News that network executives were being shopped a “Crossfire”-esque program featuring Michael Avenatti and Anthony Scaramucci landed with something of a thud Thursday afternoon, but few were more disheartened than the American Atheists.
The group of notable nonbelievers said they were so distraught by the possibility, they were reversing their longstanding position on the existence of hell itself.
“We now believe in hell,” the organization declared in a Twitter comment after Times reporter Maggie Haberman posted her scoop, which she co-authored with Michael S. Schmidt.
— Ben Smith (@BenSmithDC) May 17, 2018
“We’re rational people,” the group told TheWrap in a followup statement. “We’ve always said that we’d believe what the evidence shows us. And, in this case, we have no choice but to concede that we’re in Hell. The Eighth Circle, most likely.”
Though Avenatti has publicly stated that he has no interest in a television show, whispers of the possibility have circulated for months. The attorney representing Stormy Daniels in her legal fight with President Trump has engaged in a marathon media blitz, storming sets on CNN, MSNBC and beyond from early morning to primetime.
The pugnacious lawyer suffered one of his worst weeks so far, however, after a series of missteps stemming from a threat to sue two reporters at the Daily Caller over critical coverage. Many have groused that the lawyer was becoming too big for his britches.
During an appearance on Anderson Cooper last week, Avenatti said his nonstop TV hits were all part of a strategy that was yielding results.
“There’e been some criticism about our media strategy and how often I’ve been on CNN and how often I’ve been on your show and other networks, et cetera. It’s all a bunch of nonsense because here’s the bottom line, Anderson, it’s working. It’s working in spades,” he told Cooper.
“One of the ways that it’s working is, because we’re so out-front on this, people send us information. People want to help our cause. People contact us with information.”
American Atheists, founded in 1963, writes on its website it “envisions a world in which public policy is made using the best evidence we have rather than religious dogma and where religious beliefs are no longer seen as an excuse for bigotry or cause to receive special treatment from the government.” The group also boasts it “has been fighting to protect the absolute separation of religion from government for over 50 years.”