Analysis by Joe Schaeffer
That great beacon of investigative journalism, The New York Times, was at it again. Scouring through years-old personal emails in much the same way a voyeur sniffs soiled bed sheets, crackerjack reporters Ken Belson and Katherine Rosman “exposed” Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden for making “racist,” “misogynistic” and “homophobic” remarks.
Under the rules today, Gruden was a goner. He resigned rather than even attempt to put up a fight.
A strutting Rosman celebrated her scalp:
BREAKING: Raider's coach Jon Gruden sent emails over course of 7 years that unleashed misogynistic and homophobic language to denigrate people around the game, calling Roger Goodell, a “faggot” and a “clueless anti football pussy.” me and @el_belson https://t.co/W4I1JQXJqa— katie rosman (@katierosman) October 12, 2021
A white male football coach inhabiting the jock-culture world of professional football must have made for an extremely pleasing takedown for the cosmopolitan Times writers. He said faggot in an email! The horror.
But Rosman was far less offended one year earlier when she co-authored what should have gone down as one of the most ridiculous articles of 2020, an outrageous puff piece about CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin’s infamous act of masturbation during a company Zoom call with co-workers at The New Yorker.
Rosman co-authored the Dec. 15, 2020 piece with Jacob Bernstein, titled “The Undoing of Jeffrey Toobin.” Why not highlight the most insane part first? They write:
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.”Really? There are hundreds of millions of Americans who can sympathize with Gruden’s plight, but how many truly fear being caught pleasuring themselves during a conference call with their co-workers?
The article was truly disgusting. Friendly voices are quoted lavishly doling out praise for elitist insider Toobin. Here’s more from the article (bold added):
Several of Mr. Toobin’s longtime associates feel he was unfairly punished. “You are a fine person and a terrific journalist and did nothing here to hurt anyone outside of yourself and your family,” Jonathan Alter, a friend of Mr. Toobin’s for 40 years, tweeted after Mr. Toobin announced his exit from The New Yorker.
“I don’t like Twitter mobs, and I don’t like bullies from the left or the right taking part in cancel culture,” Mr. Alter said later by phone. “I have trouble with the conflation of offenses. I don’t put Al Franken in the same category as Harvey Weinstein.”Yes, those outrage mobs are the worst, aren’t they Mr. Alter?
Well, that’s just one opinion, right? Nope:
[Tina] Brown, who worked with Mr. Weinstein for years after she left The New Yorker, agreed. “I think 27 years of superb reporting and commitment to The New Yorker should have been weighed against an incident that horribly embarrassed the magazine but mostly embarrassed himself,” she said.From there the article completely left the rails in terms of good judgment and plain normality:
Malcolm Gladwell, one of the magazine’s best known contributors, said in an interview: “I read the Condé Nast news release [stating that Toobin was being let go from The New Yorker], and I was puzzled because I couldn’t find any intellectual justification for what they were doing. They just assumed he had done something terrible, but never told us what the terrible thing was. And my only feeling — the only way I could explain it — was that Condé Nast had taken an unexpected turn toward traditional Catholic teaching.” (Mr. Gladwell then took out his Bible and read to a reporter an allegory from Genesis 38 in which God strikes down a man for succumbing to the sin of self-gratification.)Fellow New Yorker writer with bizarre pronoun preference: How can someone lose their job for masturbating in front of co-workers?
Even Mx. [Masha] Gessen, who initially found the incident “traumatic,” said they now feel sympathy for Mr. Toobin. “I think it’s tragic that a guy would get fired for really just doing something really stupid,” they said. “It is the Zoom equivalent of taking an inappropriately long lunch break, having sex during it and getting stumbled upon.”Have you read enough yet? Too bad, because the silliness just keeps going on:
“I didn’t think he was a sexual predator,” [“magazine journalist” Lisa DePaulo said. “I just thought he was a nice guy who was pervy. It was just like, ‘Jeffrey? Ick!’A nice guy who was pervy? It’s hard not to notice that there were no such quotes remotely defending Gruden in Rosman and Belson’s hatchet job on him. He was found guilty of wrongthink in private correspondence, and presented to the howling mob for summary execution:
Taken together, the emails provide an unvarnished look into the clubby culture of one N.F.L. circle of peers, where white male decision makers felt comfortable sharing pornographic images, deriding the league policies, and jocularly sharing homophobic language.
Their banter flies in the face of the league’s public denouncements of racism and sexism and its promises to be more inclusive amid criticism for not listening to the concerns of Black players, who make up about 70 percent of rosters. The N.F.L. has in the past struggled to discipline personnel who have committed acts of domestic violence and been condemned for failing to adequately address harassment of women, including N.F.L. cheerleaders.The difference between what white males can feel comfortable about saying in personal emails and the lewd sex acts sophisticated New Yorker scribes and CNN analysts can perform upon themselves in the sight of shocked co-workers is remarkable, isn’t it?