UNITED STATES: After 20 years, CNN legal expert Jeffrey Toobin announced his departure from the network on Friday. In a shocking tweet, he said he would not be coming back from vacation.
Although Chris Licht, the new boss, is believed to have forced Toobin out, despite his claims to the contrary.
The analyst was notoriously caught masturbating on a Zoom chat with colleagues from the New Yorker magazine, but Jeff Zucker, the discredited former president of CNN, invited him back.
“He’s moving CNN back to the center, he abolished the ridiculous breaking news cut-ins and graphics that drove everyone crazy, and he knows that no one will shed a tear after Toobin’s departure, especially the women of CNN,” a source said.
After 27 years with The New Yorker, Toobin was reportedly let off in November 2020 after being caught on tape masturbating while having a Zoom call with colleagues. He said that when he started making love to himself, he had no idea that his camera was still on.
To the dismay of many at the network, CNN suspended him for eight months before allowing him to return.
Although Toobin claimed that his decision to quit was his own, some employees believed it to be a part of Chris Licht’s larger plan to clean up the network following problems involving anchor Chris Cuomo and the company’s president, Jeff Zucker.
“He just needs to fix 9 pm. We’re all rooting for the talented and undervalued Dana Bash to be given that slot. You want a neutral journalist to appeal to both sides; he’s got to put Dana in,” the anonymous source added.
The previous occupant of the 9 pm time slot was Chris Cuomo, whose program Cuomo Prime Time was cancelled in late November as a result of the anchor’s suspension and subsequent firing for assisting his brother, the former governor of New York Andrew Cuomo, during the latter’s investigation into allegations of sexual harassment.
Since November, Jim Acosta, Laura Coates, Michael Smerconish, and Sarah Sidner have all been put through their paces as potential replacements for the 9 p.m. show on CNN.
Toobin appeared on various network programmes, and on Friday, he expressed his regret at leaving his CNN colleagues.
“Friends, I’ve decided that, after 20 years, I’m leaving @CNN after my vacation,” he tweeted.
When Toobin returned to CNN a year ago, in June 2021, he was given a lengthy interview in which he apologised profusely to his coworkers for his “deeply moronic” actions and expressed his gratitude for being let back on the air.
On the Zoom call, he continues to insist that he believed he had muted himself and was no longer visible.
In addition, Toobin said he had spent “seven horrible months” away from the microphone “trying to be a better person.”
He added that he had been in therapy and had spent time volunteering.
Before he was let off due to the Zoom episode, Toobin had worked as a staff writer at the New Yorker since 1993.
Since 2002, he has contributed to CNN.
He has famously covered the OJ Simpson trial for the New Yorker in the 1990s and later wrote a book about his coverage that became the basis of ‘The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story’ TV show in 2016.