News & Politics

S.E. Cupp Says She Was Sexually Intimidated by Coworkers... and a SENATOR

S.E. Cupp of the CNN program "Crossfire" poses at the CNN Worldwide All-Star Party, on Friday, Jan. 10, 2014, in Pasadena, Calif. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

On Thursday night, conservative commentator S.E. Cupp devoted her entire one-hour “Unfiltered” program on HLN to talk about sexual harassment. She recalled three experiences of her own that make clear that the #MeToo movement certainly is of value.

Although she said she could’ve gone on for hours and hours with dozens of examples, Cupp decided to keep it short by giving “just” three. “One,” she said, “an anchor grabbed my ass.” Some men may think that doing so is “funny,” but if these stories make one thing clear, it’s that to women, it is anything but. It frightens them and truly makes them feel violated — which, of course, they actually are.

In another story, and this is one that I’d like to know more about, she says that she was on set with a senator who literally grabbed her thigh under the table while on camera. When something like that happens, most women are truly in shock, which is why it takes many of them such a long time to speak out about it. It would’ve been best if she had responded instantly — on camera, with everybody watching — but that’s simply too difficult for most people in such an unexpected and humiliating situation (being sexually harassed makes one feel less of oneself!).

Still, though, now that time has passed, I’d like to know who this senator is. The #MeToo campaign is incredibly important, but only if it’s accompanied by actually naming and shaming men who sexually harass women. Just saying “I have been sexually abused or intimidated” isn’t sufficient. We need to know who displayed such unacceptable behavior so they can be chased out of the Senate — and the media.

Because, yes, such despicable behavior isn’t only displayed by rich and powerful senators. As Cupp explained Thursday evening, her third story of sexual harassment features a male colleague at another location. He informed her out of the blue that he had a nickname for her:

“Welcome S.E., I just want you to know, I’ve been calling you C-cup around the office,” he said.

“I thought, ‘You’re an idiot. What an idiot. You’re mic-ed. I’m mic-ed. You’re saying this in an earpiece and I’m pretty sure that was just sexual harassment,’” Cupp said. She told him, “No it’s not ok that you do that.” And she didn’t laugh “at the joke that he thought would be funny and I avoided him,” she added.

Cupp refused to work with this colleague after that episode.