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Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Jeffrey Toobin: A Journalist Exposed

      Jeffrey Toobin, a 60-year-old journalist with a bachelor and a law degree from Harvard University, began writing about crime, politics and law for New Yorker magazine in 1993. In 2003, he became the chief legal analyst for CNN. His seven books include one about the O.J. Simpson murder case, and one about the Patty Hearst kidnapping. He also wrote a book favorable to President Obama and one critical of President Trump. In addition to a book on the U.S, Supreme Court, Toobin wrote about the sexual accusations against Michael Jackson. On CNN, he was a regular commentator and panelist. 

     On October 13, 2020, Toobin and three of his colleagues were participating in a ten-minute Zoom call "strategy session" in anticipation of CNN's upcoming election night coverage. During that call, Toobin's colleagues were shocked to see him masturbating. 

     Shortly after the bizarre incident, Mr. Toobin was suspended by New Yorker magazine and placed on leave by CNN. 

     On October 19, 2020, in a statement published on his computer Motherboard, Toobin, in a bit of an understatement, wrote that he had made an "embarrassingly stupid mistake. I believe," he said, "that I was not visible on Zoom, I thought I had muted the Zoom video." Mr. Toobin apologized to his wife, his family and friends, and to his co-workers at New Yorker and CNN.

     Brian Stelter, one of the talking heads at CNN, referred to Mr. Toobin's unintentional exposure of an intentional act as an "accident." In so doing, Mr. Stelter was also exposed--as a journalistic hack.

     There was a time when someone of Mr. Toobin's status and fame would never be able to live something like this down. In modern America, however, with President Bill Clinton as a good example, politicians and media types can shrug off huge embarrassments and move on with their careers. Perhaps this is because the public now realizes that the hypocrites in public life are no better than they are, and in most cases, worse.

     On November 11, 2020, New Yorker fired Mr. Toobin. 

1 comment:

  1. A strange man. His co-strategists on the Zoom call had to be shocked. Were any women part of the call? How does he "explain" this one to his wife and family? For the most part, this story has not had a big splash in the media. Perhaps this is for the best, I don't know. But I would think that the news agencies he worked for - CNN, NYT should have publicly dumped him without hesitation, not allow him to take time off to "deal with some personal issues" relative to his "mistake." Clinton, Trump, Wiener,Lauer, Rose, etc., etc., all have lowered the bar of acceptable behavior to the detriment of self-control and public decorum.

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