Legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin was back on CNN Thursday for the first time since he was caught on a work Zoom call back in October exposing himself to colleagues at The New Yorker. He was fired from that job, but CNN has decided to bring him back after a 7-month break. During the appearance, Toobin apologized to his wife, family, colleagues at the New Yorker and at CNN. Anchor Alisyn Camerota started the interview by asking him, “What the hell were you thinking?”
Here’s Toobin’s response:
“Well, obviously I wasn’t thinking very well or very much, and it was something that was inexplicable to me. I think one point… I didn’t think I was on the call. I didn’t think people could see me… Now, that is not a defense. This was deeply moronic and indefensible, but that is part of the story.”
He went on to say that he has done a lot of thinking and therapy since the incident.
“I have spent the seven subsequent months, miserable months in my life trying to be a better person. In therapy, trying to do some public service, working in a food bank, working on a new book. I am trying to become the kind of person that people can trust again.”
He also said he thought the punishment from the New Yorker was excessive and expressed that he was grateful CNN kept him on staff. The Washington Post wrote:
Requesting anonymity to speak frankly, a network executive told The Washington Post that enough time had passed since the incident, and Toobin deserved a second chance.
“I don’t think that one terrible mistake should define a person or ruin their employment opportunities for life,” the executive said, noting that Toobin had already been humiliated and mocked for a “wildly embarrassing” but “unintentional” mistake.