CNN's leftwing media guru Brian Stelter was on cleanup duty following the messy return of his disgraced colleague, chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin who returned on-air for the first time since his Zoom masturbation scandal last fall.
Toobin blew up Twitter on Thursday after he sat down with CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota to awkwardly address his indecent exposure that resulted in his firing from The New Yorker and an extended leave of absence from the liberal network.
Despite the heavy backlash that continued into Friday, Stelter suggested in his "Reliable Sources" newsletter on Thursday night that the Toobin comeback was already old news.
"There were a wide range of reactions to the news on Thursday afternoon. But by nightfall, I pretty much sensed that the social media conversation had moved on to other subjects..." Stelter wrote.
In his report for CNN's website, Stelter claimed Toobin had support among "some" of the on-air talent, but refrained from naming names.
"I still think Brian Stelter is flat out lying by saying several hosts want him back if he can't name any of them," Tablet Magazine CTO Noam Blum reacted. "Although if he isn't lying, it shows that anyone supporting him there knows they will get crap from the media and their viewers for it, so they'd rather close ranks anonymously. So either Stelter is lying, or the people who spoke to him are all snakes."
CNN, the network that's become known for shaming anyone who doesn't back its ideology, was accused of having no shame after it rolled out the red carpet for its X-rated legal pundit, who sheepishly claimed during his rehabilitation interview that he "wasn't thinking very well or very much" when he was seen masturbating on a work Zoom call with his New Yorker colleagues.
Toobin, who kept his hands visibly above the table throughout the interview, suggested the New Yorker acted too harshly by terminating him after working at the magazine for nearly three decades but expressed hope he could regain trust in CNN viewers.
"I mean, obviously, I love the New Yorker. I loved working there. I felt like I was a very good contributor to that magazine for a very long time, and I thought this punishment was excessive, but look, you know, that's why they don't ask the criminal to be the judge in his own case. I mean, I thought it was an excessive punishment. I'm incredibly grateful to CNN for taking me back," Toobin told Camerota.