Thirteen years ago this week, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin trashed Clarence Thomas as an isolated, “eccentric” weirdo on the Supreme Court. This coming from the guy who, in 2020, would expose his penis during a Zoom call.
On the November 2, 2007 edition of PBS’s Tavis Smiley, Toobin ranted about the conservative Thomas:
Clearly the most eccentric, the most unusual, the most complex character on the Court is Clarence Thomas.... The guy who, sixteen years after he’s been on the court, is as bitter, is as angry, is as isolated from the black community as he was on the day he was confirmed.... He is not just the most conservative member of the Court, he’s the most conservative Justice to have served on the Court since the 1930s.
This is the same Toobin who, in October of 2020 would be suspended from the New Yorker for touching himself during a Zoom call. Here's how Vice described the appalling moment:
The two sources described a juncture in the election simulation when there was a strategy session, and the Democrats and Republicans went into their respective break out rooms for about 10 minutes. At this point, they said, it seemed like Toobin was on a second video call. The sources said that when the groups returned from their break out rooms, Toobin lowered the camera. The people on the call said they could see Toobin touching his penis. Toobin then left the call. Moments later, he called back in, seemingly unaware of what his colleagues had been able to see, and the simulation continued.
Yeah, but it’s Thomas who is weird?
Toobin clearly is obsessed with Thomas. In October of 2016, he raged that the Justice is “not a conservative but, rather, a radical” who’s driven to advance “his own idiosyncratic interpretation of the Constitution.” In October of 2014, the now-suspended CNN analyst called Thomas “disgraceful” for not asking questions on the Court. (One might say exposing yourself on a Zoom call is disgraceful.)
Here’s video of CNN's Wolf Blitzer endorsing Toobin’s hate:
For more examples from our FLASHBACK series, which we call the NewsBusters Time Machine, go here.