Fox News reports that Jeffrey Toobin returned to CNN’s airwaves on Thursday for the first time since the legal analyst and former New Yorker contributor was caught masturbating on a Zoom call with colleagues at the magazine last fall.
According to a report published by Vice last October, Toobin was swiftly fired from the New Yorker for his actions, which he later called an “embarrassingly stupid mistake.”
The pundit took a leave of absence from CNN, according to Vice, but apparently made his comeback debut on Thursday.
Speaking with CNN’s Alisyn Camerota, Toobin said he thought he had logged off of the Zoom call, where staffers for the New Yorker and WNYC radio were reportedly present.
“I didn’t think I was on the call. I didn’t think other people could see me,” he said Thursday, according to Fox.
“Now, that’s not a defense,” he qualified. “This was deeply moronic and indefensible. But I mean, that is part of the story. And you know, I have spent the seven subsequent months, miserable months in my life, I can certainly confess, trying to be a better person.”
Toobin also told Camerota that he’s spoken since the incident with his New Yorker colleagues, who he said “were shocked and appalled” by his actions. “I think they realized that this was something that I would immediately regret, as I certainly did,” the CNN contributor said. Take a look:
Alisyn Camerota asks Toobin why he didn’t “have better judgment” after having covered the stories of Bill Clinton, Eliot Spitzer, Donald Trump, and Anthony Weiner and Toobin’s reply?
“Because I didn’t have better judgment. Because I’m a flawed human being who makes mistakes.” pic.twitter.com/OVJQGRXScA
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) June 10, 2021
“No journalistic standards”
But while Toobin may say he’s repented, Fox notes that many on Twitter were less than convinced.
“Never thought I’d see a network effort to rehabilitate a guy caught yanking it in front of female colleagues, but ‘this is CNN,'” conservative radio host and former NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch wrote.
The View‘s Meghan McCain, meanwhile, called CNN’s decision to have Toobin back “garbage.”
“Why does the media protect these old white male dinosaurs in this industry? No woman on PLANET EARTH would be welcomed back on network [TV] after being caught masturbating in front of her colleagues,” she said, as Fox reported. Another Twitter user opined: “At least @CNN is honest now about having no journalistic standards whatsoever. Such honesty must be freeing!”