The media industry and CNN viewers were stunned Thursday when legal analyst Jeffrey Tubin returned for the first time since Zoom̵
Toobin, who was fired quickly by The New Yorker last year after exposing himself to video conferencing, will get a second chance at CNN, where he has been an analyst for nearly 20 years. Tubin’s embarrassing return came weeks after the network decided not to punish anchor Chris Cuomo after it was reported that he was offering political advice to his brother, New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, amid a sexual misconduct scandal.
“Liberals can say and do anything on CNN without being fired,” Kelly Bolar, a senior political analyst at Independent Women’s Voice, told Fox News.
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As a believer in forgiveness and redemption, I do not support Jeffrey Tubin’s “repeal” forever. Once we commit this obscene act and become known for it, there are undoubtedly hundreds, if not thousands, of more qualified candidates for the role of public legal analyst. CNN, ”Bolar said. “It says a lot about the network’s values that it will choose to redirect a man who masturbates on a Zoom call to his colleagues – would the same thing happen if he was a woman? Or if his name was Rick Santorum? Of course not.” “
Santorum lost his job as a Republican online last month as he told a conservative mob that immigrants had created a nation “out of nothing” based on Judeo-Christian values. The Republican political commentator was shown the door to comments that offended some liberals, while Tubin and Cuomo kept their jobs despite embarrassing CNN with their behavior.
Industry observers felt that Cuomo was safe at all times, as he was the most-watched host on the ratings-driven network, and CNN had already stood next to him on the list of laundry scandals over the past year. But Toobin’s return surprised people.
“There are many other opportunities that Toobin could use when CNN employees and viewers would not be exposed to memories of his rude and dishonest actions. But perhaps we should not be surprised,” Bolar said. “We all knew that Jeffrey Tubin was too obsessed with stroking his own ego to leave television forever. And apparently CNN’s standards are so high that even Zoom’s masturbator can bring him back.”
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Cornell Law School professor and media critic William A. Jacobson thinks the situation is different and Cuomo’s retention is more shocking.
“Toobin’s behavior was not on CNN, much less on CNN. In contrast, Chris Cuomo repeatedly embarrassed CNN on the air by failing to maintain a professional distance from his brother the governor while serving as an undisclosed adviser. “CNN tolerates Chris Cuomo’s journalistic behavior is resentment here, not that CNN broke a break for someone who had a personal problem with another employer,” Jacobson told Fox News.
In fact, Tubin was caught masturbating during a conversation about enlargement with his colleagues from The New Yorker, not with his peers from CNN. But Santorum was prepared for comments he made to the Young America Foundation, not CNN.
University of North Carolina ethics guru Lois Boynton said there were several incidents with CNN staff that called into question how the network defined discipline for wayward employees.
“Discrepancies in the way organizations look reprimanded to public employees can raise eyebrows and reduce trust,” Boynton told Fox News, noting that CNN didn’t need to explain why he detained Toobin, but the decision comes with consequences.
“While a well-known organization does not need to share details about its staffing procedures, it needs to be aware of public perceptions and how those perceptions affect public trust and loyalty,” she said.
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CNN’s own media reporters note that network presenters and hosts want Toobin back, while others report that friends of the troubled legal analyst lobbied CNN President Jeff Zucker to give him a second chance. Some joked that Toobin should have “something” for Zucker, but Grabien Media founder Tom Elliott correctly predicted the outcome months ago.
“Any normal corporation would fire Toobin approximately 12 seconds after this incident. I don’t expect CNN to do that,” Elliott told Fox News when the incident first occurred.
Elliot explained his thought process when he was visited for further comment on Thursday.
“CNN viewers already know that the network pretends to have standards only when their conservative associates are on fire. Jeffrey Lord mockingly referred to a Nazi slogan during a Twitter exchange and was sent immediately. Santorum commented. which CNN doesn’t seem to understand, and it was released, too, “Elliott told Fox News. “It’s absolutely nothing compared to what Cuomo and Tubin were caught doing.”
The founder of Grabien Media said it all comes down to politics.
“Of course, we know why these people are treated differently. CNN sees journalism as an ancillary concern; its main focus is to serve as the PR wing of the Democratic Party,” Elliott said.
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NewsBusters managing editor Curtis Huck agreed that the guerrilla network would not dare tarnish the reputation of a prominent liberal.
“CNN further revealed that there is an aversion to ethics, decency and journalistic principles by bringing back Jeffrey Tubin. Add the scandal with Chris Cuomo and even minor incidents from the past, such as Anderson Cooper’s Twitter account and you have a Jeffrey Zucker-led operation that he will go around the wagons to protect his own at all costs, “Huck told Fox News.
DePauw University professor and media critic Jeffrey McCall told Fox News that “CNN’s reporting standards are difficult to assess” and the network’s decisions regarding Cuomo and Tubin are confusing as the organization has seen a sharp decline in rating.
“It seems that CNN needs to focus mostly on reporting the ratings of its broadcasts. Even by post-election rating standards, the channel is struggling to find viewers,” McCall told Fox News. “CNN needs to do a little soul search to find out why viewers have left and to raise those in charge on and off the air for bad ratings.”
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Joseph A. Wolfson of Fox News contributed to this report.