CNN‘s Ann Navarro has said that if viewers aren’t happy that Jeffrey Toobin has been welcomed back they can hit the cable network’s ‘profits.’
Toobin was suspended as a special legal analyst by CNN in October last year – and fired from The New Yorker – after masturbating during a Zoom conference in front of his horrified colleagues. He claims he thought his camera was off.
The 61-year-old father-of-three was subjected to a brutal welcome-back interview last week carried out by CNN’s Alisyn Camerota in which she demanded from him: ‘What were you thinking?’
Navarro, appearing on an episode of The View on Monday, remarked that she would have rather never come back to CNN than suffer such a ‘humiliating’ interview – while backing her employer’s decision to take Toobin back.
‘CNN is a for-profit business. If viewers don’t like it, then they should make their views known,’ Navarro said. ‘I think his bigger problem is frankly with himself, with his family, with his wife, than it is with his CNN colleagues.’
Navarro, appearing on an episode of The View on Monday, remarked that she would have rather never come back to CNN than suffer such a ‘humiliating’ interview – while backing her employer’s decision to take Toobin back
The CNN legal analyst was fired from his New Yorker position, which he had served for 27-years, but only served an eight month suspension at the television news network
Commenting on his sit-down with Camerota, Navarro said: ‘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’d rather go sell avocados under I-95 than get my job back on TV.’
However, she added that she wasn’t surprised to see him back on the station, despite his being permanently axed from his New Yorker post.
‘I think some instances of sexual harassment are black and white. Some instances are more nuanced. In this case he was not sexually harassing anybody. He didn’t have the intent to sexually harass somebody. He was sexually harassing himself maybe, OK?’ she said.
‘It was not a CNN Zoom call. It was with The New Yorker, from where he has been terminated and faced consequences.’
Some CNN hosts and anchors had pushed for Toobin’s return behind the scenes, sources told Fox News.
The liberal analyst has been at the network since 2002.
They came under fire for keeping Toobin and anchor Chris Cuomo following the revelation that he privately offered his legal advice to Cuomo’s brother Andrew, the governor of New York, over sexual harassment allegations.
Navarro was joined in backing Toobin by Joy Behar, who told her View co-host’s that he wasn’t a ‘bad person.’
Behar said Monday: ‘(Toobin) said that he wants to be a better person. He’s working at a food bank. I don’t see the correlation between needing to engage Mr. Happy and being a bad person,’ in an apparent reference to the writer’s penis.
Pictured: Jeffrey Toobin’s on-air return to CNN has proved to be controversial, however Behar believes the network is more to blame for having a female anchor interview him
‘I mean, maybe it causes blindness, but I don’t see how it causes you to be a bad person,’ she joked , saying that had it not been for the webcam, Toobin would have been perfectly entitled to ‘do what he was doing at home alone in their house.’
Behar was among those who bought Toobin’s claim that he did not realize his webcam was still running when he started pleasuring himself.
The married writer was seen blowing kisses to an unseen figure while lowering and raising his camera, and later apologized to his family for making ‘an embarrassingly stupid mistake.’
Behar said: ‘He didn’t know the thing was running, of course, so we forgive him that.’
The longtime View co-host even wisecracked about Toobin being caught with his pants down, claiming his behavior was an indictment of just how boring work video conferencing could be.
Behar said: ‘I’m not judging the guy, I mean it shows how boring these Zoom meetings are, that he couldn’t even wait between meetings to get himself involved with himself.’
And she then turned on CNN – saying it was inappropriate to have a female correspondent conduct his comeback interview.
‘With all the men on CNN’s payroll, they had to give it to poor Alisyn Camerota,’ Behar said of the interview on Monday’s The View.
The View co-host Joy Behar (pictured) came to the defense of disgraced CNN legal analyst and former New Yorker columnist Jeffrey Toobin on Monday
‘I don’t see the correlation between needing to engage Mr. Happy and being a bad person,’ Behar told co-host Whoopi Goldberg on Monday’s episode of The View
‘She didn’t deserve that. It was embarrassing and uncomfortable, and manipulative, I thought.’
Behar did note the hypocrisy that Toobin is back on-air, while other offenders such as comedians Louis CK and Al Franken got the proverbial boot and have remained ‘canceled’ for good.
‘Does this mean that Al Franken — get him back into the Senate — let’s get him back because I don’t know what he did that is worse than any of this,’ Behar added. ‘I really don’t understand the rules and regulations of this — what is accountable and what’s not accountable, frankly.
Louis CK infamously confirmed reports that he had purposefully masturbated in front of women without their consent, and has remained a pariah despite an attempt at a comeback tour, according to the LA Times.
Franken, a longtime SNL figure-turned-politician, was forced to resign from his position as US Senator of Minnesota in 2018 after allegations that he inappropriately kissed and harassed Leeann Tweeden while the two were on a USO tour together back in 2006, the New Yorker reported in 2019.