Jeffrey Toobin may have done the most 2020 thing ever

This may be one of the most challenging posts I've ever written because I have a barely resistible urge to revel in puns and double-entendres.  After all, how often does it happen that one of the left's best known pundits is revealed to have been masturbating during an "election simulation" Zoom conference with big names from the storied New Yorker magazine?  Jeffrey Toobin's deserved fall from grace is comedy gold, and all I can do is report the facts and then moralize about them.

You're probably familiar with the central fact, which is summed up perfectly in the updated headline at Vice, which broke the story: "New Yorker Suspends Jeffrey Toobin for Masturbating on Zoom Call."  Toobin could not deny the accusation because at least two people on the call witnessed his moment of self-love.  Instead, all that Toobin could do was explain that "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."

For someone so smart, that's insanely stupid.  If you're going to engage in illicit sexual activity during a conference, you need to double-check your Zoom settings!

That still leaves unanswered the real question: why did he do it?

Was he taking care of his needs during the meeting because he was bored?  Did he find incredibly exciting an "election simulation"?  Did he misread that phrase and think there would be more going on than a mere "simulation"?  Or perhaps he could not deny his attraction to such New Yorker luminaries as Jane Mayer, Evan Osnos, Jelani Cobb, Masha Gessen, Andrew Marantz, Sue Halpern, and Dexter Filkins.  Here's what that all-star line-up looks like:


YouTube screen grabs of Jane MayerEvan OsnosJelani CobbMasha GessenAndrew MarantzSue Halpern, and Dexter Filkins.

Whatever the reasons for Toobin's self-dalliance, this kind of public humiliation couldn't happen to a more deserving person.  For many people, Toobin became a byword for sleaze when word got out that, although he was married and had two children, Toobin had an affair with Casey Greenfield.  That was tawdry enough, but there was much worse.

Casey, the daughter of CBS News analyst Jeff Greenfield, was 13 years younger than Toobin when the affair started.  After Greenfield discovered she was pregnant, Toobin offered her money to have an abortion.  To sweeten the deal, he said he'd pay for her to get pregnant at some later time with a sperm donor.

Casey insisted on having the baby.  Toobin, who is worth an estimated $10 million, vowed to withhold any financial support from Casey and his child.  Casey eventually had to sue him for child support.

It's not enough that Toobin's private life is disgraceful.  He's also a fanatic, really crazed anti-Trumper.  In August, he published a book about Trump entitled True Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Investigation of Donald Trump.  Oh, how the mighty, smug author has fallen, particularly because the "true crimes and misdemeanors" are his own.

In addition, Toobin's Trump-hatred has led him to write some tweets that he probably wishes would go away.  For example, there's his tweet supporting abortion, which hits way too close to home.  It's also notable that he was completely wrong:

Toobin may also regret his tweet about sexual misconduct on the Supreme Court.  Rather than wrongly pointing at the Supreme Court, Toobin should have been looking in the mirror.

Naturally, the whole world had fun with or made political and moral points about Toobin's disgrace.  Those who were offended included several women who rightly consider that what he did was sexual harassment.  These are some of the cleaner commentaries:

Finally, while Julia Louis-Dreyfus may be a hard leftist, her character, Elaine Benes, gets it:

This may be one of the most challenging posts I've ever written because I have a barely resistible urge to revel in puns and double-entendres.  After all, how often does it happen that one of the left's best known pundits is revealed to have been masturbating during an "election simulation" Zoom conference with big names from the storied New Yorker magazine?  Jeffrey Toobin's deserved fall from grace is comedy gold, and all I can do is report the facts and then moralize about them.

You're probably familiar with the central fact, which is summed up perfectly in the updated headline at Vice, which broke the story: "New Yorker Suspends Jeffrey Toobin for Masturbating on Zoom Call."  Toobin could not deny the accusation because at least two people on the call witnessed his moment of self-love.  Instead, all that Toobin could do was explain that "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."

For someone so smart, that's insanely stupid.  If you're going to engage in illicit sexual activity during a conference, you need to double-check your Zoom settings!

That still leaves unanswered the real question: why did he do it?

Was he taking care of his needs during the meeting because he was bored?  Did he find incredibly exciting an "election simulation"?  Did he misread that phrase and think there would be more going on than a mere "simulation"?  Or perhaps he could not deny his attraction to such New Yorker luminaries as Jane Mayer, Evan Osnos, Jelani Cobb, Masha Gessen, Andrew Marantz, Sue Halpern, and Dexter Filkins.  Here's what that all-star line-up looks like:


YouTube screen grabs of Jane MayerEvan OsnosJelani CobbMasha GessenAndrew MarantzSue Halpern, and Dexter Filkins.

Whatever the reasons for Toobin's self-dalliance, this kind of public humiliation couldn't happen to a more deserving person.  For many people, Toobin became a byword for sleaze when word got out that, although he was married and had two children, Toobin had an affair with Casey Greenfield.  That was tawdry enough, but there was much worse.

Casey, the daughter of CBS News analyst Jeff Greenfield, was 13 years younger than Toobin when the affair started.  After Greenfield discovered she was pregnant, Toobin offered her money to have an abortion.  To sweeten the deal, he said he'd pay for her to get pregnant at some later time with a sperm donor.

Casey insisted on having the baby.  Toobin, who is worth an estimated $10 million, vowed to withhold any financial support from Casey and his child.  Casey eventually had to sue him for child support.

It's not enough that Toobin's private life is disgraceful.  He's also a fanatic, really crazed anti-Trumper.  In August, he published a book about Trump entitled True Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Investigation of Donald Trump.  Oh, how the mighty, smug author has fallen, particularly because the "true crimes and misdemeanors" are his own.

In addition, Toobin's Trump-hatred has led him to write some tweets that he probably wishes would go away.  For example, there's his tweet supporting abortion, which hits way too close to home.  It's also notable that he was completely wrong:

Toobin may also regret his tweet about sexual misconduct on the Supreme Court.  Rather than wrongly pointing at the Supreme Court, Toobin should have been looking in the mirror.

Naturally, the whole world had fun with or made political and moral points about Toobin's disgrace.  Those who were offended included several women who rightly consider that what he did was sexual harassment.  These are some of the cleaner commentaries:

Finally, while Julia Louis-Dreyfus may be a hard leftist, her character, Elaine Benes, gets it: