Amazingly There Are Press Members Defending the Jeffrey Toobin Zoom-flash

AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

A prominent name in journalism displayed himself prominently and some sycophants are defending him.

Recall no so long ago when the press was concerned deeply with the specter of workplace sexual harassment and the delicate treatment of the #MeToo movement? Of course, we all do — however it is the press which seem to have a fleeting remembrance of that not so bygone era. 

It has been firmly reported that CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin has been suspended from his role at The New Yorker, following the salacious slippage of his saveloy on a Zoom meeting with other writers from the outlet. It has since come out (ahem, single-entendres seem inevitable) that this was more than a mere forgetful moment, that Jeffrey was engaged in a bout of onanism during his meeting. He has requested from CNN some time to himself…as it were.

The level of sexual depravity might be…debated, but what is amazing is how reactions from some in the press have actually been supportive. Really?! As Mike Miller noted earlier, CNN’s media savant and news critic, Brian Stelter, covered Toobin’s diminished role and he managed to have very little to say in the manner of criticism. Stelter has been more firm with Fox News over misspelled chyrons than he has with a major CNN fixture caught up in a self-sex scandal.

We get that Brian did not want to spank a colleague too forcefully, but here he almost makes it sound like a conspiracy is at play. Framing it as an issue with timing concerning the election is a very odd way to approach this. Curious too is that Stelter clearly reached out to his preoccupied colleague and, rather than coming forth with Brian, Toobin instead referred to his words he shared with another news outlet.

Noteworthy in all of this is the lack of any hard words for Toobin, something that surprisingly other members of the press also exhibited. Rather than delivering harsh words and the call for immediate reprisals, some in the press were almost supportive, willing to stand up for the exposed pundit.

Granted, he works at Vox, so this may require some explaining for him to grasp the situation, as it were. See German, it is not a matter of the act that put Jeffrey Toobin in a hard predicament, it was the timing. For instance, everyone has bowel movements, but if you were to commit one on a crowded subway car you would find yourself in some type of trouble.

Also over at BuzzFeed they took a position that comes close to normalizing what Toobin was caught doing.

This is the media complex we are dealing with these days. The very same people who spent tortuous months stretching the definition of sexual harassment are today looking at an act no  decent people would consider acceptable and attempting to normalize it. For their role CNN has not even taken action; the network has simply allowed Jeffery to go off and work out his problem on his own. 

As they have laid it out it appears they are open to his re-entering their good graces. This type of acceptance of crude and inappropriate acts is not going to deliver a happy ending for them.