CNN chief legal analyst and staff writer for the New Yorker Jeffrey Toobin has been suspended by the magazine and taken some personal time off from the network after colleagues saw him expose himself while allegedly masturbating during a work Zoom call last week.
What are the details?
Vice reported Monday that Toobin had been suspended by the New Yorker for allegedly exposing himself on the call, and updated the piece shortly thereafter to clarify “that Toobin was masturbating” during an election simulation that involved other employees of the New Yorker and some from WNYC radio.
Vice described the purported incident as such:
Both people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to speak freely, noted that it was unclear how much each person saw, but both said that they saw Toobin jerking off. The two 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.
Prior to Vice making updates to the story, Toobin told the outlet, “I made an embarrassingly stupid mistake, believing I was off-camera. I apologize to my wife, family, friends and co-workers.”
“I believed I was not visible on Zoom,” he added. “I thought no one on the Zoom call could see me. I thought I had muted the Zoom video.”
The New Yorker told The Washington Post, “Jeffrey Toobin has been suspended while we investigate the matter,” but did not elaborate further. A spokesperson for CNN issued a statement saying, “Jeff Toobin has asked for some time off while he deals with a personal issue, which we have granted.”
According to the Associated Press, Toobin has been a writer at the New Yorker for more than 20 years, and an analyst for CNN since 2002. He has written several books, and his most recent was titled, “True Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Investigation of Donald Trump.”
The phrase “Zoom dick” began trending on Twitter, in a nod to Vice’s original headline, which read, “New Yorker Suspends Jeffrey Toobin for Zoom Dick Incident.”