Zoom ’n Jeffrey Toobin gets helping hand from white-privileged CNN
WASHINGTON. No one better represents the sorry state of modern American journalism than CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin. You may recall that The New Yorker magazine fired Toobin after colleagues witnessed him sexually pleasuring himself during a Zoom meeting.
But CNN only suspended Toobin as its on-air legal analyst, waiting for a decent interval to pass before bringing him back to offer his unique, hands-on knowledge of American jurisprudence.
He told CNN anchor and network masturbatory enabler, Alisyn Camerota:
“I’ve got a lot to rebuild, but I feel very privileged and very lucky that I’m going to be able to try to do that… I hope to be a better person off-camera as well as on-camera.”
Corporate media has a lot to say about “privilege” these days. Especially the kind endemic to those bearing white pigmentation. A year ago, a CBS poll found 52 percent of respondents said “they believe that white people have a better chance of getting ahead in today’s society compared to black people. That’s up 13 points from 2015.”
And no one knows this better than former PBS host Travis Smiley.
In 2017, Smiley was the only Black journalist with his own interview show. He was fired after allegations surfaced he engaged in sexual relations with several female subordinates. He admitted to the sexual trysts but insisted they were consensual.
Smiley also insisted racism played an integral part in PBS’s decision to let him go and sued the network for $1 million. But the network countersued and won, requiring Smiley to repay the network $1.5 million.
You see, the court found Smiley had violated the morality clause of his contract with PBS.
For journalists, morality is a weapon never invoked for slander or outright lying. But morality suddenly matters when a member of the Fourth Estate becomes inconvenient to his or her corporate media employer. Remember, the year of Smiley’s termination coincided with allegations that Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein engaged in sexual misconduct and rape.
Smiley was one of several high-profile media personalities caught up in and swallowed by the #MeToo movement.
For its part, PBS gleefully greeted the news of its victory over Smiley, saying…
“PBS expects our producing partners to provide a workplace where people feel safe and are treated with dignity and respect… we continue to uphold the values and standards of our organization.”
CNN, on the other hand, has no such organizational standards – least of all “dignity.” And no media outlet has reported on whether Toobin has a ubiquitous “morals clause” in his contract with CNN. And it’s not likely anyone ever will.
That’s because, unlike the court-declared morally deficient Travis Smiley, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin is, by his own admission, a mainstream media man of privilege.
One who also happens to be very white.
Keep this in mind the next time corporate media trots out its old hobby horse “white supremacy” as a cudgel to bludgeon America’s moral majority.
About the Author:
Originally from Los Angeles, Steven M. Lopez has been in the news business for more than thirty years. He made his way around the country: Arizona, the Bay Area, and now resides in South Florida. A cigar and bourbon aficionado, Steven is a political staff writer for Communities Digital News and an incredibly talented artist.
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