CNN reporter Brian Stelter has been slammed over a tweet surrounding Jeffrey Toobin's masturbation scandal.
Toobin, a New Yorker staff writer and senior legal analyst, was suspended after sources said he was seen masturbating during a Zoom call with his colleagues.
Stelter shared a link to his outlet's story on Toobin's suspension from the New Yorker and leave from CNN as the scandal emerged on Monday.
"Jeffrey Toobin has been sidelined at a pivotal moment in the run-up to the presidential election," Stelter tweeted.
"The reason: He exposed himself during a Zoom call with New Yorker colleagues in what he says was an accident."
He added in a separate tweet: "Toobin, a fixture on CNN, 'has asked for some time off while he deals with a personal issue, which we have granted,' the network said."
"I asked him if he had any further comment, but he referred back to what he told Vice, including that 'I believed I was not visible on Zoom,'" Stelter added.
Stelter's tweet was quickly ripped apart by critics.
"What are you talking about? He made a choice. This wasn't an accident. Glenn Thrush has a job and so does Toobin," one user tweeted.
"Because white men in media have a real problem they refuse to deal with," they added.
Another user wrote: "Brian, can you please explain your framing of the incident in this way? You make it sound like this was an accident."
"Masturbation is generally not an accident when done by fully functioning adult males who are participating in virtual live video conferences," one user said.
Another user tweeted: "He accidentally sexually harassed his coworkers?"
Toobin was suspended by the New Yorker, VICE reported, after sources claimed he was seen "jerking off" during a work call.
Toobin lowered his camera at one point during the call, at which sources told VICE "they could see Toobin touching his penis."
"Moments later, he called back in, seemingly unaware of what his colleagues had been able to see, and the simulation continued," VICE's report said.
Toobin since released a statement, and told VICE: "I thought no one on the Zoom call could see me. I thought I had muted the Zoom video."
The New Yorker confirmed Toobin was suspended following the scandal.
CNN said Toobin was "granted" time off that he requested "while he deals with a personal issue.
He had worked with the New Yorker for over 25 years, and been with CNN for 18.
If you or someone you know is affected by any of the issues raised in this story, call RAINN (Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network) at 800-656-HOPE (4673).
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