had made powerful enemies and would plead not guilty and fight the case. "I look forward to the entire truth being known as opposed to a one-sided version meant to sideline me," he tweeted.
The new charges did not include a New York extortion case alleging Avenatti demanded millions to stay quiet about claims he planned to reveal about Nike paying high school players.
Avenatti, 48, was arrested March 25 in New York on the Nike charge. Federal prosecutors at the time announced he also faced single counts of wire and bank fraud in Southern California, where he lives and practices law.
Fox News' Howard Kurtz and The Associated Press contributed to this report.