A NUMBER of media outlets are defending CNN star Jeffrey Toobin over his Zoom masturbation scandal and are saying we should "forget it happened."
The disgraced anchor – who was spotted by horrified Zoomers as he exposed himself and masturbated during a group call with the The New Yorker and WNYC radio – now has some people feeling sorry for him.
Toronto Star columnist Vinay Menon sympathized the CNN pundit in an opinion piece titled: "Horrified by Jeffrey Toobin’s penis? Put it away, for now."
In the article, published on Tuesday, Menon acknowledged the possibility of"trauma experienced by anyone on that video chat" and insisted "we need to keep perspective."
"We need to see the big picture. Granted, there are few things more unprofessional than masturbating during a company meeting," Menon explained.
"Toobin is a lawyer. His judgment is now suspect. I get it. All I’m saying is we need to forget this ever happened. Block it out."
Menon then revealed that he "doesn't care if Toobin is a weirdo or a pervert."
He added: "I don’t care if he fondles himself 20 times a day while wearing a sun hat and listening to Mozart. What I care about is his brain and his analytic skills.
"He made an embarrassingly stupid mistake. Let’s leave it at that and get on with saving America."
Toobin was suspended by the New Yorker and is taking a leave of absence from CNN after the incident was revealed by VICE.
He has since apologized telling VICE in a statement: "I made an embarrassingly stupid mistake, believing I was off-camera. I apologize to my wife, family, friends and co-workers.”
Toobin added: "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 aftermath of the incident, Vox reporter German Lopez wrote a since-deleted tweet: "Not sure someone getting caught doing something almost everyone does should be a national story."
Conor Friedersdorf, a staff writer with The Atlantic, held the coronavirus pandemic accountable for Toobin's shocking Zoom incident.
He tweeted: "When Occam's Razor suggests someone humiliated himself through a combo of technological error, pandemic circumstances, bad judgment, & bad luck, it seems like we should react w/ empathy, politeness, & forgiveness, as we would want to be treated, rather than punitive mockery."
A senior culture writer at BuzzFeed also reacted to Toobin's wrongdoing – in an article titled: "Jeffrey Toobin Can’t Be The Only Person Masturbating On Work Zoom Calls."
Scaachi Koul said: "We’re almost finished with our seventh full month of quarantine, a hellscape of endless Zoom happy hours… and Zoom work calls.
"Haven’t we all done something on a work call that, in normal circumstances, we’d never do during a meeting?
"Let he without sin cast the first stone; the benefit of working from home is in the comfort to do whatever you want.
"Endless snacks without judgment, cigarette breaks at your leisure, Real Housewives on all goddamn day."
She insisted "it would be naive to think that most people aren’t engaged in some f***ery during a work Zoom."
Koul added: "That’s the benefit of all this time working from home — the aberration in our routine allows for deviations in our day, which can include pleasure.
"You’re going to tell me you’ve never taken a quick three minutes midday to crank your hog? To mash your meat? To butter your own muffin? There’s so little joy left in our lives; are we not at least owed the time to toot our own horns?"
She did, however, agree there is a "time and place" for personal matters.
Professor Jonathan Zimmerman suggested Toobin's "pseudo-scandal" suggests Americans have a "collective unease with masturbation."
He wrote his thoughts in a Daily News essay and reminded readers that "nobody has suggested that Toobin willfully exposed himself to others."
Zimmerman concluded his essay by saying: "News flash: Toobin masturbates. But I’m guessing that you do the same, dear reader.
"Maybe you should stop feeling weird and guilty about that. Then we can all stop making fun of Jeffrey Toobin."
Meanwhile, broadcaster Brian Stelter was criticized on Twitter for dubbing the public pleasure session an "accident."
His statement prompted social media users to slam Stelter replies, with one writing: "I've never 'accidentally' masturbated in any situation and I'd guess that goes for 99.99 percent of people."
"What was accidental about it, that he was caught?" another replied.
It comes as another insider revealed to Fox the network was still reeling from the 60-year-old's past scandals, including impregnating a woman more than 30 years his junior, and this could be the final straw.
Despite the anti-Trump pundit being married to his former Harvard classmate Amy McIntosh since 1986 and having two daughters with her – he reportedly cheated on his wife with lawyer Casey Greenfield.
The lawyer allegedly had a secret affair with the best-selling author for nearly a decade – and their rumored relationship produced a love child in 2008.
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