The leftwing on-air legal analyst was seen masturbating during a Zoom video chat, last week, between members of his other employer, New Yorker and WNYC radio.
According to a Vice report Monday, the call was an election simulation featuring many of the New Yorker's biggest stars: Jane Mayer was playing establishment Republicans; Evan Osnos was Joe Biden, Jelani Cobb was establishment Democrats, Masha Gessen played Donald Trump, Andrew Marantz was the far right, Sue Halpern was left wing democrats, Dexter Filkins was the military, and Jeffrey Toobin playing the courts. There were also a handful of other producers on the call from the New Yorker and WNYC.
Toobin apparently did not realize his video feed was still on. His colleagues on the call reportedly said they saw him jerking off.
Sources described a juncture in the election simulation when there was a strategy session, and the Democrats and Republicans went into their respective break out rooms for about 10 minutes. At this point, they said, it seemed like Toobin was on a second video call. The sources said that when the groups returned from their break out rooms, Toobin lowered the camera. The people on the call said they could see Toobin touching his penis. Toobin then left the call. Moments later, he called back in, seemingly unaware of what his colleagues had been able to see, and the simulation continued.
“I made an embarrassingly stupid mistake, believing I was off-camera. I apologize to my wife, family, friends and co-workers,” Toobin told Motherboard. “I believed I was not visible on Zoom. I thought no one on the Zoom call could see me. I thought I had muted the Zoom video.”
New Yorker spokesperson Natalie Raabe said, Monday: “Jeffrey Toobin has been suspended while we investigate the matter.” But the virulent anti-Trump critic did, however, appear on CNN, Saturday.
“Jeff Toobin has asked for some time off while he deals with a personal issue, which we have granted,” CNN later said in a statement, Monday.
The leftwing network’s website downplayed the story. “Jeffrey Toobin, CNN's chief legal analyst and a renowned reporter for The New Yorker, has been sidelined at a pivotal moment in the run-up to the presidential election,” CNN’s Brian Stelter and Oliver Darcy wrote. “The reason: He exposed himself during a Zoom call with colleagues in what he says was an accident.”
Stelter, who is widely known as the media's "hall monitor," for his obsession with Fox News, was widely called out and mocked for his tone-deaf tweet.
"Jeffrey Toobin has been sidelined at a pivotal moment in the run-up to the presidential election," Stelter wrote. "The reason: He exposed himself during a Zoom call with New Yorker colleagues in what he says was an accident."
The far left activist did not mention the fact that Toobin was accused of masturbating on the Zoom call.
"Dude, the only 'accident' was that he got caught. You don’t 'accidentally' start jacking off during a video chat," Daily Wire senior editor Emily Zanotti told Stelter.
"Imagine a news org framing the Toobin scandal this way (saying he was 'sidelined' for an 'accident,' not suspended for sexual misconduct), and then ask yourself if you'd believe anything else that news org reported. Anything at all. You would not, and should not," The Federalist political editor John Daniel Davidson tweeted.