Ana Navarro shocked absolutely no one during Monday’s episode of “The View” when she defended Jeffrey Toobin’s
return to CNN after the legal analyst’s embarrassing Zoom call masturbation fiasco last fall that cost him his longtime job with the New Yorker.
What did Navarro say?
After viewing part of Toobin’s on-air return to CNN, which took place last week, co-host Whoopi Goldberg noted that Navarro “worked for CNN” and then asked her, “Are you surprised to see him back on the air?”
Team player Navarro said no.
“You know, actually I’m not surprised he’s back on the air,” she answered. “But I will tell you when I saw that interview, oh, God, how embarrassing, how humiliating. I kept thinking to myself, ‘If I have to go on live TV and explain to the nation why I masturbated on a Zoom call, I think I would rather go sell avocados under I-95 than get my job back on TV.'”
Navarro explained that Toobin “was not sexually harassing anybody. He didn’t have the intent to sexually harass somebody. He was sexually harassing himself maybe.”
She added that Toobin’s
faux pas was an “accidental exposure” and that he was fired from the New Yorker for it and took a leave of absence from his CNN gig as well — and “during the election, during the hottest political and legal times.”
Navarro suggests CNN viewers should ‘have some grace’
“I also think CNN is a for-profit business. If viewers don’t like it, then they should make their views known,” she continued. “If they wanna have some grace, if they wanna say, ‘We’re not gonna cancel a guy because he made a stupid mistake.’ I think his bigger problem is, frankly, with himself, with his family, with his wife than it is with his CNN colleagues. Because it was not something that was done to us. It was something stupid, horrific, kinky, freaky that he did. But it wasn’t something he was trying to do to us, his CNN colleagues.”
Jeffrey Toobin Returns to CNN After Exposing Himself in Zoom Call | The View
What’s the background?
Toobin was caught masturbating on camera during an October work call with the New Yorker, for whom he was a veteran staff writer. After his behavior came to light, Toobin
lost his New Yorker job — but CNN, for which he also worked, granted him a leave of absence rather than terminating his employment.He explained that he thought he’d turned off his camera.
“I didn’t think I was on the call. I didn’t think other people could see me,” Toobin told CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota during his high-profile return in front of the camera last week.
Toobin added to Camerota that it still didn’t excuse his behavior, and he called his actions “deeply moronic and indefensible.”
He also told Camerota he’d been in therapy during his leave of absence and did things like working at a food bank and is “trying to be a better person.”
After Toobin’s return to the cable network, the
Daily Beast said it interviewed CNN “insiders” about it — and some of them characterized Toobin’s comeback as “insane,” “awkward,” and “inappropriate.”
#BREAKING: Jeffrey Toobin RETURNS to CNN and will continue as their chief legal analyst despite having masturbated… https://t.co/Bf6sX06VVK
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck)
Past allegations against Toobin
It isn’t clear why Navarro referred to “sexual harassment,” but Toobin has been accused of it — both immediately after the notorious Zoom call and years before that.
The New York Daily News reported in 2010 that an unnamed “well-known media figure” said Toobin — who’s been married since 1986 — repeatedly hit on her at a Washington, D.C., party.
“He came up behind me and whispered in my ear,” the source told the paper, adding that “I couldn’t believe my ears. It was so disgusting. At the time, I never even knew people did that.”
The woman added to the Daily News that Toobin later followed her to her hotel room: “He tried to invite himself in. He said, ‘You know you want it.’ I said, ‘No, actually I don’t.'”
After Toobin was caught masturbating last fall, the Young Turks’ Adrienne Law tweeted in response to those defending him that “1. Masturbating at work is neither normal nor acceptable — it’s sexual harassment. 2. Individuals who engage in sexual harassment should suffer professional consequences. 3. These Toobin defenders are telling on themselves.”
The Daily News — citing an unnamed source — also reported in 2010 that after Toobin impregnated his mistress Casey Greenfield, he offered her “money if she’d have an abortion.”
The paper added that Greenfield carried the baby to term but that Toobin had stopped talking to her. The Daily News said Toobin agreed to take a DNA test, which ultimately proved he’s the father, and that a Manhattan Family Court judge ordered him to pay child support. The paper said that when Toobin refused to pay the full amount, sources claimed Greenfield’s lawyer threatened to notify his employers and garnish his wages — and then Toobin ponied up.