It's time to flush the horny predators from the swamp once and for all.

The horny and the powerful have been riding roughshod over men and women in this country for as long as anyone can remember.  Under church spires and capitol domes. On casting couches and even in our classrooms, powerful men and women have victimized their prey using sexual harassment and assault to get their way.

Priests, teachers, performers, politicians, bosses and more have violated a trust in order to control their victims while satisfying their own sordid needs.  It's enough to make you sick.  What troubles me as much about all of this is that everyone seems to know it is going on but no one does anything to stop it.

When movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was publically exposed we learned that it was the best unkept secret in Hollywood.  Same with Bill Cosby.  When the world learned of the extent to which Catholic priests were molesting children we also found out that the church hierarchy knew about it and moved priests from parish to parish to cover it up.  That allowed the cycle of abuse to continue.

As we begin to peel back the layers of the culture of sexual harassment in government it is astounding to learn that some $15 million dollars in hush money was paid out to victims of harassment on Capitol Hill to buy their silence.  Congressman John Conyer's office alone paid out $27 thousand dollars to one victim.  This is taxpayer money.  But again, none of this shenanigans is occurring in a vacuum.

NPR's Cokie Roberts told ABC's THIS WEEK program on Sunday that "for years" the female press corps has covered up sexual misconduct on Capitol Hill;

"I mean, we all talked about it for years: Don't get in the elevator with him, you know, and the whole...every female in the press corps knew that, right, don't get in the elevator with him."

If every female in the press corps knew that sexual harassment was occurring and no one did or said anything to expose it are they not complicit?  How many women or men became victims because Cokie and crew turned their heads?  And what does this say about the war on women when other women ignore this type of victimization?

Cokie Roberts should immediately address her comments and provide a list the men she says she avoided elevator rides with, no?

Certainly it is understandable why some folks remain silent about their own victimization but how someone could avoid elevator rides with known sexual predators and not blow the whistle on them is reprehensible.

Editor's Note: Barry Richard is the afternoon host on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from Noon-3pm. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

Source material from ABC's THIS WEEK, 


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