Speaking on ABC’s “This Week,” Cokie Roberts made a startling admission: “every female in the press corps knew” to avoid being in an elevator with Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), and has apparently known about this “for years.” Conyers has been accused of multiple instances of sexual harassment and has stepped down from the House Judiciary Committee.
Despite the allegations against him, major players in the Democratic Party have defended Conyers and will not say that he should resign. Pelosi even referred to the embattled congressman as an “icon.”
Roberts was discussing the current culture on Capitol Hill with Martha Raddatz and Anna Palmer. Roberts said that while this has been the status quo for decades, she believes that things could change now that people are coming public with their experiences.
“The fact that people are willing to be public can change things. I mean, we all talked about for years,” said Roberts.
Further, Roberts says that it “does make a difference” now that women are not being shy about this kind of misconduct. Roberts implied that Conyers’ predatory behavior was an open secret among the press corps.
“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 elevator with him,” said Roberts. She continued, “Now people are saying it out loud. And I think that does make a difference.”
It’s disturbing that this kind of behavior could continue on for so long without anyone doing anything to stop it. Riding an elevator with a member of the opposite sex, especially a member of the opposite sex who is a member of Congress, should always be a safe endeavor. While I’m glad that something is finally being done, this should never be tolerated for this long ever again.