I’m gonna make this short and sweet because I’m still in too much shock to delve into this story too deeply. Today, New Yorker magazine announced it had immediately suspended reporter and legal scholar Jeffrey Toobin. Initial reports were that Toobin had “exposed himself” during a Zoom call between his New Yorker c-workers and WNYC radio.
When I first read the story, I assumed that maybe Toobin had used poor judgment during the zoom call by rocking a business casual pullover from the waist up, but “below deck” was in his favorite loose flap front PJ bottoms. Those things can be tricky, and if you’re not wearing underwear, there is a possibility of your manhood popping out and making a surprise appearance.
I felt so bad for the guy because most of us men can relate. I expected Toobin to be embarrassed by the incident, and he was. He promptly issued a statement to the online publication Motherboard:
“I made an embarrassingly stupid mistake, believing I was off-camera. I apologize to my wife, family, friends and co-workers. I believed I was not visible on Zoom. I thought no one on the Zoom call could see me.”
Toobin continued, “I thought I had muted the Zoom video.”
But then, things seemed to get a little more peculiar when Natalie Raabe, a New Yorker rep, announced: “Jeffrey Toobin has been suspended while we investigate the matter.” Mmmmm, investigate the “matter?”
Within the hour, CNN announced that Toobin had requested time off from his duties as the network’s Chief legal analyst to “deal with the personal matter”- effective immediately. The request was granted.
Well, in a recent update to the story tonight, Vice is reporting,
The New Yorker writer and CNN analyst Jeffrey Toobin didn’t just expose himself during a Zoom work call — he was caught masturbating, and those in the online meeting included some of the magazine’s biggest other stars, according to Vice.
The call was part of a virtual election simulation. Also in attendance were other heavyweights from the publication, including Jane Mayer, Evan Osnos, and Jelani Cobb. According to Vice’s reporting, sources shared that during the call, it looked as if Toobin was taking another call and lowered his camera — and that’s when they saw him touching his penis.
I can’t imagine such an embarrassing ordeal, which will surely negatively impact his celebrated career. In fairness to Toobin, though, this all could be one big misunderstanding; maybe he thought the call was supposed to be a virtual erection simulation?
Read more on this story at Vice