Patterico's Pontifications

10/19/2020

A Zoom Cautionary Tale

Filed under: General — Dana @ 1:57 pm



[guest post by Dana]

My post title is an effort to give the story something other than a “WHAT DO YOU MEAN HE THOUGHT HE WAS OFF CAMERA – WHY ON EARTH DID HE CHOOSE TO DO THAT DURING A PROFESSIONAL ZOOM CALL?” zinger. Yet the question still remains:

The New Yorker has suspended staff writer Jeffrey Toobin after he exposed himself during a Zoom call last week between staffers of the magazine and WNYC radio, Vice Motherboard reported on Monday.

In a statement to Motherboard, Toobin acknowledged the incident: “I made an embarrassingly stupid mistake, believing I was off-camera. I apologize to my wife, family, friends and co-workers.”

A New Yorker spokesperson, meanwhile, said that Toobin “has been suspended while we investigate the matter.” He is also the chief legal analyst at CNN, where he last appeared this past Saturday. A CNN spokesperson provided the following statement to The Daily Beast: “Jeff Toobin has asked for some time off while he deals with a personal issue, which we have granted.”

Never assume, always make sure…because you know why:

–Dana

62 Responses to “A Zoom Cautionary Tale”

  1. I’m baffled by Toobin’s actions, but I think more so by his negligence in making doubly sure he was off camera. Who isn’t concerned about that in this day and age? He is still a working professional, and I assume he has been doing Zoom conference calls, cable news appearances, etc. throughout the pandemic, so he really should have known better.

    P.S. I just can’t imagine why he chose that moment to er, um, expose himself either. Ew.

    Dana (292df6)

  2. Jeffrey gave a whole meaning to the Toobsnake Boogie
    Yeah, that was a terrible ZZ Top reference.

    Paul Montagu (77c694)

  3. What no costanza reference.

    Bolivar di griz (7404b5)

  4. If he was able to survive (1) having an affair with a coworker’s daughter, (2) trying to coerce her into having an abortion when she got pregnant, and (3) then refusing to pay child support, I struggle to imagine a little indecent exposure is going to meaningfully harm his career.

    (Not That) Bill O'Reilly (6bb12a)

  5. He deserves every ounce of shame and scorn for this.

    I can’t extend any amount of grace to this jackwagon.

    Don’t do peen pics… like, ever.

    And like always assume a firearm is loaded…always assume the camera is on.

    whembly (c30c83)

  6. If he was able to survive……“
    —-

    tsar becket adams
    @BecketAdams
    ·
    on the bright side for toobin, trying to pressure his co-worker’s daughter into aborting their lovechild will no longer be the first thing that people will remember about him.“
    __ __ __

    “P.S. I just can’t imagine why he chose that moment to er, um, expose himself either. Ew.“
    _ _

    Some people view the Biden news blackout as Christmas in October.
    _

    harkin (7fb4c9)

  7. I can understand wearing basketball shorts with your suitjacket and tie thinking it won’t be seen (I mean, it’s kind of silly, but I understand it. It’s a whole other thing to get your dick out during a meeting.

    Nic (896fdf)

  8. harkin (7fb4c9) — 10/19/2020 @ 2:30 pm

    Out: Biden is “The Big Guy” referenced in Hunter’s email.

    In: Hunter is actually kicking money back to Toobin.

    frosty (f27e97)

  9. I’m baffled by Toobin’s actions. . .

    Don’t be. He gives every sign of being a deeply, deeply disturbed person. Narcissistic and perhaps sociopathic to the core. See (Not That) Bill O’Reilly’s post above for details. One thing that huge disruptions of everyday routines, such as the current COVID life changes, tend to do is bring out the weirdness in so many people who had heretofore been given the benefit of the doubt as to their sanity.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  10. Lots of things that happen when the camera is “off”: Nose-picking, spousal attention, private thoughts muttered, faces made, mooning, fingers and other signs of disrespect.

    And of course cats stealing the scene.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  11. I haven’t hear that ass u me thing since, oh, 6th grade.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  12. then refusing to pay child support

    How did he manage that? Millions of men would like to know, some of whom never fathered a child.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  13. Someone on Twitter said that “toobin” is now a verb. I almost chuckled.

    Paul Montagu (77c694)

  14. Put tape over that camera!

    nk (1d9030)

  15. They make webcams now with a shutter.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  16. This has since been appended as an editor’s note:

    Josh Caplan
    @joshdcaplan
    “This piece has been updated with more detail about the call and the headline has been updated to reflect that Toobin was masturbating.”

    Josh Caplan
    @joshdcaplan
    New Yorker Suspends Jeffrey Toobin for Zoom Dick Incident https://vice.com/en/article/epdgm4/new-yorker-suspends-jeffrey-toobin-for-zoom-dick-incident

    TW2020 (4585fe)

  17. “This piece has been updated with more detail about the call and the headline has been updated to reflect that Toobin was masturbating.”

    So the 97% of us who assumed this was the case turn out to be absolutely correct.

    My guess too is that he had abandoned the Zoom session and was watching Internet porn instead. What a piece of work.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  18. My guess too is that he had abandoned the Zoom session and was watching Internet porn instead.

    Oh! And I was about to ask who the other people on the call were.

    nk (1d9030)

  19. Stephen L. Miller
    @redsteeze
    ·
    What’s the actual election scenario that would get you to rub one out? I’ll start – Biden wins electoral college but Trump wins popular vote.
    __ _

    Harl E Quinn
    @hequinn
    ·
    This election with leaked emails, laptop and a masturbating perv on video is better than the last election with leaked emails, laptop and masturbating perv on video.
    __ _

    Brent Scher
    @BrentScher

    A CNN commentator jerking off to an election simulation is basically regular programming
    _

    harkin (7fb4c9)

  20. My guess too is that he had abandoned the Zoom session and was watching Internet porn instead.

    It’s a good chance I am two-for-two on my assumptions today:

    Sources on the packed Zoom call say at some point weirdo Jeffrey Toobin seemed to be on another zoom call, but they soon realized he was looking at another computer with his penis out and they could see him masturbating. He's the new Anthony Weiner! #jeffreytoobin— MARK SIMONE (@MarkSimoneNY) October 19, 2020

    JVW (ee64e4)

  21. Put tape over that camera!“
    __

    I’ve had tape/decal over my camera since I saw Bill Gates with it over 15 years ago.
    _

    harkin (7fb4c9)

  22. JVW (ee64e4) — 10/19/2020 @ 4:07 pm

    Quick, make another prediction! You’ll win the lottery, $1 million will drop in your lap, etc.

    frosty (f27e97)

  23. Now, what sort of porn was he watching?

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  24. kurt eichenwald says amateur, he has goggles no,

    bolivar de gris (7404b5)

  25. Zoom call, hell; what possesses ANYBODY to do this in the first place?

    Weiner… Toobin… is this a Jewish thing? WTF.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  26. Quick, make another prediction! You’ll win the lottery, $1 million will drop in your lap, etc.

    If only. But note how I characterized my insight as “assumptions” not “predictions,” and I don’t think one can assume what the lottery numbers will be.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  27. Suspicion confirmed;

    Jeffrey Toobin: Jerkoff. 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  28. CNN reports Debate Commission has announced it will mute mikes in certain sections of the format.

    Don’t laugh.

    What the hell, laugh at these commission chuckleheads.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  29. “ Two people who were on the call told VICE separately that the call was an election simulation featuring many of the New Yorker’s biggest stars:

    Jane Mayer was playing establishment Republicans; Evan Osnos was Joe Biden, Jelani Cobb was establishment Democrats, Masha Gessen played Donald Trump, Andrew Marantz was the far right, Sue Halpern was left wing democrats, Dexter Filkins was the military, and Jeffrey Toobin playing the courts. There were also a handful of other producers on the call from the New Yorker and WNYC.”

    https://www.vice.com/amp/en/article/epdgm4/new-yorker-suspends-jeffrey-toobin-for-zoom-dick-incident?
    __

    lol
    _

    harkin (7fb4c9)

  30. What the hell, laugh at these commission chuckleheads“
    __

    The same commission that appointed colluder Scully to moderate?

    The same commission that appointed a ‘journalist’ that got caught feeding debate questions to the Hillary campaign in. 2016 and also wiped her Twitter acct right before it was announced she was replacing Scully?

    https://www.westernjournal.com/kristen-welker-next-debate-moderator-got-busted-tipping-off-team-hillary-2016/

    Nothing to see here, move along.
    _

    harkin (7fb4c9)

  31. But note how I characterized my insight as “assumptions” not “predictions,” and I don’t think one can assume what the lottery numbers will be.

    You can safely assume that when the numbers are drawn, the lottery knows what numbers have been played.
    For the pick 3/pick 4 type, without a limited jackpot, where they have to pay a flat amount to every winner, they will pick the numbers least played.
    For the games with a limited jackpot, which is divided among all the winners, they will pick the numbers most played, to procure (and I mean “procure”) as much goodwill among as many people as possible.

    nk (1d9030)

  32. CNN reports Debate Commission has announced it will mute mikes in certain sections of the format.

    So, in the middle of a tantrum, they’re going to take the candy away from the baby? This I want to see (although I may have it muted).

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  33. @32. Picture you’re team is in Game 5, ahead 3 games to 2, and MLB deciding the World Series should go 9 games, not 7– because, well, you know, the crowds get too loud. 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  34. LOL.

    What a loser.

    Hoi Polloi (92d467)

  35. @30. Scully headed the WH Correspondent Association, too. Still perplexing why he’d do that to himself as he was highly regarded before this.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  36. What a wanker, as the Brits would say.

    Tom M (347d19)

  37. “This piece has been updated with more detail about the call and the headline has been updated to reflect that Toobin was masturbating.”

    Oh for god sake. If I was his wife, his little apology sure wouldn’t cut it. It if wasn’t accompanied by diamonds and a new summer home (which I might allow him to visit depending on how big of a moron I believed him to be on any given day), they’re just words. Humiliating himself like some pathetic jr. high school twerp is bad enough, but for his family to have to subsequently endure that humiliation is brutal. My god, during a business meeting??? Are you kidding me.

    Dana (292df6)

  38. The episode should not have been made public at all, let alone in such gory detail. Toobin is not the only one who stepped into the gutter.

    nk (1d9030)

  39. I agree, nk. But given that the meeting was with several media outlets, I guess it was inevitable. Discretion and good taste are rarely priorities of the media (in any form).

    Dana (292df6)

  40. Oh for god sake. If I was his wife, his little apology sure wouldn’t cut it. It if wasn’t accompanied by diamonds and a new summer home (which I might allow him to visit depending on how big of a moron I believed him to be on any given day), they’re just words.

    Not to mention the fact that he already had a long-term affair which produced a child while he was married to her. I’ve made a general policy of not making assumptions about other folks’ marriages — I’m old enough to know people who have pretty expansive understandings and lax rules in their own marriages — but as you write, Dana, a public figure shouldn’t subject his family to so much ridicule.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  41. The episode should not have been made public at all, let alone in such gory detail. Toobin is not the only one who stepped into the gutter.

    Sure, but given that he was in the midst of a bunch of bitchy media types, especially for an insufferable magazine like the New Yorker, it was pretty much a given that some ambitious journalist who wanted to take him down a peg would stab him in the back. And I doubt that Toobin would have been circumspect had he learned of something similar going on at National Review.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  42. nk (1d9030) — 10/19/2020 @ 7:30 pm

    Much better for the press to cover this up. All the better for to maintain that veneer of transparency they so demand from everyone else. “The people have a right to know” only applies to things “the press” decides it applied to.

    frosty (f27e97)

  43. Much better for the press to cover this up. All the better for to maintain that veneer of transparency they so demand from everyone else. “The people have a right to know” only applies to things “the press” decides it applied to.

    frosty (f27e97) — 10/19/2020 @ 7:44 pm

    As a matter of class and common sense, yes, it would be better to not bother sharing this information. This isn’t news really. It’s sleaze that normal people would not race to tattle about. Maybe you feel you got something out of this story but society didn’t.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  44. Reganoptics: like we needed to see images of a naked Geraldo in a shower, too?

    These platforms need regulated.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  45. Of course this was happening in the midst of one of these tip wargames

    Bolivar di griz (7404b5)

  46. I’ve made a general policy of not making assumptions about other folks’ marriages — I’m old enough to know people who have pretty expansive understandings and lax rules in their own marriages

    This is wise. It’s too easy to judge a marriage from the outside and make false assumptions based on what you see. Marriage is one of the most complicated relationships a person can have, and the inner-workings and machinery of them are as varied as the number of people that are currently married. But with that, Toobin’s private life has been very public, and when you pull nonsense like this in front of other people, it’s bound to be made public. I can’t understand why anyone would want to be a public figure. Ever.

    Dana (292df6)

  47. He saw josh porn hub marshall and he had to up the ante (phrasing)

    Bolivar di griz (7404b5)

  48. For what it’s worth, his employer CNN hasn’t yet acknowledged that he was caught jerkin’ it, just that he exposed himself. Correct me if I am wrong, but wouldn’t his behavior be considered committing a lewd act if this were a criminal complaint and not just indecent exposure, and thus he would be subject to a higher level of legal jeopardy?

    Perhaps they will update their story soon. (Yeah, right.)

    JVW (ee64e4)

  49. Isnt cnn the figment of some ones imagination?

    Bolivar di griz (7404b5)

  50. Hes a jackrabbit who is judgement of us mortals so good riddance and take ryan lizza with him.

    Bolivar di griz (7404b5)

  51. JVW (ee64e4) — 10/19/2020 @ 8:02 pm

    I’m to lazy to lookup the jurisdiction but don’t most lewd act statues have an “in public”, “were aware of another person who would be offended”, and “in the presence of someone who may have been offended”?

    A zoom call should count for “in the presence of” but does it count as “in public”? He’s already claimed he thought he was on “mute”. And there’s the problem of this being in front of other staffers at the New Yorker.

    frosty (f27e97)

  52. Maybe you ad a blue blob to the screen, or maybe dont multitask so much.

    Bolivar di griz (7404b5)

  53. Correct me if I am wrong, but wouldn’t his behavior be considered committing a lewd act if this were a criminal complaint and not just indecent exposure, and thus he would be subject to a higher level of legal jeopardy?

    Except maybe in Utah, it’s not either of those crimes. He was not in a public place and there’s no case provable beyond a reasonable doubt that he knew or should have reasonably known that he could be seen from a public place. I’m not entirely up to date on the sexting laws, but the same state of mind would be needed for those too.

    nk (1d9030)

  54. “Oh for god sake. If I was his wife, his little apology sure wouldn’t cut it. It if wasn’t accompanied by diamonds and a new summer home (which I might allow him to visit depending on how big of a moron I believed him to be on any given day),“
    __

    Dayum! Major league.
    __ _

    There is a nice twitter thread with New Yorker cartoons with the captions replaced with a statement about Toobin Zoomin.

    https://twitter.com/rysimmons/status/1318266346610765829?s=20
    __ _

    David Burge
    @iowahawkblog

    I did it, I made the first funny New Yorker cartoon

    https://twitter.com/iowahawkblog/status/1318286367806377990?s=20
    __ __ __

    Ben Shapiro
    @benshapiro

    Good news for Jim Acosta: we’ve finally found a CNN anchor who loves himself more than Jim Acosta does
    __ _

    harkin (7fb4c9)

  55. Interesting about the question of whether Toobin is in the clear because he wasn’t in a public place. If a professor at a public university was running his remote college class and did something similar, it wouldn’t count as lewd behavior? What if I attended a city council meeting via Zoom — could I bring the Captain out for a deck watch under those circumstances just because I was sitting at home at the time? There has to be some intersection between public and private where online meetings are concerned.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  56. 56.Interesting about the question of whether Toobin is in the clear because he wasn’t in a public place

    So say he’s at home and makes an obscene phone call [Rotary-Dial-Joe-Biden fans may remember what that is] he’s ‘in the clear?’

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  57. JVW (ee64e4) — 10/19/2020 @ 9:21 pm

    I was trying to make a joke about the staffers at the New Yorker and I needed the setup. But this is an interesting question.

    attended a city council meeting

    Presumably you’re on the city council? At this point I’m hoping people know how to setup a zoom call so that only a select group of presenters have audion or show up in the video gallery. But I’d say a reasonable person would consider a city council meeting to be a public place even if that weren’t the case. I think it’s almost by definition a public place. However, if the meeting goes into executive session and it might not be so clear. You being at home at the time doesn’t seem like a relevant factor.

    professor at a public university

    The public university wouldn’t be a factor. It’s been a while since I was in college and I’ve heard it’s changed. Do they still have the art classes were the students paint a live subject nude? I’m sure that could be accomplished via zoom. I’m not sure the public element comes into play here.

    in the clear

    I’m not saying in the clear. I’m just not sure they would trigger all of the elements of a criminal lewdness charge.

    frosty (f27e97)

  58. Typical biden voter

    mg (8cbc69)

  59. Just press down briefly on your device’s power button, JVW.

    nk (1d9030)

  60. German Lopez
    @germanlopez

    Not sure someone getting caught doing something almost everyone does should be a national story
    __ _

    BT
    @back_ttys
    ·
    It’s not like Toobin smirked or told a problematic joke

    __

    harkin (7fb4c9)


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