Former CNN Pundit, Pompous Prick John Avlon Launches Run for Congress as a Democrat

February 21st, 2024 1:53 PM

As first reported back on February 9 by fellow former CNN colleague and Puck founding partner Dylan Byers, now-former longtime CNN senior political analyst and all-around tool John Avlon announced Wednesday morning that he’s running for Congress in New York’s first congressional district (anchored on Long Island) as a Democrat.

So, yes, the man who wrote the book Wingnuts decrying extremes in both parties and piously proclaiming he’s above the partisan fray is running as a far-left liberal. His campaign video launch was, as Ruthless co-host Josh Holmes observed, as though it were created by AI.

“I’m John Avlon and I believe the United States is the greatest democracy the world has ever known. But right now, our democracy is in danger. This election is not a drill. It’s up to all of us to stand up and get off the sidelines,” Avlon began before formally announcing his bid for Congress.

Avlon there’s “too much at stake for the country and the community that I love”, which was comical considering how, back in 2018, a New York Times Style section puff piece about Avlon and his similarly pompous wife and faux Republican Margaret Hoover stated they lived in Manhattan in a “duplex apartment near Gramercy Park.”

The district he’s running in? It’s entirely inside Suffolk County, the eastern half of Long Island. So much for being high and mighty relying on, as Byers noted, their second home versus running where they actually live (which would require primarying longtime House Democrat Jerry Nadler).

Speaking of that, the rest of his video felt so boilerplate, reeking of quackery catering to rich, white, liberal wine moms:

We need to build the broadest possible coalition to defeat Donald Trump, defend our democracy, and win back the House from his MAGA minions who don’t even seem interested in solving problems anymore. Together, we can flip this seat. Together, we can rebuild the middle class, invest in infrastructure, protect women’s reproductive freedoms, and combat climate change. Democrats can’t afford to lose this fight.

So, with a vast NewsBusters archive going back decades, who exactly is John Avlon?

Seeing as how his side of the aisle appears set to respond to an order to redraw congressional districts by again trying to force through a map that’d swing from 15 Democrat seats and 11 Republican seats to 22 for Democrats and four Republicans, a supposedly ethical Avlon might have a record on this?

As we showed in October and November 2021 (here, here, and here), Avlon repeatedly decried gerrymandering....but only when Republicans did it.

How was Avlon went it came to more moderate Republicans like Mitt Romney? When he voted for the first Trump impeachment, Avlon foamed at the mouth over him as “a true profile in courage...who had wrestled with his conscience, who tried to think bigger than partisan politics, and ultimately kept faith with his oath, his promise to God.”

But in 2012, Avlon was part of a CNN segment that whacked Romney as “out of touch” for having a horse competing in an “elitist” sport like dressage at the Summer Olympics.

Also during that first impeachment, Avlon proclaimed then-Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) needed to back a key procedural vote in the Senate trial in order to “save” the American “republic”.

The aforementioned redistrict could swing the seat more to the left, but as it’s currently constructed, the Cook Political Report’s Partisan Voting Index has it pegged at Republican +3 and voted for Donald Trump by 12 points in 2016 and four in 2020. 

Thus, Avlon will almost certainly need voters in both parties to defeat incumbent Congressman Nick LaLota (R).

Here’s a sampling of NewsBusters headlines (and one from the Washington Examiner) — from newest to oldest — showing what Avlon actually thinks about Republicans.

The list includes items blaming Republican views about climate change for the collapse of a Miami-area high rise, suggesting the conservative movement created the KKK, and arguing the GOP represents America’s “deadliest terrorists” outside of al-Qaeda on 9/11 (click “expand”): 

But Avlon can’t even publish a study correctly. As we’ve documented twice in 2021 (here and here) and again in June 2023, Avlon’s claims about Fox News coverage of certain topics couldn’t even be replicated using the both same search terms and transcript service.

In reaction to all this, the National Republican Congressional Committee’s Savannah Viar said Avlon’s campaign will bring “even more leftist fuel to” the race and that they “look forward to litigating this smug, liberal hack’s past” for voters.

Exit question: If Avlon can’t get the small stuff right like a cable news commentary, how will he do in running for Congress?