In yet another week packed with political bombshells, CNN pundit Jeffrey Toobin nevertheless found a way to make titillating headlines.
The political analyst, who writes for the New Yorker, became the butt of many jokes among fellow journalists after he was suspended for reportedly masturbating while on a work-related Zoom conference call, as reported by Breitbart.
“An embarrassingly stupid mistake”
Toobin made a statement to Vice, the outlet responsible for breaking the story earlier this week.
“I made an embarrassingly stupid mistake, believing I was off-camera,” he said. “I apologize to my wife, family, friends, and co-workers.”
The X-rated moment reportedly came during an “election simulation” he and other New Yorker staffers were conducting via video conference.
So far, he has received a mere suspension from CNN and the New Yorker for his act, but the incident was so embarrassing that fellow journalists broke ranks and torched him.
At MSNBC, Chris Hayes and Rachel Maddow burst into laughter as they exchanged knowing glances over the story. “It was such a weird day today,” Maddow said.
“The most unsexy thing”
The co-hosts of ABC’s The View got in on the fun, too.
“The most unsexy thing I’ve ever heard of,” Sara Haines said with a laugh. “I’m not gonna be able to unsee this … I’m so sorry, I know there is a lot of seriousness to this topic. It’s just really hard because I can’t fathom a situation where this was the option A and B. So, I’m petrified of my computer camera.”
According to Vice, the incident went down something like this: “The sources said that when the groups returned from their breakout rooms, Toobin lowered the camera. The people on the call said they could see Toobin touching his penis. Toobin then left the call.”
When Toobin rejoined the call a few moments later, he reportedly acted as though he did not know he had just been caught in the obscene act. One media figure, however, chose to apparently defend Toobin — at least to an extent.
“Jeffrey Toobin has been sidelined at a pivotal moment in the run-up to the presidential election. The reason: He exposed himself during a Zoom call with New Yorker colleagues in what he says was an accident. Here’s our full story,” tweeted CNN’s Brian Stelter.