Michael Cohen Can’t Stop Livestreaming on TikTok

“I give no credence to the ABC News opinion piece,” Cohen responded when I asked him about it.

While the “Michael Cohen Live Show” appears to have launched recently, Cohen has been talking about Trump for years: he has released two books documenting his relationship with Trump and also hosts and cohosts two podcasts with the MeidasTouch guys.

On Cohen’s Patreon, a club for listeners of the Cohen and Meidas Beatdown Club podcast, he’ll occasionally hold Zoom calls with paid supporters. There’s more than 1,100 of them, and the lowest tier requires a $10-per-month subscription, equivalent to at least $11,000 per month. That’s not counting the $50, $150, or the $500 subscriptions (or the TikTok gifts). At the beginning of these calls, Cohen and Ben Meiselas, a MeidasTouch cofounder, asks followers to “put up their dukes” and mime a few boxing punches.

On Wednesday, I reached out to the MeidasTouch folks to gauge the extent of their relationship with Cohen. They didn’t immediately respond to comment.

Whatever the details of that relationship, Cohen has created a massive megaphone for himself online by collabing with Meidas and engaging directly with his fans. He’s basically building his own media network, which is a trend we’ve seen among politicians and pundits since the last media cycle with the likes of Rudy Giulian and Tucker Carlson launching podcasts and creating boutique news programs online. And because of how screwed the internet is, you can’t just post if you’re wanting to break through the noise. Cohen’s got to do a little bit of everything and pray he doesn’t hurt his credibility.

The Chatroom

Last week, I asked you all to send in your thoughts on the new law that could ban TikTok in the US. You sent in plenty of thoughtful comments and emails. Here’s one that was incredibly kind and goes big-picture on what we were discussing last week.

From Barry:

“The summary: I disagree with the idea of banning TikTok only because of its China connection, without any proof.

The details: I turn 83 this June, know nothing about TikTok, and next to nothing about social media entirely—I read Facebook postings of friends and relatives, but post nothing myself. My impression of social media is that it’s an amalgam of pet tricks, incompetent dancing, influencers and disinformation. It’s a lot of mass entertainment by amateurs, and that’s OK.

At this point I could go on a rant about the devolution of the internet, politics, cryptocurrency, and more generally, democracy and society, but that’s why I subscribe to Wired—for Paul Ford, Steven Levy, etc. Leave that to the pros.”

Happy early birthday, Barry, and thanks for your thoughts!

Over the next week, I’m going to be digging into all of the Federal Election Commission filings for tech super PACs and campaigns that have been stacking up in my inbox. I’ll report back with what I find next week. But I’m curious, is there anything I should keep an eye out for? You can find a lot in these filings—like which influencer management companies politicians are using or which big campaigns big tech PACs are sending their money.

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