Jeffrey Toobin, the disgraced CNN legal analyst who was fired eight months ago after he exposed himself and performed a sexual act on a Zoom call with colleagues at the New Yorker, appeared for the first time on TV since the incident occurred.
Toobin was fired by the publication but he insists he thought he was off the Zoom call when he exposed himself. CNN suspended him indefinitely.
“Well, obviously, I wasn’t thinking very well or very much, and it was something that was inexplicable to me,” Toobin told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota Thursday.
On Twitter, Meghan McCain blasted CNN and Toobin, claiming a double standard with women.
CNN stunned social media on Thursday when Toobin appeared on the network for the first time since his indecent exposure. “CNN Newsroom” anchor Alisyn Camerota interviewed her embattled colleague as he answered uncomfortable questions while keeping his hands visibly above the table.
As the Fox article demonstrates, Toobin has become the punchline of bad sex jokes. How can he be taken seriously as a legal analyst?
This isn’t the first sex scandal that Toobin has been involved in.
Toobin claimed the New Yorker’s investigation before its firing found no other complaints against him, although this wasn’t his only sex scandal. Toobin fathered a child in 2009 with Casey Greenfield, the daughter of Toobin’s onetime CNN colleague Jeff Greenfield.
Toobin urged Greenfield to have an abortion and was later taken to court after he denied the child was his. Toobin was forced to take a DNA test which proved that he was the child’s biological father and was ordered to pay child support.
“I am trying to become the kind of person that people can trust again,” Toobin told Camerota, adding that he has spent his “miserable months” off-air “trying to be a better person” and attending therapy. He also worked in a food bank for a while. “I am trying to become the kind of person that people can trust again,” he said.
That’s the rub. There are a lot of people who will see Toobin and not see an experienced, sober-minded legal analyst. They will think of the Zoom incident and be repelled or laugh. Either way, Toobin’s credibility is completely shot and it’s a genuine surprise that CNN asked him back.
We don’t know where Toobin’s head was back then so his protestations that he didn’t think he was still on the call should be seen in that light. He received therapy so it’s clear that something wasn’t quite right with him.
CNN is taking a gamble that viewers will forget about what Toobin did and accept him as he was. That’s a lot to ask today’s viewers where the internet is forever and his opponents will always raise the issue.