In a rather strange incident, chief legal analyst of CNN and a The New Yorker contributor, Jeffrey Toobin has been suspended by The New Yorker after he was caught masturbating on a Zoom video call with co-workers earlier this month. Soon after news spread about Toobin’s suspension “Zoom Dick” began trending on Twitter in the United States of America.
Vice reported 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.”
Jeffrey Toobin has offered an apology for masturbating on the Zoom video call and said that he thought he had put the video and audio on mute. “I made an embarrassingly stupid mistake, believing I was off-camera. I apologize to my wife, family, friends and co-workers … I believed I was not visible on Zoom. I thought no one on the Zoom call could see me. I thought I had muted the Zoom video”, Toobin said.
Jeffrey Toobin is a prominent anti-Trump voice and has been seen often on CNN talking, at length, about the impeachment of President Donald Trump. He has been working with The New Yorker for 25 years and is also a senior legal analyst at CNN.
While The New Yorker said that Toobin has been suspended pending an investigation, CNN was far more ‘circumspect’ in its statement. CNN said that Jeffrey Toobin had asked for some time off to deal with personal matters and that, the channel had granted it.
New Yorker editor David Remnick wrote an email to his staff clearly stating that Toobin had been suspended following the “incident” last week. He wrote, “Dear All, As you may have read in various news reports today, one of our writers, Jeff Toobin, was suspended after an incident on a Zoom call last week. Please be assured that we take such matters seriously and that we are looking into it.”
The New Yorker’s tryst with India and multitude of lies
In December 2019, Dexter Filkins went on an anti-India rant for The New Yorker in a report titled ‘Blood and Soil in Narendra Modi’s India’. The report was littered with every manner of conspiracy theory under the Sun and indulged in the complete distortion of historical facts. For instance, the ‘journalist’ said that Pakistan was created because Muslims of pre-partition India were too scared to live in a Hindu majority country. This is a shameless genocide denial of the highest order.
The ‘report’ also gives air to fantastical theories such as ‘The legend of Ram Janmabhoomi grew after independence’. Given the nature of such lies, it was safe to say that the report was a complete work of fiction, not journalism. We have published a comprehensive report detailing all the lies that Filkins has spread in the report but even then, we cannot say for certain that we managed to capture all of them. It can be read here.