They really did. Am I surprised? I can’t say that I am exactly. Of course, any responsible organization would fire an employee who was publicly revealed (oops, almost said “exposed”) masturbating on camera during a Zoomed staff meeting. A real estate firm? Of course. A law firm? No question about it. A consulting firm? A university? Naturally. Not only was what Toobin did during a New Yorker meeting per se sexual harassment, it was signature significance for a sick puppy with the judgment of someone who likes to play “dodge ’em” on the freeway.
I was worried that in my various posts about Toobin’s Folly, I might have stated that CNN would never take Toobin back (they suspended him; the New Yorker canned him). I didn’t. I did write about Toobin’s future utility as a legal analyst, which is what Toobin purports to do, saying
“Again, why would anyone care what an analyst thinks who has shown such head-explodingly bad judgment, disrespect for the workplace and colleagues, and juvenile instincts?“
I also saw foreshadowing of today development in this post, in which I pronounced myself a moron for being resistant to the idea that progressives will excuse each other for just about anything, writing,
“I continue to be unable to grasp the complete attempted inside-out-ization of all American logic, principles and values by the people who currently control the White House, half of Congress, the schools, the universities, the news media, social media, Big Tech and entertainment.”
And sure enough, CNN brought back Toobin today. Wow. Asked by CNN’s Alisyn Camerota “what he was thinking,” Toobin replied that he “wasn’t thinking very well or very much,” and called his conduct “deeply moronic.” Yeah, that’s just what inquiring viewers want in their legal analysis: the opinions of someone who doesn’t think well or very much and is periodically moronic in the workplace by his own admission.
This is, ultimately, an issue of respect: CNN doesn’t respect its viewers sufficiently to give them the benefit of a legal analyst who has never beaten off in the workplace and on camera. It can’t be that hard, and Toobin isn’t even an especially competent legal analyst when he isn’t pleasuring himself. Ah, but he’s a member of the family, you see, and at CNN, loyalty and being reliably biased in the right direction counts more than having functioning ethics, workplace, decency or common sense alarms.
I don’t want to see anyone’s career and life ruined, and I get the “everybody deserves a second chance” instinct, but it doesn’t apply here. No trustworthy professional is owed a first chance to masturbate during a staff meeting on company time, even if it isn’t caught on camera. I sincerely wish Toobin luck as he tries, as he said today, “to be a better person.” ” I’m in therapy, trying to do some public service, working in a food bank,” he says, and that’s swell, especially the therapy. But I’ll take my expert analysis—pretty much on any topic—from someone who is smart and responsible enough to know that you don’t masturbate during a meeting.
I don’t think that’s too much to ask.