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Commentary

After Lib Media Star Gets Caught Allegedly Masturbating on Work Call, Lib Media Rushes to Defense

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Yesterday, CNN legal analyst and New Yorker writer Jeffrey Toobin was caught in flagrante delicto.

First, it came out that he had exposed himself on a work Zoom call.

Then it came out that he hadn’t just exposed himself. He was allegedly masturbating on the call.

The New Yorker promptly suspended Toobin. He is also on voluntary leave from CNN, and he will no longer be part of the network’s election coverage over the next few weeks.

If Toobin were on the right, his public career would likely be over. Because he’s on the left, however, the liberal media has rushed to his defense.

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To be clear, they’re not explicitly defending Toobin. Rather, they’re saying “Well, who doesn’t do it?”

Buzzfeed actually ran with the headline, ‘Jeffrey Toobin Can’t Be The Only Person Masturbating On Work Zoom Calls.’

“Most striking,” Buzzfeed reporter Scaachi Koul claimed, “is how bizarre it is that we haven’t read a thousand stories like this during the pandemic.”

“Haven’t we all done something on a work call that, in normal circumstances, we’d never do during a meeting?” Koul asked.

Would the media defend Toobin's actions if he were on the right?

Perhaps — I’m sure many of us have turned our cameras off to make a quick sandwich or let the dog outside — but that doesn’t excuse Toobin’s behavior. There’s a big difference between surreptitious snacking and engaging in sexual activity on the clock.

In fairness, the Buzzfeed article was clearly written in a satirical tone, but the mere fact that the outlet treated the story as a joke speaks volumes. Would any conservative receive the same treatment?

Conor Friedersdorf of The Atlantic suggested that Toobin had simply made an innocent mistake and that he should be treated with empathy, not mockery.

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Vox’s German Lopez expressed a similar opinion, tweeting, “Not sure someone getting caught doing something almost everyone does should be a national story.”

“One of American culture’s worst qualities, and a key contributor to problems like mass incarceration, is our propensity to punish and humiliate people with little regard to proportionality.”

While Lopez’s tweets are no longer available, they can be seen on Twitchy.

I seriously doubt “almost everyone” is masturbating during work calls. It’s not like Toobin was home alone and someone walked into his house; he was on a video call with colleagues.

Moreover, Lopez’s comparison to mass incarceration is laughable. From his statement, you’d think Toobin was on death row for his actions. He’s not. In fact, his “punishment” seems eminently proportional, if not too lenient.

If Toobin had acted this way in the office, it would be a fireable (not to mention criminal) offense. Instead, he’s been publicly mocked and placed on leave.

Can you imagine anyone on the right being treated so graciously?

This is unacceptable workplace behavior, even if you are working from home. It is gross and unprofessional — even if you think you are muted, hidden and just listening.

Toobin and anyone who even hints this isn’t a big deal should be ashamed of themselves.

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Erin is a freelance writer and attorney based in Colorado. She is a graduate of Truman State University and the University of Oklahoma College of Law.
Erin is a freelance writer and attorney based in Colorado. She is a graduate of Truman State University and the University of Oklahoma College of Law.




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