It’s been a bad couple of years for Jeffreys…
Veteran New Yorker reporter Jeffrey Toobin has been suspended from the magazine after he ‘exposed himself during a Zoom call last week’, according to VICE.
Toobin, who also serves as a CNN legal analyst, must have been reaching for the tissues as he described the incident as an ’embarrassingly stupid mistake’ and offered an apology to his ‘wife, family, friends and co-workers’ in a statement.
Cockburn is perhaps most surprised that Toobin is the first significant figure to be caught out during a video-conference, seven months into the COVID pandemic. What took us?
Naturally, Twitter users have been having a field day with the story:
the new game is to replace every new yorker cartoon caption with "Jeffrey Toobin took his dick out on a Zoom call." pic.twitter.com/NkuxsTJtxs
— Ryan 'Follow @SecretBase' Simmons (@rysimmons) October 19, 2020
that zoom looked like pic.twitter.com/yLCgQ28wpx
— hunter harris (@hunteryharris) October 19, 2020
“i thought i had muted the video” is killing me https://t.co/tPgFyWRhWv
— my pal andy (@andylevy) October 19, 2020
"zoom dick incident" pic.twitter.com/FXDFgkwFk4
— Alison Herman (@aherman2006) October 19, 2020
Initially, Cockburn wondered whether some posters were jumping to conclusions too quickly. Perhaps poor Jeffrey was simply readjusting and this was all a big misunderstanding. Maybe a private dick should investigate. Then VICE updated the story to include more gruesome details: two sources saw Toobin pleasuring himself during an election simulation call featuring Jelani Cobb, Jane Mayer and other New Yorker big names. Graciously they appended this immortal editorial note: ‘This piece has been updated with more detail about the call and the headline has been updated to reflect that Toobin was masturbating.‘
Toobin’s career deserves to be well-covered. He graduated magna cum laude in both his undergraduate degree and J.D. at Harvard, where he was classmates with Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan. In 2007, he described Kagan’s colleague Clarence Thomas as ‘a nut’. His New Yorker interview subjects include Martha Stewart and Roger Stone. ‘Live by the uh…sword, die by the sword,’ Stone said, when Cockburn asked him for comment. The former Trump campaign adviser feels he was jerked around by Toobin during his trial and sentence commutation.
If Toobin’s departure is permanent, Cockburn hopes that his New Yorker colleagues borrow a tradition from the British media and ‘bang him out‘, where your fellow journalists drum their hands on their desks to protest a departure. Surely there could be no more fitting climax.
(Sorry that this piece is shorter than usual, Cockburn was interrupted just as he was trying to finish…)