The era of Zoom calls—and its users’ accompanying stumbles—claimed a high-profile journalist and media veteran when Jeffrey Toobin was fired from the New Yorker on Wednesday.
Toobin, also CNN’s chief legal analyst, accidentally exposed himself to colleagues of the New Yorker and WNYC during a Zoom call last month.
Toobin announced his dismissal in a tweet on Wednesday, writing: “I was fired today by @NewYorker after 27 years as a Staff Writer. I will always love the magazine, will miss my colleagues, and will look forward to reading their work.”
A New Yorker spokesperson confirmed Toobin’s firing to Variety. “As a result of our investigation, Jeffrey Toobin is no longer affiliated with the company,” the spokesperson said.
On Oct. 19, according to Vice’s tech news website Motherboard, Toobin was allegedly masturbating during the call.
From Vice: “The two sources described a juncture … [when] 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 … .”
In a statement to Motherboard, Toobin said, “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. I thought no one on the Zoom call could see me. I thought I had muted the Zoom video.”
Toobin declined to comment further to CNN, and a spokesperson for CNN did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Toobin’s status at the network.
Last month, CNN said that following the incident, Toobin had “asked for some time off” and the network had granted it.