Michael Cohen Once Threatened The Onion Over A Satirical Trump Article

Michael Cohen once threatened The Onion because it published a satirical article about Donald Trump.

Michael Cohen once threatened to sue The Onion over a satirical article that the site published about his client:

President Trump’s personal lawyer sent a cease-and-desist letter in 2013 to the satirical news organization The Onion over a fake article about how the then-business mogul would likely die soon.

In a piece published Monday, The Onion revealed the contents of a letter sent to them by Trump lawyer Michael Cohen.

Cohen, according to the organization, sent an email following the publication of a fake commentary piece titled “When You’re Feeling Low, Just Remember I’ll Be Dead In About 15 Or 20 Years,” satirically written by Trump.Cohen’s letter demanded that The Onion remove the piece and issue an apology to Trump.

“The article is an absolutely disgusting piece that lacks any place in journalism; even in your Onion,” Cohen wrote in January 2013.

Cohen says the “commentary goes way beyond defamation and, if not immediately removed, I will take all actions necessary to ensure your actions do not go without consequence.”

“Guide yourself accordingly,” he warns, not acknowledging that the site is a satirical publication.

While the article that accompanied the release of the Cohen email has The Onion’s “signature satirical voice,” the email is authentic, according to David Ford, communications coordinator for online publication.

“I can confirm the email itself is the real deal,” Ford tweeted on Monday. “From Michael Cohen to our press email address in 2013.”

Cohen, according to the organization, sent an email following the publication of a fake commentary piece titled “When You’re Feeling Low, Just Remember I’ll Be Dead In About 15 Or 20 Years,” satirically written by Trump. Cohen’s letter demanded that The Onion remove the piece and issue an apology to Trump.

“The article is an absolutely disgusting piece that lacks any place in journalism; even in your Onion,” Cohen wrote in January 2013.

Cohen says the “commentary goes way beyond defamation and, if not immediately removed, I will take all actions necessary to ensure your actions do not go without consequence.”

“Guide yourself accordingly,” he warns, not acknowledging that the site is a satirical publication.

While the article that accompanied the release of the Cohen email has The Onion’s “signature satirical voice,” the email is authentic, according to David Ford, communications coordinator for online publication.

“I can confirm the email itself is the real deal,” Ford tweeted on Monday. “From Michael Cohen to our press email address in 2013.”

The original article was, as stated, published in 2013 and took the form of a “celebrity Op-Ed” that The Onion has published in the past, it includes such goodies as this:

My friends, everybody has their down days, and during these long winter months it is especially easy to succumb to the doldrums and find yourself in a bit of a funk. But not to fear! I have a simple tip that’s guaranteed to pick you up and get you back in good spirits in no time, and here it is: Whenever you’re feeling low, just remember that I, Donald Trump, will be dead in roughly 15 to 20 years.

That’s right. In the not-very-distant future I will die and then be gone from the world for all eternity. You may even get to watch me in a casket on national television being lowered into the ground, never to be seen again. I bet you’re smiling just thinking about that.

Now, I recognize that the news out there in the world has been particularly depressing lately, and these days it’s understandable that one might begin to feel like there’s no hope and no reason to go on, but let me assure you that there is. Oh, boy, is there ever! Indeed, you can always take solace in the fact that the monstrous, unimaginable piece of shit that is me will stop existing fairly soon, and that I will continue to not exist for the remainder of your lifetime. Biologically speaking, I, the host of NBC’s The Apprentice and Celebrity Apprentice, have no more than two decades left to live. In fact, right now I’m just 10 years away from reaching the average lifespan of an American male.

How does that make you feel? Pretty good, right?

That prompted this email from Cohen, who at the time was working for The Trump Organization:

There was no response from The Onion until this week when it published a “response” in its typical satirical style:

As Mr. Trump is now the leader of the free world, now is clearly the best time to resume our discussion. While it is generally not our policy to let outside forces affect our editorial decisions, the opportunity to gain a direct lIn your letter, you implore us to “Guide yourself accordingly.” These enigmatic words have haunted us ever since. Although we assume no small risk in asking the president’s own accomplished and ingenious lawyer for help acquiring Oval Office influence, we believe that a partnership between us and Mr. Trump, shepherded by your steady hand, is the most fruitful way forward for the president, for The Onion, and for America.ing in return, of course. A quid pro quo, if you will.

We believe the removal of the piece in exchange for influence over the president’s decision-making constitutes a more than reasonable deal, and we implore Mr. Cohen to meet with us without delay. We are happy to schedule around his upcoming court appearances.

Mr. Cohen, in trying to reach you, we have called both phone numbers you provided us and even sent a courier to your New York offices. After receiving no reply, we can only assume you are trying to stonewall us. We are growing concerned that you have remained silent because you have been building a rock-solid case against us for the last five years, and in fact shudder to even imagine the detailed, thorough, and likely damning charges you would bring forward. But it does not have to be this way.

In response, Cohen posted this on Twitter:

It’s a strange world we’re living in, folks.

FILED UNDER: Donald Trump, Law and the Courts, Politicians, Popular Culture, Quick Takes, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Mark Ivey says:

    “Guide yourself accordingly”

    Most def…….




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  2. Kathy says:

    I can see the original piece can be deemed defamatory, in that it implies Trump is capable of acts of kindness brought on by concern over other people’s suffering.




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  3. Franklin says:

    I’d hate to judge Trump by the company he keeps.




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  4. teve tory says:

    Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, received a secret payment of at least $400,000 (£300,000) to fix talks between the Ukrainian president and President Trump, according to sources in Kiev close to those involved.

    The payment was arranged by intermediaries acting for Ukraine’s leader, Petro Poroshenko, the sources said, though Mr Cohen was not registered as a representative of Ukraine as required by US law.

    The meeting at the White House was last June.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-44215656




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  5. Kylopod says:

    “The article is an absolutely disgusting piece that lacks any place in journalism; even in your Onion,” Cohen wrote in January 2013.

    That semicolon is an absolutely disgusting punctuation mark that lacks any place in that sentence; even in a pathetic excuse for a legal threat.




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  6. CSK says:

    @Kylopod:

    Cohen is as literate as his boss. Or perhaps this is Cohen’s subtle hommage to Trump.




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  7. Joe says:

    @Kylopod:

    Cohen was not on top of his game that day; at best a semiCohen.




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  8. pylon says:

    Soooo, Cohen threatens a defamation suit (which of course is not brought because the article is satire). Then he lies and says the email he sent is being faked by The Onion. I really hope they sue him for defamation. I mean I really do.




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  9. TM01 says:

    @Kylopod:
    Semicolons.

    They remind me of you.




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  10. TM01 says:

    In real news today:
    Special Counsel Robert Mueller asked a federal judge Tuesday to reject the four-decade-old speedy trial law in the case against 13 Russians and three Russian companies and has asked for an indefinite delay to the Russian collusion trial.

    Your MuhRussia fantasy is failing apart.




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  11. rachel says:

    @TM01: This question is not addressed to you because you wouldn’t know the answer, so feel free to ignore it.

    To anybody knowledgeable about law: Is a case of “tolling”?




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  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Joe: You should be shot and pissed on for that pun. Painful, PAINFUL! I say. 😉




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