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Time to forget the Clarence Thomas, Anita Hill story

In elementary school, some kid must have plastered a "kick me!" sign on Clarence Thomas's back -- and it has never been taken off. Every 20 years or so, some woman surfaces to accuse the now-Supreme Court justice of being a male chauvinist pig -- to resurrect an old term from the tie-dyed era -- but falls frustratingly short of making a case for true sexual harassment. Thomas stands nearly alone on the court in his shallowness of his scholarship and the narrowness of his compassion. But when it comes to his alleged sexual boorishness, he stands condemned of being a man.

His latest accuser is an old flame of his, Lillian McEwen -- lawyer, prosecutor, administrative judge and, some desperate publisher willing, author of a manuscript detailing time kept with Thomas way back in the 1980s, a bit before the modern era. The revelations -- so banal as to comprise a virtual exoneration -- are that Thomas was obsessed with women, likes them big-breasted, and indulged in a critical viewing of pornography. For this, The Post gave McEwen some 1,500 words, which, in this day and age, is a veritable king's ransom of words -- about two of my standard op-ed columns. I am, understandably enough, mortified.

McEwen's remembrances are at least two decades old and have no bearing whatsoever on the present-day Clarence Thomas and how he conducts himself on the High Court.

In fact, they have nothing to do with anything -- unless it is to prove that nothing about Thomas and his initial accuser, Anita Hill, makes any sense. Her charges fell somewhat short of blatant, coercive, sexual harassment -- or, if they didn't, then why did she follow her abuser, Thomas, from one job to the next? A black, female Yale Law School graduate was not lacking in employment opportunities.

I long ago despaired of getting to the bottom of this case, and I long ago gave up wanting to. I concluded that Thomas as the product of a very small town -- the aptly- named Pin Point, Ga. -- who was the lone African American in a school full of whites, a racially-isolated kid who lacked the normal interactions and did not learn the requisite social graces. As for Hill, she, too, lacked a certain sophistication or judgment. If she was perplexed by him, he was perplexed by her.

I have nothing against McEwen, but I hope her book fails to find a publisher. Some of this is self-protection. I was young and boorish once myself and have turned out to be a veritable saint. I venture to say we all did and said terrible things when we were young, which is why nature protects the elderly with failing memories. I want to forget both Hill and Thomas. Let us media types let go of this story. It no longer says anything about them. But it says nothing good about us.

By Richard Cohen  | October 25, 2010; 11:05 AM ET
Categories:  Cohen  | Tags:  Richard Cohen  
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HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! What a dope.

Posted by: mikehike | October 25, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

McEwen's book did not bring this issue to the front pages; it was Virginia Thomas' strange telephone message. McEwen merely grabbed some attention; prompting your column inch envy. It is, however, typical that you didn't allow facts to interfere with your defense of sexual harassment and to attack the victim. Thomas was not challenged for being a man; men don't sexually harass subordinates in the workplace. I guess you would have to be a man to understand that.

Posted by: craigjjs | October 25, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

A saint? You sound like more of a dope.

Posted by: wswest | October 25, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Thomas' old flame was a "lawyer, prosecutor, and administrative judge..."? That borders on torture, I'd take water-boarding before McEwen. In this episode no news would've been great news.

Posted by: johnson0572 | October 25, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

What about perjury doing the confirmation hearings?

Posted by: alvin12 | October 25, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

There are women who legitimately feel as strongly about sexism as Cohen and company feel about anti-Semitism.

Posted by: Provincial | October 25, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

What a luxury it surely must be to inhabit such an entitled and privileged space that one can dismiss the very real sexual harrassment that appears to have occurred prior to 1991 and that was not addressed at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings because other similarly entitled and privileged men were in a position to prevent the testimony of those who would have been able to corroborate Anita Hill's story.

Posted by: abundles | October 25, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

I am guessing that Mr. Cohen's opinion was published only because the Washington Post likes to stir things up from time to time.

How about Roger Clemens getting indicted for lying under oath to Congress? How is this different? Where was the harm there? We have this undeserving man now sitting on the highest court of our land, creating legal authority - on decisions like pornography, sexual harassment. Growing up in a small town is no excuse for being a boor or liar. It's time for him to step down from the high court to spend more time with his family. Maybe if he did, Mrs. Thomas wouldn't be so nutty.

Posted by: Dr20854 | October 25, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

So when Mr. Cohen was young and boorish, was it when he was in his 40s and did he lie to Congress about it? I think the problem is that we aren't talking about a high school or college kid, we're talking about an adult way beyond his teens or twenties and his inability to accept responsibility for his actions and even going so far as to lie about them.

No wonder they talk about his novel legal thinking, he has the mind and thought processes of a 13 year old.

Posted by: ThomasFiore | October 25, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Gee, Mr. Cohen, have you been hanging out at porn stores along with Clarence? All Mr. Thomas did was to exchange his long overcoat for Supreme Court robes. Flashman!Next maybe we can see him in a three-cornered hat to go with his wife's Betsy Ross outfit. The man is not fit for the Court as his penchant for lying, amateurish opinions, and his overt sexism has shown.

Posted by: jharris99 | October 25, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

This may well be the most stupid editorial I have EVER read. To continue to trash Anita Hill and her lack of "sophistication and judgment," given that Ginni Thomas resurrected the entire affair, shows the enduringly bad judgment of some men to the issue of sexual harassment. Really, truly, Mr. Cohen, this ranks down there at the bottom of the pile.

Posted by: dn31657 | October 25, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

But Andrew:

What is your take on the the Ms. Thomas request for an apology?

I suppose that issue may die shortly, but I, for one, am wondering if there was more than met the media/punditry eye in her motivation...

Posted by: Spectator | October 25, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Mr cohen,

Surely you gest!! Or is this your way of stirring up some controversy to add to your readership. If your mother, daughter or sister had been sexually harrassed in the workplace in such a boorish way, would your column have still remained the same?
Besides, it was not Ms Hill, or Ms Wright or Ms McEwen who brought this back up. It was Virginia Thomas, whom I strongly suspect was trying to divert attention from her own deeds!!!

As I recall, it was not Ms Hill who brought this up during the hearings 19 years ago. Was it not only after she was contacted by congressional investigators knocked on her door to question her about rumors that abounded?

Posted by: pb1174 | October 25, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Justice Thomas should just apologize to Anita Hill and we can all get over it. Simple, but we know that won't happen, he cannot admit he said or did any of the things she said because then he would be a Justice that lied to Congress.

Posted by: KCHam | October 25, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Shouldn't Mr. Cohen disclose his own experience with a sexual harassment investigation at the Washington Post before holding forth on the appropriateness or journalistic value of last week's article about Lillian McEwen?

Posted by: Observer54 | October 25, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

WOW - what nonsense. If you want to forget something don't write a column about the very thing you want to forget.

Amazing how you disparage the women but say of Thomas he may have said something.

Are we suppose to take this serious?

Posted by: rlj1 | October 25, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Cohen, I often enjoy your columns, but this one is offensive. Dear, sweet "Ginni" Thomas' harassment of Hill, after 20 years, is the reason we're talking about this, not McEwan or Hill. The issue isn't whether Thomas is a legal lightweight or a porno dog--he is--but whether he committed perjury in his confirmation hearings before Congress. And I think you know it.

Posted by: nyskinsdiehard | October 25, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Reading Mr Cohen's article and the post. led to my own curiosity about such an odly focused post by the author. Mkaes you go hmmmmm.

Posted by: pb1174 | October 25, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

If I were C. Thomas, I would be in my wife's face so fast she wouldn't know what hit her...and demand to know why she called Hill...

Ms. Thomas is not a happy woman...and undoubtedly is insecure about her husband's for the girlfriend...don't blame her for the FREE publicity Thomas's wife gave her for the new book sure to come out...

Posted by: pentagon40 | October 25, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

The full blown lynching of Thomas by the left should be remembered only for the reason to understand the rampant racism of the left. As long as blacks stay on the plantation and speak only the master's thoughts they are okay. Let them think for themselves and they are crucified time and time again. Micheal Steel being called an Uncle Tom, the treatment of Condalisa Rice and so on are other examples of this.

Posted by: Pilot1 | October 25, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Do you have an editor?

"I concluded that Thomas as the product of a very small town -- the aptly- named Pin Point, Ga. -- who was the lone African American in a school full of whites, a racially-isolated kid who lacked the normal interactions and did not learn the requisite social graces."

That's not even close to being a sentence. By the way, do you defend Thomas and disparage McEwen because you consider him a brother in arms, fighting the whiny we-don't-like-being-sexually-harassed-women of the world? They should probably just suck it up, huh?

Posted by: pwk114 | October 25, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

I followed the link someone else provided regarding the author of this appallingly thoughtless column.

"Mr. Cohen feels he has been the victim of a witch-hunt atmosphere. "It's not like he groped someone," said Mr. Auletta. "He's being accused of saying things that are insensitive. Well, grow up.… This is Dick Cohen being Dick Cohen, and politically correct people being wusses." "

As a professional woman, I think Mr. Cohen is a throwback to the time when women weren't taken seriously at work and harassment was just part of the job. The fact that he chose to take Thomas's side is understandable, given his history. He probably doesn't see that either man did anything unusual, which I think was probably true of many on the judiciary committee in 1991. I am surprised that some editor at the post, knowing the history, allowed this "blame the victim/forgive the perpetrator" tripe to be published.

The victim is NOT Clarence Thomas.

I would like those members of Congress who supported the Clinton impeachment and the accusations of baseball players (but not tobacco executives) of perjury to take Justice Thomas's perjury seriously.

Reminder: Crimes against women are crimes.

Posted by: pcoxy | October 25, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

It wasn't the girlfriend who started this again. It was the (stupid??) wife opening up old wounds. What was she thinking? The girlfriend ???. Just say his taste in women is no better than his voting record at the Court. Anita tried her best to warn us about what a jerk he is. I might but the book (not read it) just to get back at him for many loust decisions.

Posted by: sept121981 | October 25, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

THOMAS' wife is a certifiable wing nut and Clarence is a pathetic jurist. That Anita Hill is somehow at fault smells of the idiot PALIN claiming that every stupid thing she says makes her a "victim of the librul media" when reported. Thomas mysoginy is a private matter. His right wing activism from the bench hurts our nation.

Posted by: mrtimmaulden | October 25, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

The full blown lynching of Thomas by the left should be remembered only for the reason to understand the rampant racism of the left. As long as blacks stay on the plantation and speak only the master's thoughts they are okay. Let them think for themselves and they are crucified time and time again. Micheal Steel being called an Uncle Tom, the treatment of Condalisa Rice and so on are other examples of this.

Posted by: Pilot1 | October 25, 2010 7:17 PM

Excellent satire, my friend!!!

Posted by: mrtimmaulden | October 25, 2010 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Richard Cohen is dead wrong.

The real issue is whether Clarence Thomas lied under oath to Congress when he was testifying at his confirmation hearings in 1991.

A finding that several different women all asserted that he did sexually harass them and/or others, and he then categorically denied it in order to be confirmed would be the basis for such an impeachment for lying. There is no statute of limitations for such an offense.

If that is what he did, he should now be IMPEACHED for lying under oath to Congress (e.g., the cover-up is always far worse than the actual offense).

Do you get it now, Richard?

Posted by: patentphd | October 26, 2010 1:47 AM | Report abuse

Boy - did you miss it!

Any person that sees half the entire population of his world as an object there to entertain him, to stimulate him, to accept and even encourage his boorishness has no business being a judge of anything.

Never has, never will.

I have no sympathy for his wife. Neither he or she have behaved in any way to indicate that the charges were false. He dragged it up in his book; she has taken a pile dive into extremism for a Judge's wife, and now added to Anita Hill's torture from him by demanding an apology for HIS crimes.

Their gall knows no bounds, bubbles up out of all sensible proportion when they ought to be able to get over it if it was just one silly woman making a silly accusation as they claim.

And yes, the Senate behavior was unforgivable, to refuse to allow the women who could corroborate Hill's claims to testify.

That was when we all knew every word she said was true.

Posted by: dutchess2 | October 26, 2010 5:30 AM | Report abuse

I don't care about Bill Clinton's or Clarence Thomas's sexual lives. I do care about Thomas's professional opinions and I do care whom he hangs around with and for those I believe he is a disgrace to the Court. A brilliant and wise male chauvinist pig might be quite welcome at this point if they did the right thing by their country which Thomas does not.

Posted by: DLN1 | October 26, 2010 6:44 AM | Report abuse

Is this one of those "Would you like to be a columnist?" contest submissions?

If so, give this guy the boot!

Posted by: familynet | October 26, 2010 7:59 AM | Report abuse

What Clarence Thomas did was and is against the law and he now sits on the highest court in this land and you see no problem? Do you understand that he committed a crime?

Is this the attitude you would take if this happened to yourself, your mother, your wife, your sister, your daughter, to let by gones be by gones, and is this caviler mentality extended to other sensitive issues as well?

You confess that you have done the same yourself, so that must make it ok, because you have victimized others and seen the errors of your ways, everything's ok now?

You are part of the problem Mr.Cohen.

Posted by: shutoz | October 26, 2010 8:14 AM | Report abuse

If nothing else, I hope this will get Justice Thomas to recuse himself in any cases involving large-breasted women.

Posted by: dudh | October 26, 2010 8:24 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, Mr. Cohen, but you just showed yourself to be either an idiot or a pig. Behaving the way he did at work is absolutely harassment and a man who views half the human race as subhuman objects that only exist for his pleasure doesn't belong anywhere near the Supreme Court. As for bringing this up again, blame his wife. Anita Hill didn't go looking for this publicity, nor did McEwan; it came to them courtesy of Ginni Thomas' sad obsession with this issue. Poor woman.

Posted by: 1toughlady | October 26, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

you are obviously not finished with the Thomas-Hill history. As pointed out before, this came to light because of Ms. Thomas' decision to contact Anita Hill. Of course, this prompted attention to the new book and its author. Natural. However, you spent some of your precious recounting your opinion about Ms. Hill. Why? You just raised the issue that Ms. Hill has not raised in order to raise a point about your opinion about Hill and Thomas. Let it go, if you can.

Posted by: jisaac1 | October 26, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Oh right! Whether a Supreme Court justice perjured himself is of absolutely no interest to anyone. Mr. Cohen, you're supposed to be a journalist!

Posted by: kstack | October 26, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Mrs. Ginnie Thomas deserves what she got/has...Mr. Thomas...a nothing

Posted by: fairness3 | October 26, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Boy. I imagine even people who came down for Clarence Thomas and against Anita Hill, even people who actually believe that it's fully appropriate for a Supreme Court justice to not ask a single question from the bench for more than four years straight (, probably have a hard time standing behind the ideas set forth in this column. Richard Cohen seems to be nostalgic for the Mad Men days of his youth, when it was fully appropriate to dismiss sexual harrassment as boorish youthfulness. Cheez.

Posted by: jennamcjenna | October 26, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Unfortunately until Clarence Thomas leaves the Supreme Court no one can forget. It is his legacy because he is a big zero as a justice.

Posted by: santaregina | October 26, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

I think we all know a couple of things. Oj. murdered his wife and Clarence Thomas was sexually abusive to Anita Hill. We know this. Anita Hill could not have made UP such a story...especially about the coke. No. Thomas is a silent, brooding, pervert. He should never have been on the court in the first place and what a travesty of justice that he HAS been on the highest court in the country with such a past. Even if it were NOT true, the story was so disturbing and so graphic. We, the public, did not know who to believe and the 'impropriety of potential misdeeds' was enough to kick that man to the curb. The story itself was enough..true or not. Too much 'possibility' of his guilt.

Posted by: lanomore | October 26, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Clarence Thomas wasn't young and boorish, once, he was an angry, resentful sexual harrasser. Read his recent book -- it is seething still of anger and resentment. How many of his decisions have been colored by the fact that he still clings to the real and perceived wrongs of his past? How have his sexual, shall we say, "peccadillos," entered into his decisions on the SC? The normally tied to the apron strings of Scalia Thomas broke free to offer a dissenting opinion of why adolescent girls should be stripped searched in school. Thomas lied before the Senate judiciarcy committee and now we are stuck with a very flawed, troubled man on the Court for the duration of his life.

Posted by: Sandydayl | October 26, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

What a bloody racist this hack is.

An unmatched blend of elitism, racism, and dripping condescension:

"...a racially-isolated kid who lacked the normal interactions and did not learn the requisite social graces. As for Hill, she, too, lacked a certain sophistication or judgment."

This guy has a job with so many college educated persons - young and old

Posted by: varan | October 26, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

we had forgotten about it, why did Ginii bring it up???

Posted by: maryjane19681 | October 26, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Richard's got his own little harrassment problem:

Posted by: RollaMO | October 26, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Cohen, this column is an embarrassment.

Women everywhere laugh at dinosaurs like you.

Posted by: ijespah | October 26, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

The enlightened inspiration for "The Peter Principle" has finally revealed himself.

Posted by: dmgrunfeld | October 26, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

The timing of these disclosures may help Thomas - hiding behind the turmoil of the election.

But this should be too powerful a story for those who see it as an opportunity to change the balance of the court. Investigations that may (or may not) lead to impeachment can take a long time, with continual embarrassment on the front pages across the country.

We had Monicagate.

We had Watergate.

Now we can have PubicHairGate.

Posted by: KHMJr | October 26, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Did Cohen actually READ the article he links to? McEwen reports Thomas confessed to her that he'd asked a large-breasted colleague her bra size (!) And the article goes on to report that a female underling complained Thomas had asked her bra size, an account that was corrobotated (!!!)

This isn't a guy who's into big boobs in his private life, this is a guy who is insanely far over the line in the workplace. For God's sake, are we pretending it's normal for a man to ask his colleague at her bra size? What planet is Richard Cohen on?

I'm mortified they give you any op-eds at all. There are thousands of talented, insightful writers in America, male and female, who don't have issues with women. You are insulting ALL men when you suggest this behavior is "just being a guy." Millions of men aren't scumbags and sleazeballs, and they go into work every day and treat their female colleagues like human beings.

After reading this, I am completely unsurprised that Richard Cohen has been disciplined for behaving inappropriately towards a female underling. What surprises me is that the Washington Post thinks it's acceptable to have on staff a man who prints an apologia for harassers everywhere, arguing that it's normal and acceptable behavior to sexually harrass a colleague. If I were a plantiff's lawyer, I expect something like this would be a very strong piece of evidence that the Washington Post supports and encourages a professional culture of sexual harassment.

Posted by: theorajones1 | October 26, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Not surprising that you side with Clarence the Pervert, considering your own proclivities for sexual harassment Richard.

The real question is why the Washington Post continues to pay you to crank out this swill.

Posted by: rochrist | October 26, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Wow. A sexual predator defending a sexual predator. What a shock.

Posted by: Furious_Frank | October 26, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Identity politics: People (like Richard Cohen) who sexually harrass their coworkers (like Devon Spurgeon) will always defend people like themselves.

Never Forget:

Posted by: westofthedc | October 26, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

"The bottom line is that Richard Cohen doesn't see anything wrong with mistreating women in the workplace. He's done it himself. And he wasn't young when he did it. By the time he abused Devon Spurgeon he'd been working for the Post for thirty years."


Posted by: edfunk1 | October 26, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

How about we start using Mr. Cohen's name to mean "middle-aged guy using the news as an excuse to talk sex to women half his age and who find him repulsive?"

Posted by: oldabandonedbeachhouse | October 26, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Provincial wrote: "There are women who legitimately feel as strongly about sexism as Cohen and company feel about anti-Semitism."

I'd revise that to say that there are women _and_men_ who legitimately feel as strongly about sexism as Cohen and company feel about anti-Semitism.

If only Lillian McEwen had testified in 1991, we might have been spared 19+ years of Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court.

Posted by: cosmobrown | October 26, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

I wonder what Kati Marton would have to say about your post, Richard. 1987 is not so long ago, is it?

Posted by: moe99 | October 26, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

McEwen did not accuse him of sexual harrassment--she said that the anecdotes about Thomas as a porn hound seemed consistant to her experiences with him while they dated. And it came up because Mrs. Thomas won't let things go, not McEwen.

Posted by: ciocia1 | October 26, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Wait - isn't Cohen the same fool who thinks that he's funny and Steven Colbert is not?

Wapo, please put this relic out to pasture and hire somebody with a clue.

Posted by: john95409 | October 26, 2010 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Here's a graf from the New York Observer that quite a few have referenced:

In its editorials on the Monica Lewinsky matter, The Washington Post has repeatedly urged President Bill Clinton to explain his relationship with the young White House intern, calling his silence “harmful, not just shifty.” Such sentiments have been echoed by Post columnist Richard Cohen, who has suggested that Mr. Clinton should “‘fess up and move on.” But when Mr. Cohen himself was accused of engaging in “inappropriate behavior” toward Devon Spurgeon, a 23-year-old editorial aide at the paper, Post management went into its own form of crisis mode: Staff members are forbidden to discuss the matter, the participants in the dispute have been frozen out by superiors, and Post executive editor Leonard Downie Jr. is refusing to comment. The episode has increased tensions between the sexes at the paper, Post staff members have said, and has exposed a rift between a salty old guard and younger colleagues grappling with the complicated issues of interoffice gender politics.

Read more at Wonkette: Richard Cohen Loves Sexual Harassment

Posted by: edlharris | October 26, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

My, how the Post has fallen, from the courage of Watergate era to this.

The demise of newspapers like Post will come no soon, and no one will be sorry for it.

Posted by: varan | October 27, 2010 12:27 AM | Report abuse

Dear Lord, Cohen is such a buffoon. I don't know which argument is worse,
a. McEwen's comments that support Hill's allegations are 'a virtual exoneration' of Thomas (???!!!!)
b. Sexually harassing a subordinate in the workplace is normal for 'being a man'
c. That Thomas' background of racial isolation somehow excuses him for harassment and perjury in his confirmation hearing
Cohen's post is simply ridiculous on a couple different levels.

Posted by: JohninReno | October 27, 2010 5:51 AM | Report abuse

When I am senator in AR I will introduce a constitutional amendment to eliminate the lifetime appointment of judges and eliminate the presidency altogether. The Senate will be the only remaining body with power not directly tied to supporters like it is now.
It will also create term limits for congress and senate.
Democracy either becomes more democratic or it dies.

Posted by: curtis4 | October 27, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Gee Dick it's difficult to forget Clarence Thomas' affair reguarding Anita Hill, he has a lifetime appointment now.Every 5-4 decision that comes down from the high and almighty reminds everyone that had a TV back then what happened. Every time Mrs. Thomas starts feeling sorry for herself and decides to call Anita Hill we'll hear about it Dick. And Dick worst of all we'll have to also hear a rehash of your own peculiar thoughts on the subject not to mention your own foray into sexual harassment.

Posted by: copyspec | October 27, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

What a load of garbage! Cohen, you may not think that sexually harassing a subordinate is a big deal, but I'll bet even you think that PERJURY is a big deal. McEwen's comments only add to an already huge pile of evidence supporting Hill's testimony, which, if true, means we have a perjurer sitting on the Supreme Court. And that's a big freaking deal.

Posted by: dubiouslygreat | October 27, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

The Post fired Dave Weigel, but Richie Cohen keeps drawing paychecks?

How low can this paper sink?

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | October 27, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Richard: Get a grip. You were in your fifties when you, in the words of your employer, created a hostile work environment for Devon Spurgeon. You may sympathize with Clarence Thomas, but that says more about you and your sexism and misogyny than it does about anything else.

Posted by: AkaWho | October 27, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Glad to know that lying in your confirmation testimony is no biggie. Too bad we can't retroactively impeach GWHB for inflicting this waste of space upon the Supreme Court. Also too bad the House lacks the fortitude to impeach him and the Senate the will to remove him.

Posted by: EAHarrison | October 27, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Time to forget? As if Mr. Cohen ever considered its historical significance and continuing impact? Clarence Thomas' job performance at EEOC was abysmal. Never became an issue for the Senate or commercial journalists. The smear campaign against Anita Hill was just that, designed to distract and discredit, to ignore evidence and focus on unassailable symbol. Mental stability as irrelevant to the job of Supreme Court Justicing? Maybe Justice Thomas was just copying off of Justice Scalia all these years. He hasn't exhibited many thoughts of his own, other than a serious shoulder chip that comes off as personal pettiness.

Perhaps because it was such a sordid chapter in the history of commercial news media sexing up a story (the only real question being one of intent vs. incompetence), mainstream journalists would just as soon, as Mr. Cohen might say, put it to death.

Looking back, I wonder how many other unreported stories that protected the powerful have been obscured by the sheen from Mr. Cohen's halo (as far as I know, Bob Woodward hasn't claimed the mantle of sainthood or he'd be thrown into this self-congratulatory mosh pit, too).

Posted by: omartraore | October 27, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Fire this Dick! Fire this Dick! Fire this Dick! Fire this Dick! Fire this Dick! Fire this Dick! Fire this Dick!

Posted by: tommo2 | October 27, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

UPDATE: According to the New York Observer, Cohen - who wrote this drivel - has been disciplined for making sexually explicit remarks to other employees at the Post before, although that internal inquiry concluded that while Cohen had helped create a "hostile working environment" and had engaged in "inappropriate behavior" he was not guilty of "sexual harassment," which I guess explains why he's splitting hairs here.

Posted by: Duly_Noted | October 27, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

This is outrageous. Maybe you should resign, Mr. Cohen. I was perfectly willing to forgive and forget Justice Thomas when Tea Party Ginny ripped open the scab. Then Mrs. McEwen started talking and confirmed a lot of what Ms. Hill alleged. Blame Mrs. Clarence Thomas for making revisit an unpleasant history.

Clarence Thomas is a serial sexual harasser, along with your former Post colleague "Don" Juan Williams. Perhaps, Mr. Cohen, you engage in the same sport with females at the office.

You have much rather had Ms. Hill ignore Ginny Thomas' mentally disturbed crank call (in my experience, the only people who make such calls are drunk, drugged, mentally ill or all three), than to deal with this unpleasantness.

Posted by: fabucat58 | October 27, 2010 10:49 PM | Report abuse

I thought your stupidity was an act; I was mistaken.

Posted by: neec13 | October 29, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

If this is allowed by the Washington Post comment guidelines, I would like to provide my e-mail address for any others here who would like to sign a petition/letter to the Post to express the opinion that Richard Cohen should be fired. The address is Thanks.

Posted by: jv1759 | October 29, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

The willful blindness to double standards reflected in this op-ed is appalling. A POTUS lied to Congress about sordid personal behavior. Our nation's government ground to a halt for an entire year. A nominee to SCOTUS, coequal branch of government, lied to Congress about sordid personal behavior. He got approved by a hair, so to speak; went on to a thoroughly undistinguished career; and serves to this day as a rubber stamp for the most results-oriented jurisprudence in living memory. But hey, Cohen says, give it a pass; it's water under the bridge.

This is the ongoing destruction of our beloved republic that we're talking about. Cohen deserves to go, but that's the least of it. Thomas deserves to squirm in his uncomfortable SC seat for as long as he holds it.

Posted by: Howeman | October 29, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

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