Jeffrey Toobin, a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1993 and the senior legal analyst for CNN, is one of the most recognized and admired legal journalists in the country.
His most recent book, The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court, was published in the fall of 2007. The book spent more than four months on the New York Times best-seller list and was named one of the ten best books of the year by the New York Times Book Review, Time, Newsweek, Fortune, Entertainment Weekly, and the Economist. The Nine also received the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize for Non-fiction and the Silver Gavel Award of the American Bar Association.
Toobin joined CNN in 2002 after six years with ABC News. In 2000, he received an Emmy Award for his coverage of the Elian Gonzalez case. Before joining The New Yorker, Toobin served as an Assistant United States Attorney in Brooklyn, New York. He also served as an associate counsel in the Office of Independent Counsel Lawrence E. Walsh, an experience that provided the basis for his first book, Opening Arguments: A Young Lawyer’s First Case: United States v. Oliver North.
Jeffrey Toobin received his B.A. from Harvard College in 1982, and, in 1986, graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. He lives in Manhattan.
Jeffrey Toobin: Oh, I certainly was not trying to sway the election. I have no illusions about my own ability to sway events in my own household, much less the election. I’m just really trying to be honest. I don’t have an agenda. I’m just trying to give a historically informed answer that is subjective, but based on my experience and my knowledge.
Question: What's your history covering John McCain?
Jeffrey Toobin: I don’t have an extensive experience recording… I don’t have extensive experience reporting with McCain. They were just a couple of stories in around 2002, 2003 where I had occasioned to talk to him several times, but it was very memorable. One of the things you do when you cover politics is you struggle for access. You try to get an appointment with this Senator or that Senator and they say, “Well, we’ll give you 15 minutes in between this meeting and that meeting.” It’s a completely different experience with the old John McCain. You call him up, he’d say, “Look, I’m going to be here. Call my wife’s cellphone, she’ll hand me the phone. Then call my cellphone.” It’s very seductive, it’s very appealing, and he was very open and funny and nice to me, which is the way he was with all the reporters. So, to see the Republican Convention turning into this snarling anger fest about the news media was just very striking to me.