Jeffrey Toobin, Put Your Pants On And GET OUT


COVID sucks.

It's not profound or eloquent. It's just true.

Frontline workers have been risking their lives for eight solid months now. Two hundred twenty thousand Americans are dead, while millions more are facing longterm heart and lung damage as they recover. Hundreds of thousands of businesses have closed, millions of people are out of work, and whole sectors of our economy may never come back. Kids have been stuck in the house for months on end, trying to cobble together some semblance of a normal adolescence. And the numbers are moving in the wrong direction across this country, even as we see Republicans getting ready to rip the social safety net out from under Americans on January 20.

Add in four years of Trump-branded chaos and a long overdue racial reckoning, and it's no wonder Americans are stressed out.

The very luckiest people — and I count myself among them — are working from home, spending all day in Slack and on Zoom calls. If you continue to have a paycheck and job security while the world is falling apart around you, and you don't have to risk your health and safety for it, then you won. Particularly if you don't have young children at home sucking up every waking moment of your time.

Which is a long way of saying, GET THE FUCK OUT, JEFFREY TOOBIN.

By now you've already died of cringe — but you got better! — reading about the legal commentator accidentally masturbating on camera during a meeting with his New Yorker co-workers. Well, the masturbation wasn't accidental. Apparently Toobin took advantage of a breakout session to get in a little "me time." But he failed to turn the camera off, and in fact seems to have inadvertently angled it toward his crotch in an attempt to get a better look at whatever media inspired him to take out his penis and touch it during work hours.

"I made an embarrassingly stupid mistake, believing I was off-camera. I apologize to my wife, family, friends and co-workers," Toobin told Vice, which broke the story.

Really? Would it have been okay to jerk off during a work meeting if he'd remembered to turn the camera off first?

No, it would not! Would we be having this conversation if Toobin had been in his office at Conde Nast and forgot to shut the door while cranking one out during his morning coffee break?

Even in this hellscape of work-from-home, i.e., sleeping at the office, there's some shit responsible adults just do not do. This isn't signing for a package, or getting interrupted by a crying toddler, or even putting the chicken in the oven at 4:30 so your family can eat at a reasonable hour. FFS, it isn't even the forgivable sin of failing to mute your mike when you're peeing!

This is a man who has taken up space on Planet Earth for sixty years and can't postpone his orgasm for one single minute. Yes, turning off the camera would have made it better. But only marginally. He's not George Costanza getting walked in on by his mother while mastering his domain with the aid of Glamour magazine. He's just an asshole, and he absolutely deserves to be fired.

So all the dudes tapping out hot takes on not destroying a man's life for one, little innocent mistake can cut that shit out right now. (And, not for nothing, but Toobin's been a disgusting perv forever.)

Thousands of kids are at Zoom school right this minute, and they're managing to keep their pants on. Women are getting up every morning and blowdrying their hair to look professional on camera, even though they haven't set foot in the office in months. FFS, the @RateMySkypeRoom account has 321,000 Twitter followers.

We are all living online, and we are all having to adapt. And being a highly compensated, Harvard-educated, extraordinarily well-connected professional white guy doesn't exempt you from the extra stuff we all have to do to hold it together when everything's going to shit.

Yes, losing your job is a high price to pay. But of those to whom much is given, much is required. Toobin has been given every opportunity, and he was so self-indulgent he livestreamed himself self-indulging during a work meeting.

Anti-fascism scholar Talia Lavin was fired from the New Yorker for tweeting (and almost immediately deleting) a mistaken comment about an ICE agent's tattoo, so spare us all the tears for a grown man jerking it on camera.

Dahlia Lithwick and Maya Wiley and Leah Litman and Steve Vladeck and Asha Rangappa and Renato Mariotti and Susan Hennessey and Elie Mystal and Ryan Goodman exist, and they manage to remain fully clothed during meetings. No one is so indispensable to the discourse that they're too big to fail. CNN and the New Yorker will find someone else to explain legal issues to America.

Time's Up, assholes.


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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.


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