Last fall, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin was fired by the New Yorker for an incident in which he was caught masturbating during a Zoom call with his co-workers. He was also kept off the news network during the 2020 presidential election cycle and up until today, when he was interview by CNN Newsroom co-host Alisyn Camerota.
“In October, you were on a Zoom call with your colleagues from the New Yorker magazine,” she began. “Everyone took a break for several minutes, during which time you were caught masturbating on camera. You were subsequently fired from that job, after 27 years of working there. And you, since then, have been on leave from CNN. Do I have all that right?” After Toobin confirmed that Camerota had it all right, she asked, “To quote Jay Leno, what the hell were you thinking?” (This is a reference to The Tonight Show host’s opening question to Hugh Grant after the actor was arrested for “lewd conduct” with a sex worker.) Toobin awkwardly answered, “Well, obviously I wasn’t thinking very well or very much, and it was something that was inexplicable to me. I think one point — I wouldn’t exactly say in my defense, because nothing is really in my defense — I didn’t think I was on the call. I didn’t think other people could see me.”
Toobin thought he had turned off the camera, which he called “deeply moronic and indefensible. But that is part of the story. I have spent the seven subsequent months, miserable months in my life, I can certainly confess, trying to be a better person.”
Camerota asked Toobin if he’s thought about what it must have been like for the other people on the call who witnessed his actions. “They were shocked and appalled,” he answered. “I think they realized that this was not intended for them. I think they realized that this was something that I would immediately regret, as I certainly did, and it was then — it was that day that I began apologizing. And that is something that I have tried to continue to do both publicly and privately.” Toobin said it was “good to be back [on CNN], and I hope to be a better person off camera as well as on camera.”
This guy caught the entire thing:
— Paco Romane (@pacoromane) June 10, 2021
You can watch the interview below.
—@AlisynCamerota: “You were caught masturbating on camera … to quote Jay Leno, ‘What the hell were you thinking?'” @JeffreyToobin says he “wasn’t thinking” and apologizes to his family, those on Zoom call, and CNN colleagues. He says he's working to be a better person. pic.twitter.com/XjH0B3qpMA
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) June 10, 2021