More details emerge in Jeffrey Toobin Zoom masturbation scandal
Jeffrey Toobin’s firing raises question: What took so long?
Down the Toobin: Writer fired after probe into Zoom masturbation scandal
Yes, Jeffrey Toobin still has supporters, but no real legal grounds
The press can’t handle the truth and other commentary
More details emerged Tuesday in Jeffrey Toobin’s caught-on-Zoom masturbation saga — as Malcolm Gladwell and others rushed to the disgraced journalist’s defense.
New Yorker staff writer Masha Gessen described in a New York Times article the now-infamous Oct. 15 video call that led to Toobin’s fall from grace.
“It wasn’t a full-out sexual act, but it was much more than a second,” Gessen said. “I was really, truly shocked.”
During the virtual gathering — attended by other New Yorker notables and WNYC public radio staffers — Toobin, 60, “was seen lowering and raising his computer camera, exposing and touching his penis, and motioning an air kiss to someone other than his colleagues,” the Times reported.
The incident was “traumatic” at the time, Gessen said — and led to Toobin getting ripped on social media, “The Tonight Show” and even spawned the hashtag #MeToobin after Vice broke the story.
The star writer was suspended and later fired from The New Yorker, where he’d worked for nearly three decades.
Despite his supposed downfall, Toobin is holding on to his post as senior legal analyst at CNN, where he’s on leave, and has several Hollywood projects in development, the Times reported.
Still, Gessen and other top media figures — including Gladwell — whined that Toobin’s public flogging was unfair.
“They just assumed he had done something terrible, but never told us what the terrible thing was,” Gladwell, a New Yorker writer himself, told the newspaper.
“My only feeling — the only way I could explain it — was that Condé Nast had taken an unexpected turn toward traditional Catholic teaching,” he added, referring to The New Yorker’s parent company.
Former Vanity Fair and New Yorker editor Tina Brown seemed to agree.
“I think 27 years of superb reporting and commitment to The New Yorker should have been weighed against an incident that horribly embarrassed the magazine but mostly embarrassed himself,” she said.
Even Gessen said that: “I think it’s tragic that a guy would get fired for really just doing something really stupid.”
“It is the Zoom equivalent of taking an inappropriately long lunch break, having sex during it and getting stumbled upon.”
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