Jeffrey Toobin’s tenure at CNN, where he serves as chief legal analyst, is coming to an end after 20 years.
“Friends, I’ve decided that, after 20 years, I’m leaving @CNN, after my vacation,” he shared on Twitter Friday afternoon. “Was great to spend my last day on air with pals Wolf [Blitzer], Anderson [Cooper] and Don [Lemon]. Love all my former colleagues.”
He then tacked on a plug for his upcoming book about the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
Toobin’s time at CNN was of course tainted in fall 2020, because of his starring role in an infamous Zoom call. As reported by Vice that October, Toobin was participating in a Zoom call with colleagues from The New Yorker when several participants reportedly caught him masturbating. “I made an embarrassingly stupid mistake, believing I was off-camera,” Toobin said in a statement at the time. “I apologize to my wife, family, friends and co-workers. 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.”
In the immediate wake of that gaffe, Toobin took a leave of absence from CNN. Over at The New Yorker, where he had worked as a staff writer since 1993, Toobin was initially suspended after the incident, then got fired in November 2020 following an internal investigation into the matter.
Six months later, he resurfaced on CNN to address both his firing from The New Yorker and his continued employment at the cable news network.
Offering a not-terribly-detailed explanation for what happened, he said, “I didn’t think I was on the call. I didn’t think other people could see me,” adding that he’d spent “seven miserable months” in the pursuit of “trying to be a better person.”
“I’ve got a lot to rebuild,” he said, repeatedly noting his gratitude to CNN for keeping him on staff, “but I feel very privileged and very lucky” to be able to do so.