Eight months have passed since the great Zoom Dyick Incident of 2020, in which New Yorker writer Jeffrey Toobin exposed himself to a handful of his colleagues during an election simulation. (He played “the courts.”) After [I]The New Yorker[/I] fired him in November, Mr. Zoom Dyick kept quiet, almost eerily so. Perhaps you are wondering — the consequences for taking your penis out of your pants in a work setting, are they lasting? What has become of Toobin? Where is he now?
Back on CNN, as of today. Apparently, the writer has resumed his role as the network’s chief legal analyst, appearing alongside co-host Alisyn Camerota on Thursday afternoon. When Camerota asked him to explain himself and why he had suddenly reappeared on the nation’s radar, he reportedly offered:
“Nothing is really in my defense. This was deeply moronic and indefensible … It was wrong, it was stupid, and I’m trying to be a better person.”
Watch this exchange… :D:D:D
His words, not mine! But yes, the Zoom Dyick Incident is a hard one to justify. Recall, Toobin allegedly tilted his computer camera toward his crotch while his co-workers peeled off into breakout rooms. Witnesses to the ZDI believed Toobin to be on a second, sexier call; when they reentered the main chat, they said, they found “the courts” jerking off. At the time, Toobin apologized, saying he “thought [he] had muted the Zoom video” and become invisible to his fellow election simulators. Mortifying, to say the least. But however humiliating the circumstances, we’re still talking about masturbating on a work call, something that feels difficult to do on accident.
On Twitter, people were quick to contrast Toobin’s return with the fate of Associated Press news associate Emily Wilder, who was fired in large part for tweeting her support of Palestinians. And, of course, perhaps the most egregious example this century is that of Janet Jackson: Not only was she blacklisted after the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show “wardrobe malfunction,” but the man who actually did the deed, Justin Timberlake, faced no consequences at all.
Toobin described the sequence of deliberate choices that led to a masturbatory act on a work call as a “mistake,” as if it were a random error. Never once did Toobin say these acts were choices because to do so would be an acknowledgment of deliberate intent over a period of time. He reinforced this language of the “mistake” by saying he “wasn’t thinking very well or very much.” He is able to say it is “indefensible” without a hint of hypocrisy because “mistakes” don’t need to be defended.