News & Politics

The Best Reactions to the Jeffrey Toobin “Zoom Dick” Incident

The legal writer and TV analyst has been suspended by The New Yorker.

Photograph by Gage Skidmore/FLICKR

Jeffrey Toobin became the talk of the Internet yesterday, when the world learned that the high profile legal writer and TV analyst had been suspended by The New Yorker after he exposed himself during a video zoom call.

In a statement to Vice, which broke the story, Toobin said, “I made an embarrassingly stupid mistake, believing I was off-camera. I apologize to my wife, family, friends and co-workers.” He continued, “I believed I was not visible on Zoom. I thought no one on the Zoom call could see me. I thought I had muted the Zoom video.”

Vice later updated its original story to add that Toobin was “masturbating on a Zoom video chat between members of the New Yorker and WNYC radio last week.” The chat was apparently an “election simulation” in which different prominent New Yorker writers played various parties in a disputed election. Toobin played the courts.

A spokesperson for CNN, where Toobin also works as an a legal analyst, said yesterday that, “Jeff Toobin has asked for some time off while he deals with a personal issue, which we have granted.”

For a writer at some other magazine, that might be the end of it. But when the writer at the center of an embarrassing incident like this just happens to work for the most distinguished magazine in the country, it gives the highbrow permission for lowbrow gags. Right-wing pundits, left-wing pundits, and even a prominent no-longer-imprisoned former football player who was held liable for his wife’s killing, used the opportunity to goof on Toobin and his magazine. Here’s a sampling:

1.Sasha Issenberg, journalist and author, via Twitter:

2.Kieran Healy, Professor of Sociology at Duke University, via Twitter:

3.George Conway, via Twitter:

4.Jess Dweck, TV writer, via Twitter:

5.David Klion, writer, via Twitter:

6.O.J. Simpson, whose murder case was the subject of Toobin’s 1996 book, The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson, in a video message posed to Twitter:

7.Paula Reid, CBS News White House Correspondent and lawyer, via Twitter:

8.Ann Coulter, via Twitter:

9. Grace Panetta, politics reporter at Business Insider, via Twitter:

10. Matt Taibbi, via Twitter:

11.Ashley Feinberg, via Twitter:

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Senior Writer

Luke Mullins is a senior writer at Washingtonian magazine focusing on the people and institutions that control the city’s levers of power. He has written about the Koch Brothers’ attempt to take over The Cato Institute, David Gregory’s ouster as moderator of NBC’s Meet the Press, the collapse of Washington’s Metro system, and the conflict that split apart the founders of Politico.