I promised not to pile on to ridicule the CNN legal analyst who for some reason only known by him and Priapus decided to—you know—while in the middle of a well-attended Zoom meeting, on camera. This presumably rendered the lawyer a permanent laughingstock whose career as a respected—well, not by me, but by progressive ideologues—commentator on law-related current events is probably kaput. It certainly should be kaput, but many have marveled that he has not been fired, just suspended, and some even are betting that after a “cooling off period,” he may be welcomed on CNN again.
I’ll take that bet.
Progressives and pundits are working so hard to spin his outrageous conduct that you would think he’s Bill Clinton or Joe Biden, worthy of the King’s Pass because of some unique value to the public, or at least to left-biased news coverage. He’s not; if there is one kind of expert that is as fungible as jellybeans, it’s legal pundits like…the guy whose name I promised not to mention again. But never mind that: any high placed employee of a company requiring public trust would be fired after an incident like this….including, I presume, a university professor.
Yet here comes University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education professor Jonathan Zimmerman to argue that masturbating on camera in a Zoom meeting is a “pseudo-scandal” rooted in Americans’ “collective unease with masturbation.”
“You might say that he shouldn’t have been pleasuring himself during a work call, but that’s his business rather than yours,” Zimmerman said.
You “might say”? Wow. No, you idiot, when one is in a business meeting, one’s conduct is the business of the participants and the company hosting the meeting. When you are a prominent figure in a company that must maintain its reputation, your conduct is the company’s business, literally.
And when your business is helping society define rules and habit of behavior that are responsible, competent, respectful and civilized, calling what was done in the New Yorker’s Zoom meeting what it is absolutely your business, which is to say, my business, as a professional ethicist.
Zimmerman’s logic is almost as embarrassing as the incident. “News flash: [the analyst] masturbates. But I’m guessing that you do the same, dear reader. Maybe you should stop feeling weird and guilty about that. Then we can all stop making fun ….”
Wait! Calling Peter Sellers again!
We all go to the bathroom too, but if we pull down our pants and take a giant dump in our office while on camera, that is inappropriate behavior for the workplace. We have sex with others, but having sex during a business meeting is not respectful to the meeting or its participants, and strongly suggests a lack of maturity, good judgment, self-control, and common sense.
And call me cynical, but somehow I don’t think Prof. Zimmerman would be making this ridiculous defense of, say, Sean Hannity, Mitch McConnell or Mike Pence if they “whipped it out” on camera in the pursuit of happiness.
Our colleges and universities exist to teach young citizens how to think clearly and critically, as well as to understand the values that support a functioning and civilized society. As we have seen repeatedly, and ae now witnessing the consequences, our education system doesn’t do that adequately, and one reason is that it allows silly ideologues like Jonathan Zimmerman to mislead and warp students.