What the Toobin scandal really exposes
The scandal involving Jeffrey Toobin's masturbatory antics during a Zoom meeting last week has resulted in several unplanned byproducts, the most obvious of which is the comedic material the incident has generated. If there were any late-night talk show hosts worth watching, we could all be enjoying several weeks' worth of side-splitting jokes. Unfortunately for many of us, we have to rely on social media and the countless Toobin memes for that humor.
It has also been entertaining to watch sides being drawn on the matter, with some in the industry coming to Toobin's defense and a few others, such as legal commentator Adrienne Lazarus, going on the attack. "He's a privileged, white man who decided to pleasure himself at work to the detriment of his colleagues," Lazarus asserted. "Black men are fired for much less and without your sympathy." Admit it: it's hard not to smile.
The most significant consequence of the scandal, however, has to be the level to which the mainstream media's anti-factual mindset has once again been exposed.
As the story came to light on Monday, Toobin attempted to explain himself by reasoning, "I made an embarrassingly stupid mistake, believing I was off-camera." Anyone with common sense and common decency was left scratching his head at the statement. The issue, Mr. Toobin, is not only that your colleagues had the misfortune of, without warning, inadvertently catching a glimpse of your private parts, but the fact that you were even handling them during a business meeting in the first place. In fact, that's the single most disturbing aspect of the entire incident, and one that has no doubt caused many of us to be stricken with a new phobia: the fear of getting on Zoom meetings.
But the fact that the vast majority of the mainstream media didn't bat an eyelash at Toobin's explanation, and he indeed has not yet been fired by either CNN or the New Yorker, has once again given us an example of their way of thinking. Pay no attention to reality, you obedient sheep — just listen to us, and we'll tell you how to think.
For clarity, and contrary to Ms. Lazarus's suggestion, it seems obvious that Toobin's race has had no role in his employers' disinterest in discipline or the media's lack of accountability. Toobin is getting a pass not because he is white, but because he is a leftist who hates Donald Trump and conservatives, and who works for CNN. If a non-white person had behaved similarly, he would likely be treated the same as Toobin, provided he were on the left. Imagine if an identical incident happened with a conservative legal pundit from Fox News. Would the media be satisfied with an explanation of "my mistake was not that I was playing with myself during a business meeting; I just screwed up by allowing my laptop's camera to show it"? We all know the answer.
The larger tale is how this mindset continues to infect the entire left and its media. When email messages from Hillary Clinton, John Podesta, and other Democrats at the DNC became public knowledge in 2016, the focus of Democrats and the mainstream media was not on the content of those emails, some of which was highly damaging to the Clinton campaign. No one from the DNC disputed their authenticity, but all the media wanted to talk about was how they were acquired. Those mean old Russians did this, and how dare they let the American public know the truth about how we operate?
For the next three years, the media fed us a steady diet of the Russia Hoax. On a daily basis, we would hear that "the walls are closing in" on Trump. There were new "bombshells" seemingly every day about Donald Trump, Jr.'s meeting with Russians at Trump Tower. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) promised forthcoming evidence showing sinister activities by President Trump and his campaign. That whole time, there was nothing to the entire story. There never was any "there" there. As the Mueller report showed, it was a farce all along, and the left and its media were banking the entire time that America would just ignore reality and listen to their own, twisted narrative. That's exactly what many Americans did.
We continue to see evidence of this ongoing strategy with the current scandal involving Joe and Hunter Biden. There is far more evidence showing the Hunter Biden emails with Ukrainian officials to be genuine than any single aspect of the entire Russia Hoax, and the Biden campaign has indeed not denied their validity. Does that matter to our prestigious mainstream media? Of course not. While a few intellectually curious journalists have asked Joe Biden for comments on the scandal, none has sufficiently followed up and forced the issue. Instead, the media have tried to dismiss the scandal as Russian disinformation, even as the director of National Intelligence, John Ratcliffe, has stated unequivocally that the assertion is nonsense.
The media's indifference to the Jeffrey Toobin scandal is just one more example of their aversion to the truth. Engaging in self-abuse while one interacts with his colleagues during a Zoom meeting is repulsive, regardless of whether or not one's laptop's camera is functioning and regardless of how boring that meeting might be. By accepting Toobin's explanation, and by failing to call out the utter absurdity of it, the media have once again shown their indifference to truth and their aversion to basic morals.
P.F. Whalen is a conservative blogger at TheBlueStateConservative.com. His work has appeared in multiple publications, including American Thinker, the Western Journal, and Human Events. Follow him on Twitter at @pf_whalen.
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