Jeffrey Toobin Overplays His Hand

The Jeffrey Toobin affair (with himself) reminds me of a story about Babe Ruth and a couple of sportswriters who were covering the New York Yankees in the 1920s. Team members and reporters traveled to road games by train, and the two writers were having drinks in the club car when suddenly Babe ran by completely naked. Soon followed by a woman, also naked, in hot pursuit and waving a knife.   

One of the writers took a sip of his drink, turned to the other, and said, “Well, there goes another story we’ll never write.”

That’s how today’s corporate leftist media operates every time news happens that contradicts the approved narrative. But suppose things veer completely off course. As happened at the reliably progressive New Yorker when Toobin, the magazine’s longtime legal correspondent, appeared on screen pleasuring himself during a break in a Zoom meeting. 

Several colleagues in attendance are said to have gotten a close-up look at the body part in question, exposed during a separate video chat Toobin seemed to be having with a friend. He was unaware his Zoom connection had captured the action.  

Afterward, Toobin rejoined the meeting. Imagine what that was like, not to mention the fun any number of staffers could have had writing a “Talk of the Town” item on the incident, if the offending party had not been one of their own. Instead, they’ll have to wait for the results of an in-house investigation promised by editor David Remnick. 

Meanwhile, Toobin’s been suspended from his magazine chores. He’s also asked for time off from his other job as CNN’s legal analyst. 

For years, atop one of journalism’s highest perches, Toobin often enjoyed himself at the expense of others. Now, it appears, others will get their turn.

Just before the incident some of The New Yorker’s biggest names were engaged in an election simulation. Masha Gessen was playing President Trump; Evan Osnos was Joe Biden; Jane Mayer represented establishment Republicans; Dexter Filkins, the military; and Toobin pretended to be the courts. 

As the make-believe mail-in ballots were about to be counted, participants decided to take a short break. That’s when simulation turned into stimulation. According to Vice, the outfit that broke the news, Toobin, 60 and married, went into autoerotic mode. 

“I made an embarrassingly stupid mistake, believing I was off-camera,” he told Vice. “I thought no one on the Zoom call could see me.” Think of how that excuse would play in one of Toobin’s search-and-destroy New Yorker profiles. 

In other words, if he’d only covered his tracks, he never would have been caught. Where’s the remorse or even an “excuse me” for putting his junk on display? 

On the road to reinstatement, Toobin could tough it out like the hard-nosed reporter he plays on television, especially when addressing Donald Trump’s violation of presidential norms. Or he could go the corrective-therapy route, which the HR departments at his two principal places of employment may require.

In either case, it’s hard to think of a worse stroke of bad karma only days before a presidential election likely to be one for the record books. 

After a bogus special prosecutor’s investigation, a sham impeachment trial, then an outbreak of blue-state murder and mayhem, now comes the moment Democrats and their media flunkies hope will finally send Trump packing. 

And Toobin is sidelined for “working it” remotely. 

He’ll be missed, that’s for sure. What better authority is there to be on TV when it turns out the Democrats once again have overplayed their hand . . . the same way Toobin did.  

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About Bill Thomas

Bill Thomas is the author of Club Fed: Power, Money Sex and Violence on Capitol Hill as well as other books, and the co-author of Red Tape: Adventure Capitalism in the New Russia. He is also a former editor and writer with The Economist Group.

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