- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 22, 2020

Actress and activist Rose McGowan is slamming the “liberal intellectuals” who have rushed to the defense of reporter Jeffrey Toobin after he was reportedly caught pleasuring himself on a Zoom conference call.

Mr. Toobin this week was suspended from the New Yorker and took leave from CNN, where he works as chief legal analyst, after two witnesses told Vice Motherboard that Mr. Toobin exposed himself and masturbated during a Zoom call between members of the New Yorker staff and WNYC earlier this month.

“I made an embarrassingly stupid mistake, believing I was off-camera. I apologize to my wife, family, friends and co-workers,” Mr. Toobin said in a statement Monday. “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.”

The scandal sparked the viral hashtag #MeToobin — a riff off the #MeToo movement — and many fellow media members expressed sympathy for Mr. Toobin.

“When Occam’s Razor suggests someone humiliated himself through a combo of technological error, pandemic circumstances, bad judgment, & bad luck, it seems like we should react w/ empathy, politeness, & forgiveness, as we would want to be treated, rather than punitive mockery,” Atlantic staff writer Conor Friedersdorf tweeted.

“News flash: Toobin masturbates,” wrote New York Daily News op-ed writer Jonathan Zimmerman. “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 of Jeffrey Toobin.”

Toronto Star columnist Vinay Menon wrote that Mr. Toobin “didn’t cover himself in glory — or regrettably, anything else — in that fateful Zoom call, but CNN and his country need him.”

Ms. McGowan, who helped spark the #MeToo movement in 2017 after becoming one of the first women to publicly accuse movie mogul Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault, asked her one million Twitter followers whether Mr. Toobin would have been treated with the same kid gloves if he was a conservative woman or woman of color.

“Can you all imagine if a conservative woman was caught masturbating on an @zoom meeting like #MeToobin?” she asked. “If it had been a liberal woman? If it had been a WOC? @AdrienneLaw do you think there’d be liberal ‘intellectuals’ rising to defend her? She’d be burned at the stake.”

Ms. McGowan, who is outspoken against Democrats and Republicans alike, said in another tweet that her political views had come between her and her mother.

“My mother won’t speak to me because she’s so deep into the Cult of Democrats,” she wrote. “We must destroy the two-party system if we want to free the USA out of cult-like thinking. It is not working for anyone other than the uber-wealthy.”

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