If you have any doubts that the pandemic is driving people nuts, take a look at the mess journalist Jeffrey Toobin has whipped up.
Sorry, bad phrasing there. You really don’t want to look. The picture he presented last week is not pretty, but the story that followed is bonkers.
The media-lebrity has been suspended from his reporting job at New Yorker magazine for visibly playing with his private parts while in a Zoom meeting with other media and political types.
Meanwhile over at his other job, CNN says “Toobin has asked for some time off while he deals with a personal issue, which we have granted,” according to VICE, which first reported the nation-needs-to-know Toobin story.
Apparently Toobin’s “personal issue” is usually kept in his pants but escaped during a Zoom chat with other New Yorker staff and WNYC radio.
“I made an embarrassingly stupid mistake, believing I was off-camera. I apologize to my wife, family, friends and co-workers,” Toobin said in his own defense. “I believed I was not visible on Zoom. I thought no one on the Zoom call could see me. I thought I had muted the Zoom video.”
Ah, Jeffrey, in legal terms, that would appear to be three mistakes. Let’s count: 1.) Believed I was not visible; 2.) Thought on one could see me; 3.) Thought I had muted the video.
Like the show would have been better without the sound?
At least Tobbin didn’t play the pandemic card, though maybe he should have. We’ve been at war with the SARS-CoV-2 virus for more than 60 days now, and there’s a reason the military rotates soliders out of combat zones after 60 days:
Maybe that’s what happened to Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz, who has now resigned from office after being caught in a sexting scandal, and to co-conspirator Maria Athens, the TV reporter who revealed her relationship with the mayor after calling Berkowitz to leave a profanity laced, anti-Semetic voicemail complete with a death threat to make it clear she didn’t love him anymore.
The Athens message would definitely sound like what you’d expect to hear from a “psychiatric casualty” of some sort, and Toobin’s behavior….
Talk about the “little head” doing more thinking than the “big head.”
This might have been funny when Ben Stiller appeared to do it in the movie “There’s Something About Mary,” but carefully staged, R-rated movie humor is funnier than going X-rated, full monty in front of unsuspecting co-workers and others.
OK, in fairness, who hasn’t Zoomed or Facebooked or otherwise videoed in their skivvies or jammies or some other less than acceptable public attire in these work-from-home days?
Still, it’s one thing to go to the meeting poorly dressed, another to expose all, and yet another to start playing with the exposed equipment.
Tobbin is supposed to be an intelligent man. CNN viewers have trusted him to analyze the behaviors of the Supreme Court of the United States.
His stock in trade was supposed to be the big head not the little head.
Intelligent men stick to mental mastrubation in public. Mental masturbation – the contemplation of philosophical questions so removed from reality or experience as to have no practical use – is mainly what TV news analysts do.
Mental masturbation, though it might bore the hell out of people who live in the real world, is OK. The optics are better. It all takes place above the waistline. It’s even up above the nipple level in the safe-for-any-screen head-and-neck region.
The VICE story offers no information as to what Toobin’s colleagues did when the camera angle went low to reveal what was not supposed to be seen, but clearly no one blurted out, “Jeffery, drop that object in your hand and drop it now!”
One can only hope someone was at least trying to help with a quick, downward nod of the head here and there, or a waving of a finger toward their crotch as Toobin proceeded to try to beat away his career.
How does one ever look at this guy pontificating on the law again without laughing?
This isn’t like the late John Holmes retiring from porn to become the new legal analyst for CNN. Switching careers would be one thing. What Toobin did was engage in an act of public stupidity far worse than that of now-MNSBC anchor Brian Williams.
How could Williams know anyone would actually go back and check the story he made up about his helicopter being shot down by mistake in Iraq.
And at least Williams had a better excuse ready. He was near a helicopter that almost got shot down. Sometime after that helo made an emergency landing after being hit by enemy gunfire Williams arrived on the scene.
Toobin might actually have been better served by simply stealing that explanation:
“”I would not have chosen to make this mistake. I don’t know what screwed up in my mind that caused me to mistake my penis for the banana I planned to have for lunch and grab it in my hand.”
And we wonder why so many Americans have such a low opinion of the American media today.
Now, as to those women who would simply explain this all with the over-worked observation that “men are pigs” – a conclusion that is certainly understandable given the circumstances – I can only say, “Oink!”
All while expressing my confidence in the belief that the pandemic made Toobin do it. It has been documented that the threat of COVID-19 is making many drink too much.
Maybe Toobin was just a little loaded and took the late Hunter S. Thompson a little too literally in wanting to show his lesser-known colleagues he remains one of the gang. To quote Thompson:
“Journalism is not a profession or a trade. It is a cheap catch-all for fuckoffs and misfits—a false doorway to the backside of life, a filthy piss-ridden little hole nailed off by the building inspector, but just deep enough for a wino to curl up from the sidewalk and masturbate like a chimp in a zoo-cage.”
It would be easy enough if you were reading cross-eyed to mistake zoo-cage for Zoom-age.