When an elite media figure’s gross behavior results in a rare moment of personal accountability, his fellow aristocrats are irresistibly compelled to convert the tawdry tale into a Greek tragedy. The Times published a representative sample of the genre today: “The Undoing of Jeffrey Toobin: How a leading man of legal journalism lost his sweet gig.” Honest to Christ, that’s their actual title.
Here’s an answer to the question posed in that ridiculous title that doubles as an explainer for anyone who’s blissfully unaware of the Toobin saga: Toobin masturbated on camera during a Zoom meeting with colleagues and got fired. Now, I assume choking the chicken in front of coworkers is a firing offense at most reputable companies, but the Toobin incident requires a 10K-word rehab tour in the “paper of record” because reasons:
Now that name [Toobin] was a punchline, a headline, a hashtag (#MeToobin) — and a point of debate. For as many people were excoriating Mr. Toobin for lewd and inappropriate behavior in a virtual workplace, others were thinking, or even saying, “there but for the grace of God go I,” acutely conscious of all the private or potentially embarrassing moments they’d stolen in this odd new zone where we now meet our colleagues.
The false equivalence in that sentence is absurd, mind-boggling and daft. It’s also insulting to the hundreds of millions of professionals who’ve managed to keep working during the pandemic without “accidentally” jerking off in front of their colleagues.
I’ll believe our elite media is learning when they can resist the urge to convert literal wankers into tragic heroes. Meanwhile, here’s a clip that better represents the dislocation of our Zoom-haunted world:
— Dr. Breea Willingham 🍷 (@DrBWillingham) December 11, 2020