Jeffrey Toobin: lawyer, New Yorker staff writer, CNN chief legal analyst

Suspended for allegedly w**king on a zoom call thinking he was off camera and muted. Oopsie.

I’m not sure tbh

 his cred with the people directly involved might be a bit shot

but nobody reading his copy is going to be mothered that he once tossed off on a web call

Do you really think that is not a "bothersome" thing to do, or are you just being your usual pointlessly contrarian self? If you really do think that, what the fvck is wrong with you?

Assuming that was to me (I did not use the word “bothersome”) - I wouldn’t be bothered in the slightest by this if I were one of his readers.

If I was reading a news item or piece of analysis it would not remotely bother me if the guy who did it had once been caught w**king on webcam, no.

As for whether it is bothersome for those who witnessed it, I do not opine, and am under no obligation to. Perhaps you could write to them and ask them 

He's a lawyer. If a lawyer came to you with Harvard and stellar career but the small matter of rubbing on out live on zoom, would you hire if he otherwise ticked all the boxes. 

Same q if he was your star employee when the at work rub-out occured. 

Speaking personally, I would hire him if I had need of his skills. Or more precisely I would not decline to hire him based on this incident. I am not sure that he would require to be treated any differently to any other employee.

Before you say, creepily: oh but Laz, would your firm take the same view:

1. Dunno, haven’t asked them.

2. Don’t intend to as there isn’t an HR genie to whom you can refer such hypotheticals.

Will consider the issue if it arises. Tx

Fair. I'd not discount him, based solely on this. But it would still be a factor. It was a grim, but innocent mistake. 

Was he tossing on while Talking on a work call but thinking camera off or did he think he was not on the call at all?  The former seems to me a career threatening  offence the latter just a highly embarrassing mistake.

I can see the distinction Guy is making but I think he is placing too much emphasis on it.

if he was grunting the name of a co-worker or doing it with full knowledge camera was on but thinking he could mask his efforts, then he's an idiot. Recall a female colleague saying that in her previous firm a partner had his cock out in the lift when she (about 26) got in.  Don't entirely beleive it, but don't disbelieve it either.

the distinction is drawn from a personal view that I would be uncomfortable with a colleague whose practice it is to turn off the camera and w**k off while on a work teleconference but more sympathetic towards one who  thought he was off the call and  was taking a comfort break in private....

"It was a grim, but innocent mistake."

According to reports, "Motherboard has clarified that Toobin not only exposed himself, but was masturbating during the Zoom call. Two people who were on the call spoke to Motherboard anonymously, and confirmed that they “saw Toobin jerking off.” The call was an “election simulation featuring many of The New Yorker’s biggest stars,” including Toobin, role-playing as different political figures and factions. The sources saw Toobin lower the camera and touch his penis. “‘Toobin then left the call. Moments later, he called back in, seemingly unaware of what his colleagues had been able to see, and the simulation continued.’”

Thing is, even if he did think that he was on a break, there is something very concerning, for so many reasons, about the fact that he felt that the middle of a work call was the right to have a vvank.  How horny can you be that you can't wait for, what, another 30 minutes, another hour to vvank yourself off?

Sounds like there was a 10 min break in the call and he decided to take advantage of the free time.

yes this appears to be the case but there is something extremely odd about everyone normalizing this

(and in full view of his work computer? he couldnt have left the room?)

Seems it falls somewhere between my two alternatives and as such am a little torn.  On balance I Would still say it was a highly embarrassing but basically innocent error and he should not be ostracised for it.

No, 3 ducks, you dribbling fvckwit, there is nothing "abnormal" about being concerned about the idea that we appear to be living in / fostering an environment in which an otherwise apparently respectable, sensible, intelligent man thinks that carrying out a sexual act during a business call.

The fact that you, given your previous form on such things, don't think it is a particularly big deal is not in the least bit surprising.

I wouldn’t “normalise” it, so much as be completely blasé about its abnormality.

The key thing for me is that the exposure seems to have been entirely accidental.

I’m also a bit torn. Part of me thinks that I have been guilty of online shopping and similar during boring calls, and I’m sure most others have too. I wouldn’t do that if I thought the others on the call could see. So I guess this isn’t that different?  But then again it obviously is quite different....  maybe I’m a perv enabler but I just feel very very sorry for the guy.

I guess it boils down to whether he was being a perve and getting off on doing it during a work call or whether he was taking tactical relief of the “ back in 5” variety so beloved of ROF in downtime  - if the latter, embarrassing mistake but lets not crucify the guy

for me it boils down to - does this person deserve never to work again.   It was stupid, but it doesn't appear to be malicious.  it was grim and entirely inappropriate.  We had inadvertent sex toys in zoom shot last week on another thread.  Previously we've hired someone for a non-legal non-public facing role who had a fraud conviction (and served time).  People do get a chance to explain themselves and seek out second chances (in her case, she was pressured by a dick boyfriend into skimming from a church charity- the shame and impact on her family life was massive, but she had to make amends and move past it). 

If you're going to refuse to shake hands with anyone who's ever had a Clergham, m7, you've shaken hands for last time.

Jelly - no one is suggesting that he deserves never to work again (certainly, I'm not, based on the details that we have so far). But, there is a LOT of grey between "burn him alive, slowly!" and "wotevs, nothing much to see here".

What's abnormal about cranking one out during work hours exactly?

The embarrassment of his camera error is punishment enough.

i suppose it will depend on what the public reaction is, which will in turn depend on whether (eg) he has done anything like this before, if the other people on the call believed it was a genuine mistake, whether he is generally creepy towards younger employees etc. 

i dont think (on current info) he should never work again, but i do think when you are a public figure or in a position of responsibility (eg a university lecturer) there is an additional onus on you not to do this sort of thing tbh 

lots of contracts have termination clauses for bringing the corporate brand into disrepute

I just don't get it. There's nothing intrinsically wrong with what he did. It's just extremely unfortunate and embarrassing that a private moment was captured in public.

Isn't the point that he was presumably w**king over one or more of his colleagues on the call.  I'm pretty sure that's dismissal material whether or not they can see you, and if I was a person of his gender preference on the call I would definitely be uncomfortable working with him again (because clearly I am so hawt it must have been me).

ewww. I am now going to assume this is happening every time I'm on a Zoom call and people have their cameras off

all very Charlie Runkle though

That probably does make more sense, otherwise he should have noticed himself furiously spanking in the corner of the screen - don't use zoom but assume its like teams and your image is pinned?


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