CNN says Jeffrey Toobin still employed as report suggests he may get second chance after masturbation scandal
New Yorker fires Toobin
CNN has no comment on Zoom incident.
CNN has yet to terminate Jeffrey Toobin amid an ongoing masturbation scandal even as the liberal New York Times renewed the spotlight on the network’s star legal analyst’s fall from grace, hinting that CNN could keep him around despite a history of “pervy’” actions.
Toobin was fired from his job as a staff writer at the New Yorker magazine following an investigation into an incident in which he was caught masturbating on a Zoom call with colleagues. The Times published a lengthy feature on the situation Tuesday headlined, “The Undoing of Jeffrey Toobin,” which details that CNN has not taken action against its liberal legal analyst.
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In addition to losing his gig at the New Yorker, New York Public Radio has banned Toobin from its airwaves and podcasts, HBO edited him out of a hit TV series and other projects are in limbo, according to the Times.
However, CNN has remained silent about his status at the network despite recently hiring Evan Osnos, the network’s newest contributor, who is also a staff writer at The New Yorker and was reportedly an eyewitness to Toobin’s alleged misconduct.
CNN did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Toobin’s current status by Fox News. A CNN spokesperson told the Times that Toobin was still employed by the network but declined additional comment.
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“Three CNN employees say that network president, Jeff Zucker, is a big fan of Mr. Toobin’s and a believer in second chances,” the Times reported.
But, a glimpse into Toobin’s past reveals that he’s already had multiple second chances.
Toobin’s latest X-rated controversy began when Vice reported in October that Toobin exposed himself to staffers of the New Yorker and members of WNYC radio during a Zoom call earlier this year. The publication then added a salacious update – that, according to two sources, Toobin was seen masturbating during the virtual meeting.
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The now-infamous call, described as an "election simulation," featured CNN’s Osnos playing Joe Biden, along with other New Yorker writers such as Jane Mayer, Masha Gessen, Andrew Marantz, Jelani Cobb, Sue Halpern and Dexter Filkins playing various roles in potential 2020 outcomes, according to Vice.
“I was really, truly shocked,” Gessen told the Times.
The liberal newspaper also unearthed previous instances in which Toobin “surprised someone in the business with his sexual forwardness,” indicating that pleasuring himself on the Zoom call was not his first
“The magazine journalist Lisa DePaulo said that in 2003 Mr. Toobin asked her out for New Year’s Eve, telling her he’d separated from [hiw wife,” The Times reported. “A few days after accepting, she returned home to a phone message from Mr. Toobin in which, she said, he described in vulgar terms a sex act he planned on enacting with her.”
DePaulo told the Times she played the message for her friends, one of whom confirmed the story, and she considered Toobin “pervy.”
The Times then noted that Toobin also had a child with Casey Greenfield when they had an extramarital affair, but failed to mention the widely reported tidbit that he threatened her to have an abortion.
The Times noted that while Toobin has a long history of sexually charged skeletons, “masturbation at a remotely conducted work meeting was a new order of business” for the CNN pundit.
Last month, TheWrap founder and CEO Sharon Waxman – a women’s rights advocate – wrote that Toobin’s situation “reeks of male privilege” and asked where CNN has been.
“When your job is to weigh facts and render conclusions that shape public opinion, one’s own judgment should matter,” Waxman wrote, noting that CNN has “persistently avoided all questions about his future at the network.”
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Waxman wrote that she “spoke to several prominent women in media” who all agreed that a woman would never be able to get away with similar actions.
“It's fair, I think, to demand not just journalistic rigor and accuracy from the powerful people who are privileged to be on the air and in print, but good judgment and, yes, self-discipline,” Waxman wrote
Fox News’ Joseph A. Wulfsohn contributed to this report.
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