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Mistakes, Forgiveness And Public Figures

Who deserves public forgiveness? Paula Deen? Eliot Spitzer? Anthony Weiner? Alec Baldwin? We’ll look at forgiveness.

LEFT: Paula Deen in New York in 2010 (Jeff Christensen/AP File). RIGHT: Eliot Spitzer tries to collect signatures for his run for New York City Comptroller in New York, Monday, July 8, 2013. (Bethan McKernan/AP)

LEFT: Paula Deen in New York in 2010 (Jeff Christensen/AP File). RIGHT: Eliot Spitzer tries to collect signatures for his run for New York City Comptroller in New York, July 8, 2013. (Bethan McKernan/AP)

Celebrity chef Paula Deen has taken a licking for a racial slur uttered 25 years ago.

Alec Baldwin left Twitter after what read like homophobic rants.

Anthony Wiener shared lewd snaps with strangers — and now he’s running for mayor of New York.  Eliot Spitzer went to prostitutes while responsible for the law, and now he’s running for office again.

The list of the flawed and fallen in public life is long — think Mark Sanford, Martha Stewart, David Patreaus, Bill Clinton.

When do we forgive, and when do we not?

This hour, On Point: Forgiveness in American public life now.

–Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Alina Tugend, author of The New York Times Shortcuts column and author of “Better by Mistake: The Unexpected Benefits of Being Wrong.” (@atugend)

Robin Regina Ford, an interdisciplinary educator whose work focuses are American literature, popular culture, critical literacy and identity. She blogs at Writing Identity. (@DrRobinWriting)

Roxanne Roberts, co-author of The Washington Post’s pop culture column, The Reliable Source.

Interview Highlights

Robin Regina Ford on whether voters would support Anthony Weiner:

My idea of forgiveness is the realization that all people are flawed, and that we accept each other’s flaws and if the person who has wronged us in someway is willing to make amends, and try to learn from there mistakes and change then you forgive. I don’t know if Anthony Weiner has had enough time to learn from his mistakes, but on the other hand his mistakes weren’t that egregious. His wife forgives him, and it really doesn’t matter to me as a voter what he tweeted.

Roxanne Roberts on the “common denominator” among public figures who have transgressed:

I am going to go old testament … which is a little more judgmental. I think that what is the common denominator between all of these people is that they’ve made a contract with us — particularly politicians but celebrities too. [They] say “I am a kind of person that is worthy of your support, votes,” “Buy my cookbooks,” “Do something because you think I am a kind of person that you admire.” Now I do think there is a separate issue, which is a political question, which is the skills of a politician versus their moral universe and their private lives.

Roxanne Roberts on public apologies:

Part of this discussion is whether or not they want something from us. Politicians want our vote, and so they’re saying, “I am really sorry. I feel really bad, and I won’t do it again,” which is what 5-year-olds say to their parents.

Alina Tegund on how the American public enjoys scandal:

A professor I once spoke to said, “Forgiveness should be a hope, not a claim.” People don’t have the right to demand forgiveness … I think we, the American public, love this sense of outrage that we get. Over and over we’re incredibly shocked when a celebrity lets us down. And then we slowly start forgiving them again, and this seems to be the scenario we play out over and over. I think the American public gets something out of it.

From Tom’s Reading List

The New York Times: Sometimes It’s Good Not To Forgive — “It seems, these days, that we can barely keep pace with the tales of the famous and near famous who climb to great heights, plummet to great depths and then try to work their way back into the public’s affection.”

Salon: I’m Black, And I Forgive Paula Deen — “Deen is a product of the place and time in which she was raised. There are many Southerners who are proud of their Confederate roots, whose ancestors owned slaves, as Deen’s did. But without honest dialogue between all races, some, perhaps like Deen, won’t ever understand why such reminders of our racist past are still so painful, even in 2013. Particularly in 2013.”

Time: After Sex Scandal, Eliot Spitzer Makes a Comeback – “Disgraced by ties to a prostitution ring, the former governor announced his candidacy for New York City comptroller angling to challenge Wall Street once again.”

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  • Ed75

    The lack of forgiveness for Paula Deen shows that our society is a merciless society. On the other hand, it seems that we will forgive bad behavior that involves sex, since our society is sex saturated.

    • 1Brett1

      The punishment for Paula Deen in the form of lack of forgiveness is God’s wrath for society forgiving homosexuality. 

      • Ray in VT

        I thought that Vermont’s record rainfall was the punishment for that.

        • Bluejay2fly

          Relax Ray, Ben and Jerry’s will probably make up a local flavor in honor of this summer’s rain ..Water-Berry comes to mind.

          • Ray in VT

            Good one.  You might want to pass that along.  Maybe berry pieces awash in an unending deluge of chocolate.

        • 1Brett1

          Yeah, it’s difficult to keep up with God’s wrath; even Ed would admit that!

          • Ray in VT

            Isn’t that Pennsylvania town still awaiting punishment for not allowing creationism in the science classes?

        • HonestDebate1

          You and me both. We’ve usually put up our yearly 2500 bales of hay by now but this year we still haven’t put up one. We need a 2 or three day window with no rain and there is none. I’d gladly send some to AZ if I could.

          • Ray in VT

            There was actually nearly 3 straight days without rain at my brother’s place.  He’s been mostly chopping for the bunk, but I think that he was going to do some dry baling.  Mostly he bales and tubes, but horses are really sensitive about that sort of thing, right? It’s been pretty crazy.  We’ve had the wettest two month stretch on record (some 130 years), and the lake is at record highs for the date.  I’m glad to be high and dry.  I saw fields that normally border smallish streams that had so much water that you could only see the top foot or so of the round bales.

      • Bluejay2fly

        God’s punishment for homosexuality is listening to christian’s speculate on what God’s punishment for homosexuality is.

        • 1Brett1

          Seems much too cruel and unusual to me!

          • Ray in VT

            Old Testament Yahweh was pretty harsh.

      • DrJoani

         Huh?

    • Wm_James_from_Missouri

      Ed,
      There is a scene at the beginning of the movie, “Contact”, in which the camera starts by viewing the world as we see it, on Earth, but then proceeds to move ever outward throughout the Universe. I often visualize this sequence of images when I start to take myself and the world’s problems too seriously. That is, when I have my wits about me.
      We are so small in the scheme of things and yet we all seem to think that we are somehow the final arbiters of “ultimate truth”. Ask someone, sometime, to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, something that has been said. All to often there seems to be an emotional backlash, when we confront issues of truth and justice. It is probably emotion talking when I say that, I believe that one of the eternal and Universal jewels of wisdom is to “do unto others as we would have them do unto us”. Ya know, I bet, if I were to look hard at all those images in the opening scene of the movie, “Contact” I would see that wisdom at every level. What do you think?

      • Ed75

        Well, the immensity of the universe is awesome. But we are important:

        ‘What is man, that you are mindful of him?’ Psalms.

        The only access to ultimate truth that I have found – I agree that reason by itself doesn’t lead to certainty, as Socrates showed ‘I alone among Athenians know that I know nothing’ – is Divine Revelation, which is given to us through the Catholic Church. This then incorporates all the findings of reason and science uses reason to draw conclusions. So I continue to study Catholic Church doctrine and to live according to the Church’s rules.

    • northeaster17

      Relax Ed. Dean’s troubles are very recent. Just give it time. Her rehab efforts have already begin. By next week or so she’ll be back on the tube.

    • J__o__h__n

      Forgiving like the god who celebrates gay marriages with earthquakes?

    • jefe68

      I see you have that horse hair shirt on a little tight today.

      • Ray in VT

        Plus it gets cold out in the snow at the Pope’s winter residence.

      • Ed75

        No hair shirt at all – not about penitential practices, but about avoiding serious sin. But doesn’t Paula Deen look a little like Miss Piggy (no offense intended)?

  • 1Brett1

    Why not [pronounced "nawt"] forgive Paula Deen, y’all?! In fact, why nawt have a reality tv special where she is laid upon a white, silken, cloud-like pillow [pronounced "pillah"] and ushered to the Food Network studios by li’l black boys dressed as cherubs in bellhops’ and chauffeurs’ outfits? Network executives could ceremoniously give her back her stick of butter, Crisco, and deep fryer!

    • 1Brett1

      Seriously, I don’t care that Deen said what she said or suggested black server slaves act as attendants at Bubba’s wedding, or that there were racist jokes/practices at her restaurants, or that she was fired from her TV show, or that her endorsements have dried up. I also don’t care whether she is “forgiven” (whatever that means). She was a lousy cook who made comfort food with no more expertise than a mediocre home cook with a penchant for butter, sugar, flour, frying, casseroles, and generally unhealthy food that one might find in a second-rate diner or buffet franchise chain. 

      • Ray in VT

        I’ve always kind of liked Paula Deen, and I think that perhaps the reaction to her statements, which were rather deplorable, has been overblown, although I understand why companies would want to distance themselves from her in order to avoid negative associations and hurt their brand.  Her extensive use of butter always draws comparisons to my mom, who, I am convinced, would entirely waste away if it wasn’t for her buttering almost everything.

        • 1Brett1

          I think therein lies the rub with celebrity itself. We associate people in public/ pop/political culture with either someone or something good or someone or something bad. Neither of us knows Paula Deen nor knows who she really is or what she is like in person. You associate her with someone good and like her based on some sort of superficial charm she might have (not knowing her). I associate her with a lot of people I have known in life who have had a kind of charm but who are really narrow-minded, judgmental–and some even vindictive–people. I also associate her cooking style with a lot of family members’ bad habits, ill health, and even death.

          I saw Eliot Spitzer yesterday…I’ve always liked Spitzer, but he is a sleazoid who will justify anything. He is intelligent and a decent politician, though. However, if someone expressed they didn’t like Spitzer and found him unfit for public office, I would easily understand that opinion.

          • Ray in VT

            I can see all of your points, Brett.  I think that ultimately we view these people, the acts that they do, and what judgments we pass, as well as for how long, through whatever prisms we all have.  If we like them, and what they do or what we think that they stand for, then we (the more generalized we) are probably more likely to forgive their transgressions.

          • 1Brett1

            I am generally a forgiving person. I also don’t think of people in celebrity status as people I know…Paula Deen will come back in some form and still manage to hold onto millions of dollars and lots of fans; Eliot Spitzer will still have a life in politics. I can’t devote much effort to thinking about these people. They transgressed, received some form of consequences and will live to see another day. 

          • Ray in VT

            I’m sure that financially she’ll be fine, and after this blows over, even though it may make a while, she’ll likely make some sort of comeback.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Eliot Spitzer will still have a life in politics

            I don’t know if he will.

            There’s something different about Spitzer v. Diaper Dave Vitter or Mark (Redeemed in the House) Sanford.

            But I can’t put my finger on it.

          • J__o__h__n

            Spitzer was one of the few who took on Wall St.  He resigned.  Let the voters decide if they want to forgive him. 

        • HonestDebate1

          I’ve never been a big fan of Paula Deen but I am a fan of butter. I understand the whims of the entertainment industry but I do find it somewhat appalling that what one says 30 years ago can bite like this. Even Bill Maher (I’m also not a fan) agrees.

          • Ray in VT

            Yeah, it seems a bit ridiculous.

        • northeaster17

          I heard her on a radio show once. Since she cooks anything she was asked how one would deep fry an Ottoman Couch. Without hesitation she replied it’s easy. First you dip it in the batter an then…..Thought that was funny. I find her recent troubles kind of sad.
           

    • hennorama

      Personally, I have no opinion about Paula Deen’s words or actions, or her public embarrassment.

      But regardless of the magnitude, or the lack thereof, of her words and actions, Deen made huge errors once the stories broke.

      What Paula Deen should have done immediately was to humbly apologize for the the error of her ways and the hurt caused, and disavow the old ways.

      Instead, she got all wound up and defensive, rather than absolutely humble. She even said “I is who I is,” seemingly trying to explain away what she said and did based on her background and upbringing.

      Deen’s mistake was that she should have apologized AND THEN SIMPLY SHUT UP. Instead she seemed to go all “Woe is me, everyone’s being so unfair to me. Besides, that’s just the way I was raised.”

      Not smart.

      • 1Brett1

        I don’t like Deen’s, “well shut my mouth, y’all,” schtick, so maybe I’m a bit unfair, but I agree whole-heartedly. Her biggest mistake was her mismanagement of her “apology.” It seemed to stop just short of a Jimmy Swaggart/Jim Bakker emotional outburst in the end, and was too dismissive and unrepentant, as it were,  in the beginning. As you say, she also made herself out to be a victim, of sorts, along the way, which changed as she realized that wasn’t going to work. 

        • Ray in VT

          Well, I don’t like to but in, but I did think that the whole “go ahead and hit me in the head with a brick” or whatever thing was a bit weird, but who knows.  Maybe if I was getting hammered in a similar way in the media I wouldn’t be able to hold my your know what together, so I’m not judging her regarding that.

  • HonestDebate1

    Why in the world is On Point putting Paula Deen side by side with client #9? Are we really going to compare someone using a word, a word, 30 years ago with an elected official betraying the trust of the people? Bizarre.

    • Ray in VT

      It probably would have been better to put up a picture of Mark Sanford, especially if one could be found of him “hiking the Appalachian Trail”.

      • HonestDebate1

        I agree completely, apples to apples.

        • Ray in VT

          Maybe Deen and Weiner would be a better comparison (in terms of severity), unless they wanted to dig up that married Congressman who resigned after replying to a personals ad on Craigslist with a shirtless photo:

          http://www.nbcnews.com/id/41498568/ns/politics-capitol_hill/t/congressman-resigns-amid-craigslist-scandal/#.UdwHyG2mW1w

          • HonestDebate1

            I’m not sure what you are getting at. Weiner’s action’s were those of a sexual predator. The Congressman you cite is a sleazeball. Both were elected and put in positions of public trust. There is not telling what words either may have used in the context of 30 years. They are deplorable.

            Deen’s a celebrity chef.

          • Ray in VT

            One used some racist words.  The other tweeted a picture of his underpants.  Both are pretty low level as far as I’m concerned.  I think that what Weiner did were hardly the actions of a “sexual predator”, plus his family then had to subsequently endure the Bachmann/Gohmert witch hunt against his wife.

            People probably care about the Deen thing because she’s got her name and fact splashed all over TV and consumer products.  People in the public spotlight can easily become lightning rods for “controveries” that we wouldn’t hear about for everyday people.  An NFL guy is getting his name all over the news for having a switchblade (I think) on him at the airport or something, yet we don’t hear anything about the 894 people so far this year who have been stopped at airport TSA screenings with guns.

          • HonestDebate1

            Weiner sent a picture of his erection to a minor. I call that a sexual predator, you don’t have to. 

            I guess we need to verify with certainty who has and who has not said what in the past 30 years. The NSA has a file.

          • Ray in VT

            How old does one have to be in order for one to still be a minor?

          • HonestDebate1

            17 would do it but I’m going to go out on a limb and say if someone sends a picture of his erection unsolicited to anyone (male, female, any age) then they are a sexual predator.I have no idea why you want to argue this point. Surely ideology is not that important.

          • Ray in VT

            My point is that the woman in question was 21, and therefore not a minor, and no, it is not an ideological thing.  It’s not like he fathered a love child with a 15 year old house servant or something.

          • HonestDebate1

            Apologies, evidentlythe 17yearold hewastweeting around with didn’t get the Weiner picture. And the other oneswere just posingasminors to snag him but hewastipped off. He’s still a sexual predator in my book.

          • HonestDebate1

            Weiner committed a crime Deen didn’t. They are not in the same universe but are on the some page header here. That’s my point.

          • Ray in VT

            And what was that crime?

          • A_Nor_Easter

            I agree that Weiner’s behavior could be certainly considered sexual harassment, but the woman he sent it to was not a minor. She was 21 years old.

          • HonestDebate1

            Apologies, evidently the 17 year old he was tweeting around with didn’t get the Weiner picture. And the other ones were just posing as minors to snag him but he was tipped off. He’s still a sexual predator in my book.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            I don’t care that you’re the one rightie saying “a Republican is a sleazeball”.

            You’re the voice in the wilderness. In the press corpse we have a phalanx of folks always ready to forgive Fambly Valuez right-wingers their follies and then seriously listen to them try to enact their Godly stuff in my government.

          • HonestDebate1

            Should we be more forgiving of sleaze balls if they don’t legislate on moral values? Should we dismiss righteous legislation if it’s proposed by a sleaze ball?

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            I don’t care what you and I think.

            I’m not here to sit around and move proverbial pieces around on a chess board.

            Because I’m talking about the Beltway Inbreds, who are great at turning a blind eye towards sex scandals by those who appeal to your fellow righties’ need to legislate bedroom conduct.

          • HonestDebate1

            Alrighty then.

    • hennorama

      Because the topic is ‘Mistakes, Forgiveness And Public Figures’ and not ‘Elected Officials Betraying The People’s  Trust.’

      You might need Reading Comprehension 101, but I couldn’t possible comment as I am not an Education Professional.

      • HonestDebate1

        What’s reading comprehension got to do with moral equivalencies implied through images? I agree with Ray, they should have put Sanford’s picture next to Spitzer’s. Or if they wanted to put Deen up then Baldwin would be a better match. It’s a nuanced point, I wouldn’t expect you to get it especially if your intention is merely to make a nasty comment about me but it’s not about me. 

        • hennorama

          Gregg Smith – you asked two questions, and I distilled a response to both into one sentence.

          Clearly the photos are absolutely and aptly illustrative of the topic, wouldn’t you agree? The topic did not compare anyone – YOU did.

          The implied conclusion contained in your questions – that a comparison was being made by putting two photos beside one another – itself implies that you did not comprehend the topic, which prompted my non-comment comment.

          A frequent reader will also note what could be characterized as your pro-Deen/pro-Southern bias, as demonstrated in what seemed like 524 (or so) impassioned comments related to Deen’s recent “issues.” This too came across in your questions.

          • HonestDebate1

            So reading comprehension is not about reading, it’s about pictures? I’m so confused. Or is it now just comprehension. If so I would only say that I do comprehend the fact that forgiveness of mistakes depends on many factors not the least of which is the mistake made, unless of course you think all mistakes are equivalent. I know it has been suggested that all mistakes are lies meaning there is no such thing as an honest mistake. So I get that, I just have a more nuanced view. I also don’t put all public figures (also in the topic) in the same boat. You see Hennon, I think there is a difference between a celebrity chef anointed by ratings and an elected official entrusted with authority validated by actual votes and sworn to duty. This is heady stuff for some but it’s pretty basic. To my way of thinking, honest debate should be represented by honest comparisons including the images chosen. But that’s just me.

          • hennorama

            He Debates Not – finally you’ve said something honest – “I’m so confused.”

            I agree.

          • HonestDebate1

            I don’t get it, my head hurts.

    • adks12020

      For the record, Spitzer betrayed his wife not the people. He was good at his job, bad at marriage. His actions were surely deplorable but they didn’t effect the way he did his job.

      • Bluejay2fly

        He committed a crime and supported a person who is engaging in tax evasion, which is worse a crime.

      • HonestDebate1

        Technically you are correct but I think if your wife can’t trust you then no one can. It also made him vulnerable to blackmail. And the pillow talk could be risky too. 

    • A_Nor_Easter

      You have to remember it’s not just the use of one word a long time ago. It was also the much more recent expression of a desire to cater her brother’s wedding with an all-black male staff for a “true Southern wedding.” Fantasizing about the Antebellum period is really not good. Additionally, all of this is information that came from her deposition where she and her brother are accused of sexism and racial discrimination in the workplace. I read the deposition and it seems like Ms. Deen largely contributed by gross neglect. Complaints were brought to her about her brother and the environment of the workplace, and nothing substantial was ever done about it or followed up, even when an independent audit company was brought in which recommended the removal of her brother to improve the work environment. Regardless of what you think of Paula Deen, it’s more than just one word.

      • HonestDebate1

        That’s a stretch. It was the word.

  • HonestDebate1

    There seems to be no problem forgiving Bill Maher for calling Sarah Palin a Cun# or David Letterman for saying her small child was “knocked up” at a baseball game. Alec Baldwin is forgiven fro calling George Stark a “toxic little queen”. Toure’ received no heat for his vulgar use of the dreaded “n” word. The serial abuser of women, Bill Clinton, was just voted father off the year. Democrat’s don’t need to be forgiven because nothing they do is wrong.

    • 1Brett1

      Poor, persecuted conservatives…those evil Democrats! They get away with everything and NEVER, EVER pay the price!

      • HonestDebate1

        Who said anything about conservatives?

        • jefe68

          You did when you mentioned Democrat’s in the context of you’re diatribe. 

          I find it astonishing that you are unable to parse your own thoughts. 

          Groucho Marx was right.

          • HonestDebate1

            Nope, can you read?

          • jefe68

            Then why post this inanity?

            Democrat’s don’t need to be forgiven because nothing they do is wrong.

          • HonestDebate1

            Because it’s true.

          • jefe68

            You must get dizzy trying to keep up with yourself.

          • HonestDebate1

            I didn’t say anything about conservatives, that’s all. If I say, “I don’t like cats”, have I just said that I like dogs?

          • jefe68

            False equivalence.

          • 1Brett1

            Well, because the REAL truth must be brought to light, jefe! Why, HD1 is brave to sacrifice his personal safety, security, and online popularity to crusade against those evil Democrats! Think of the gas he uses just to run up and down his road looking for a wifi signal; that alone speaks volumes for his personal sacrifice (although, t’would be less a sacrifice if that evil Obama who is deliberately ruining the country would take the chains off the oil industry so they could bring the price of gas down to pennies per gallon! (Okay, I couldn’t even type that with a straight face)…

    • J__o__h__n

      What office have the liberals elected Maher, Letterman, or Baldwin to? 

      • HonestDebate1

        The same one as Deen.

        • nj_v2

          Poor Greggg, can’t keep his arguments straight.

          Deen is an Obama supporter.

          • HonestDebate1

            What possible relevance does that have to my point? 

        • A_Nor_Easter

          Just FYI, Paula Deen supported the Democratic ticket last Presidential election and is a Democrat.

    • Bluejay2fly

      Maher is a comedian and the truth is a defense against slander.

      • HonestDebate1

        You’re disgusting.

    • DrJoani

       Your distorted examples make me snicker.
      Keep on citing…

      • HonestDebate1

        Nope, no distortion.

  • Yar

    Will all of the people our society has wrongly convicted ever forgive us?
    http://www.innocenceproject.org/know/Browse-Profiles.php

    Put it in perspective, Paula Deen and Elliot Spitzer will be okay. I am not sure I would support either for public office.  We have much bigger issues of race and class that need addressing.  Why isn’t this hour about the exploitation of immigrants and how we won’t do anything about it?  Please talk about race and class, but not from the point of view of privilege.

    • debhulbh

      Not to mention the millions of young men /prisoners we lock up….first time non violent offenders get 5?years plus, now THAT is unforgiveable….

      • Bluejay2fly

        “It’s not personal it’s just business.” We should also paint that on all our bombs and drones. PS. I am a CO and retired USNR.

  • Bluejay2fly

    I hope the question of how we became such a merciless society gets answered, as I do not really know. If I had to guess it would probably be because of multiple factors. The 24 hour news media has become this macabre form of entertainment centered around death, scandal, disaster, and despair. We have created a negative culture filled with images of death and carnage in movies, video games, and sometimes music. Violence is thus not the failure of the individual to settle disputes but instead a desirable option of first choice. Religion which should be working overtime to suppressing these negative impulses has failed us as well. Our interpretation of faith does not offer a path to enlightenment but instead panders to one’s sense of superiority by judging others. You want to see how superficial people’s faith is tell a christian that since Jesus was born in the Middle East he probably more looked like Yassar Arafat then Sven from Norway. The whole in people’s soul which can never be filled with materialism and physical pleasure leaves people angry and unsatisfied. They project their hostility on others wanting to see them tortured in fantasy or destroyed in scandal.

    • debhulbh

      Well said. Thank you. :)

  • jefe68

    Paula Deen,Eliot Spitzer, Anthony Weiner, and Alec Baldwin could make a reality TV show. Something akin to MTV’s Real World.

    • northeaster17

      They would make a heckofa Survival team. Very dangerous.

      • Ray in VT

        Plus we could also add David Vitter.  That guy got drummed out of office, right?

        • northeaster17

          He got drummed but he is still in. Part of the morality A-1 team

  • andrewgarrett

    Conservatives and liberals agree: when our guy does it it’s OK, when your guy does it it’s bad.

    • J__o__h__n

      Spitzer and Weiner resigned.  Vitter didn’t. 

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      This liberal wants to know why conservatives have their sex scandals, then go back to legislating what happens in my bedroom.

  • marjkramer

    I hope Eliot Spitzer makes it as Comptroller.  He knows a lot and has the will and courage to stop fraud among Wall street, corporations, and financiers. I think those very people attacked him because he was threatening their illegal profits, and they wanted him out of the way.Sex scandals work very well in the US to get people out of office.  I don’t care about his private life, that is between him and his family. The economic violence to hundreds of thousands of homeowners, ordinary peope’s nest eggs is the crime and fraud  in this situation, and Spitzer was on the right side.  He will stand up for the public.  

  • William

    What Spitzer and Weiner was terrible and both should never run for any public office,  but how can sane person justify voting for them? 

    • Ray in VT

      Ask the voters in South Carolina who put Mark Sanford back in the House.  Many people are willing to forgive or ignore the transgressions of those with whom they agree.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        How soon before Sanford speaks about StrenghtheningChristianValues and ProtectingAmericanFamilies?

      • William

         Amazing anyone would vote for him but there are some people that just don’t seem to want to drain the swamp.

      • HonestDebate1

        I can understand forgiveness and believe we should always be willing to consider the case, evaluate the remorse and judge appropriately. I can’t say much for the comedian’s sister but I would have sat it out. I don’t think I could vote for Sanford, the dude has issues. I do respect his former wife for not standing by his side. But the people have spoken. I suppose one can be a competent sleazball with may be marginally better than an incompetent saint.

  • marjkramer

    I am much more interested in Eliot Spitzer’s knowledge of fraud by Wall Street and other financiers than in his private life. Looks to me like  Wall Street  attacked him because they were afraid of him and wanted him out of the way. Sex scandals seem to be the easiest way to do that. Would you , Tom Ashbrook, consider getting Charles Ferguson who made “Inside Job” the 2010 documentary film that contained interviews with Eliot Spitzer, Hank Paulson, Larry Summers, Brookslie Born  and many more.    OR GET BROOKSLIE HERSELF,  SHE IS 72, STILL THERE. THANKS FOR THE GOOD SHOW. 

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Exactly. These personal foibles detract attention from substance. I wouldn’t care what Spitzer does in his pvt life if he cd take down the financial oligarchs, and I wouldn’t be surprised one bit if they went after him.

      Who needs forgiveness? Financial con men who crashed the economy. GW Bush, worst president ever, who went clearin’ brush after being briefed “bin Laden Determined to Strike in USA”, then invaded iraq after fooling us with scary WMD stories. R Reagan, whose voodoo economics started the assault on the middle class.

  • Ray in VT

    Considering how many politicians have been brought up this morning, one might want to take a look at this list:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_federal_political_sex_scandals_in_the_United_States

    I think that it is likely that there were many more from by-gone days than are listed there.  There’s also the general scandal page:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_federal_political_scandals_in_the_United_States

    • hennorama

      Ray in VT – Perhaps the most significant “political sex scandal” of recent vintage involved Jack Ryan, who was the 2004 Republican nominee for U.S. Senator in Illinois, and who was quite popular.

      The salacious details of the scandal are not important. What is important is that Ryan eventually withdrew from the race, and was replaced by Alan Keyes, who became, in effect, a “sacrificial” candidate.

      The Democrat in the race: Illinois state Senator Barack Obama.

      After Ryan dropped out it was no contest. Obama won with 70 percent of the vote, with Keyes garnering a mere 27 percent.

      See:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Senate_election_in_Illinois,_2004

      BTW, Obama has arguably been the greatest beneficiary of political sex scandals, ever.

      Here’s the lead paragraph from a 2009 Newsweek article titled “Obama’s Lucky Streak – Mark Sanford’s pain is the president’s gain”:

      “South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford is smart, handsome, principled—and no longer a political threat to President Obama in 2012. After going AWOL and admitting to an extramarital affair in Argentina, the now resigned chairman of the Republican Governors Association and oft-mentioned presidential candidate is political toast. But Sanford’s pain is Obama’s gain. By my count, Sanford is no less than the 10th horndog whose comeuppance has benefited Obama. This happily married president always seems to get a piece of the action.”

      See:
      http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2009/06/26/obama-s-lucky-streak.html

      • Ray in VT

        I wonder how many lovely people on the Interwebs would try to pin those scandals on the Obama conspiracy?

      • DrJoani

         Uhhuh he operative word, your thesis, is “arguably.”

      • HonestDebate1

        Yes Keys was too dark-skinned, Reid was looking for a light-skinned black with no Negro dialect… unless he chose to have one.

        • hennorama

          Bonehead Test – there are no words to describe the level of foolishness in your remarks.

          • HonestDebate1

            They are not my remarks, it’s Democrat leadership speak.

          • hennorama

            NeedsToBathe – “Yes Keys was too dark-skinned” and “Reid was looking for” ARE 100 percent yours, and 100 percent foolish, sir.

            In addition, you have foolishly placed Sen. Reid’s odious remarks in the wrong timeframe and context, as they were reportedly made during the 2008 Presidential campaign, and NOT the 2004 Illinois Senate campaign.

          • HonestDebate1

            Maybe you’re too young to remember the incessant talk about dark-skinned vs. light-skinned blacks during the race you are citing but I remember it well. 

            And I quoted no one, I said it was Democrat leadership speak. It is. It’s the way they talk. Not mine, if anything all I did was plagiarize it.

          • hennorama

            NeedsToBathe – a few points:

            1. I never wrote that you quoted anyone; I’m sure it was merely a coincidence that you wrote “Reid was looking for a light-skinned black with no Negro dialect… unless he chose to have one.” in that particular order, which just “coincidentally” happens to agree with the exact order of the remarks attributed to Sen. Reid.

            2. Based on the sequence of YOUR written words, and the fact of the remarks attributed to Sen. Reid, you later writing “And I quoted no one, I said it was Democrat leadership speak” is disingenuous, sir.

            3. Perhaps you have some evidence of “the incessant talk about dark-skinned vs. light-skinned blacks during the [2004 Illinois Senate] race.” If so, please present it.

  • Shag_Wevera

    Plenty of people can cook, plenty of people available for politics, plenty of people who play sports.

    Why do we get stuck on a handfull and let them get away with so much?  They’re all replaceable (as are you and I).

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    Paula Deen didn’t have an “excited utterance” (TV lawyer show term) of a word.

    If I’m on Deen’s PR rehab team, getting a public radio host to headline her situation with simply “a racial slur” is quite a win.

  • jefe68

    David Letterman on Eliot Spitzer: “Comptroller? This guy couldn’t even comptrol himself.”

  • Jim

    I think Elliot Spitzer would be a perfect Comptroller. if the conservatives and the hypocrisy filled south forgiven the Sanford guy, then voters should forgive Mr Spitzer. Everyone deserves a second chance if he is not a murder or a drug trafficker.

    Btw. we have already provided forced forgiveness to white collar criminals in Wall Street. I take Mr Spitzer over anyone of these criminals. At least Mr Spitzer did not commit any crime. His personal life is his business. and he has shown to me to did his job very very well.

    • Ray in VT

      Well, I do believe that patronizing a prostitute is crime in New York State:

      http://ypdcrime.com/penal.law/article230.htm

      A class A misdemeanor, along with many other things, including making graffiti and forcible touching:

      http://ypdcrime.com/penal.law/a_misdemeanor.htm

      • 1Brett1

        Spitzer might not have been patronizing at all…he might have been very sincerely kind and respectful to the young lady….

        • Ray in VT

          Hahaha.  That’s a good one, although certainly the sex industry has some pretty terrible practices, in this case these ladies were getting paid pretty well for their “work”.  As a tightfisted Yankee of Scottish extraction, though, I find it hard to believe that any skills she might have had were worth $1,000/hour.

      • HonestDebate1

        He was unmerciful and relentless in prosecuting these types of crimes. He was known for it, not that hypocrisy bothers me much.

  • jefe68

  • M K

    It is one thing to do something wrong, admit it, and apologize.  It is another to do something wrong, avoid admitting it, and then apologize politically “if I offended anyone”, which seems to be often the case with racism.

    Paula Deen was 17 years old and a resident of the South when the Civil Rights Act was passed.  I do not at all buy excuses made by people of that generation that “We didn’t know any better” “It’s normal” “I didn’t mean anything by it” etc.  They know, and the denial only makes it clearer.    She was/is a racist, if she wants to acknowledge that and apologize, great, but pretending it is just an innocent “slip of the tongue” or  “misunderstanding” == serious guilt.

  • debhulbh

    Forgiveness trumps always.
    Always and forever, forgiveness trumps everything. Therein lies the healing…
    Our world NEEDS healing….
    None as much as our fear based, violent culture here in U.S…..
    Peace
    The light in me sees the light in you…

  • Mari McAvenia

    Judging from the current pattern, I’d say that Americans don’t much care about the sexual peccadillos of male politicians but they are HORRIFIED and quite unforgiving when a female celebrity misspeaks. (Or, is that Ms. Speaks?)

  • Wahoo_wa

    I think when your last name is “Weiner” you have suffered enough.

    • Ray in VT

      He could always change it to Savage.  Seriously though, I would change me name.  My best childhood friend went to school with a kid named Harold Butts.

      • HonestDebate1

        I had a friend in 6th grade named Andy Hogshead.

        • Ray in VT

          I didn’t know her personally, but I’ve always liked the name Ima Hogg:

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ima_Hogg

          I did play baseball with a kid named Phil, and he said for a long time that he was going to marry this girl in our school named, Christie, take her last name and become Phil McCracken.

          • HonestDebate1

            This is too funny. For some reason I have had trouble lately with comments needing to be approved by the moderator before appearing and it just happened again. I think it’s an algorithm that recognizes certain words or phrases. They usually reappear later. I don’t think it’s me in particular because most comments go up with no problem.

            Anywho, I’m afraid to say the name but it was a NASCAR driver who recently passed. His initials were DT and he just died on May 16.

          • nj_v2

            Y’all might enjoy a book by John Train, Remarkable Names of Real People

            http://www.amazon.com/Remarkable-Names-Real-People-Train/dp/0517543036

            There are at least a couple of subsequent volumes, including Even More Remarkable Names.

            All the names are referenced and verified.

            One couple mentioned in one of the books were two people who married who both had the last name Doctor. Sure enough, they both were medical doctors, so they were Doctor and Doctor Doctor.

            I actually once had a roommate who, at one time, lived near them and could verify the story.

            Can’t make this stuff up.

          • hennorama

            nj_v2 – “Doctor and Doctor Doctor” reminded me of the truly stupid film ‘Spies Like Us’  in which one scene had dialogue consisting entirely of the word “Doctor” spoken 23 times in a row, followed shortly by 16 times in a row.

            Bob Hope makes a cameo, too!

            See:
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqBPOWpOg0o

            I was also reminded of the Three Stooges short titled ‘Men In Black,’ which had the line “Calling Doctor Howard, Doctor Fine, Doctor Howard” repeated many, many times.

      • hennorama

        Yikes.  And, kids being kids, Harold became Harry which became Hairy ….

        On second thought, they went right to Hairy, right?

    • Mari McAvenia

      He’s lucky that his parents didn’t name him Oscar Meyer Weiner, actually.

  • hennorama

    As to Mark Sanford – was he “forgiven” by voters, or was it more of a case of 77,466 voters in SC District 1 saying “Hell no, we don’t want some damned Democrat representing us!”?

    • Mari McAvenia

      Some FEMALE Democrat, no less. I see clear gender biases here. “Woman is the original sin” in the twisted Christian code of ethics and morality. Being accidentally born female appears to be “unforgivable” in our culture. If you’re endowed with a penis and testicles, however, flash ‘em loud and proud. Wave the flag with ‘em, if you can. They are your free tickets to cult popularity, after all. No integrity required.

      • hennorama

        Mari McAvenia – a very good point as to “Some FEMALE Democrat, no less,” as pertains to South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District, but you lost me at “Woman is the original sin” and thereafter.

        Thank you for your response.

      • hennorama

        Mari McAvenia – a side note that buttresses your point – no woman has been elected to serve in Congress from South Carolina since Liz Patterson was reelected to the House in 1990. Patterson was subsequently defeated for re-election in 1992, meaning South Carolina has had no female Congressional representation since she left office in 1992.

        See:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liz_J._Patterson

        South Carolina’s current level of women in elective office:

        2 U.S. Senators, 0 are women
        7 U.S. Representatives, 0 are women

        7 Statewide elected officials, 1 is a woman

        46 State Senators, 1 is a woman
        124 State House Members, 21 are women

        Source:
        http://www.cawp.rutgers.edu/fast_facts/resources/state_fact_sheet.php#states

        • HonestDebate1

          What on earth are you trying to imply? Is the State sexist? That’s a pretty shallow view.

          http://bradwarthen.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/haley__nikki_on_newsweek_cover.embedded.prod_affiliate.74.jpg

          • hennorama

            He 1 Debate Snot – res ipsa loquitur.

          • HonestDebate1

            Yes it does, ignoring a female minority elected to the State’s highest office to imply some kind of broad brush BS, says it all. Thanx.

          • hennorama

            He Debates Not – yet another case of an issue with reading comprehension, perhaps? Or perhaps you simply ignored the information presented, which might lead one to fairly conclude a case of ignorance on your part, sir.

            Quoting the prior post in question:

            “7 Statewide elected officials, 1 is a woman”

            Guess you missed that. Talk about ignorant, and not once but twice.

            Factual information is neutral. The reader is free to draw conclusions from the information. However, it seems clear that you tend to perceive some sort of nefarious motivation behind simple facts and images.

            That issue is yours alone, sir.

          • HonestDebate1

            You said you were buttressing Mari’s point of being screwed unless you were endowed with a penis by citing the lack of female politicians. Do you even comprehend what you write? 

            If you want to make not so veiled innuendo about the sexism of an entire State to agree with the wackiest post of the day, fine but own it. Otherwise it’s not honest debate.

          • hennorama

            He Debates Not – as you have repeatedly expressed, context is important. Of course, one could be excused for reading posts out of sequence, if that is what you have done.

            My first response to Mari McAvenia was “a very good point as to ‘Some FEMALE Democrat, no less,’ as pertains to South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District, but you lost me at “Woman is the original sin” and thereafter.
            Thank you for your response.”

            My later post, also to Mari McAvenia, “buttressing” her point, presumed the context of my original post, especially the portion reading “but you lost me at ‘Woman is the original sin’ and thereafter.”

            If you read these posts in chronological order, reading comprehension, including context, may be an issue here for you, sir. If that is the case, there may be help for you nearby:

            http://abspd.appstate.edu/faculty-staff

            Your conclusion that there was an intended “not so veiled innuendo about the sexism of an entire State” is false, as is your prior foolishly inaccurate remark that my post was “ignoring a female minority elected to the State’s highest office to imply some kind of broad brush BS”.

          • HonestDebate1

            Okay, SC is a bastion of opportunities in politics for women. I hear ya’.

          • hennorama

            Bonehead test – I have no information about “opportunities in politics for women” in South Carolina, and never mentioned the word “opportunities”.

            I simply presented the facts of South Carolina’s current level of women in elective office. That you perceive something else, about “opportunities in politics for women” in South Carolina is solely your conclusion, sir.

          • HonestDebate1

            I don’t care what word you used, your message was clear. Put your big girl pants on, you look silly.

          • hennorama

            1 Debate Snot, He – One can only conclude that you are looking in a mirror and talking to your reflection. That is a worrisome symptom, which you might want to get checked by a health care professional.

      • HonestDebate1

        There are female Christians, really, there are. SC has a female elected to the highest office in the State and the Dems call her names.

    • OnPointComments

      Mark Sanford ran a fairly effective campaign.  One of the more successful ventures in recent SC history is the Boeing Plant located in SC District 1, and Sanford’s campaign ran a commercial with the voice of Elizabeth Colbert-Busch promising to be the voice of the unions in Washington.  The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers union had been decertified at the plant in 2009 (by a vote of nearly 3 to 1 by the workers), and the union and NLRB had tried to close the plant.  Colbert-Busch’s own voice played a part in her loss.

  • TheCrabby

    For Paula Dean, stop apologizing! You have done nothing all these other haters haven’t done.
    As for Spitzer, like Paula said, he who has done no wrong please throw the first stone.

  • debhulbh

    Judgments … by the panel..come on people….give people a break….words such as against… Looking to qualify forgiveness????

    Its like unconditional love….you dont weigh it up, you don’t keep talking about it – if no one has been killed then you forgive. (even then one must always forgive)
    You just DO IT.
    Just do it people…see what great gifts it brings…
    Your life will never be the same again…
    FORGIVE everything,.
    Be bigger, forgive.
    All.

  • MarkVII88

    Would it be worse for Spitzer to use the N-word than Paula Deen because he was voted to office and she wasn’t?  What about Bill Clinton having affairs vs. Spitzer hiring prostitutes?  Both men were voted to office and had sexual transgressions, but prostitution is illegal and having affairs, while frowned-upon, isn’t illegal.

  • DrJoani

    Once again most comments come from men. Let me submit that although  no longer live in NYC I recall Spitzer, who relentlessly pursued Bruno using “his” state police etc.and blabbed on about morality. He is a hypocrite, period (liar too)
    Weiner the weenie? did you commit erros of judgement, yep.
    Paul? it wasn’t just 20 years ago that she spoke and was a racist.
    Just check out why she is being sued going to court, I hope.
    As for the loss of her “em;ire” I cannot weep. She helps make fat people obese, and she is a great role model for that. We pay for that, ultimately.
    The rest of them? Martha served her term and I thank her for stenciling the exit signs on the roads all over the USA.
    Mark the Mountineer? He is a liar and a —-bag but apparently SC voters don’t feel the same way abut him.I wish him well with his trohy girlfriend, his “soulmate.” I give it 5 years max.
     

  • debhulbh

    Everything is forgiveable….
    A closed heart is a terrible thing…a heart is a terrible thing to waste…
    Everything is forgiveable….

  • JDBoston

    Alec Baldwin is a pompous ass and his remarks should not be tolerated. He is a spokesperson for NPR – what does the organization say about his homophobic rants?

  • dez99

    PLEASE, represent people who think this whole topic is ridiculous!  All of these people are insulting the public by refusing to go away.  Personal forgiveness aside, NONE of them are people we should even be talking about, those running for office should be shunned by their parties and the voters for having demonstrated horrible judgement and values!

  • chris U.

    It’s all fine and good to forgive but with politicians it’s
    a different matter at stake.  These behaviors
    show serious character and judgment flaws. 
    These people should not be punished for the rest of their life’s but
    should not be in elected public service. 
    If a person exposes themselves do they really have the mental aptitude to
    be representing me.  I think not.

     

  • Jamison

    When you preach one thing and do another, those are the ones that should not be forgiven. Much like boy touching Prest or “moral driving” Republicans.

  • ThirdWayForward

    How did either Anthony Wiener or Eliot Spitzer “betray the public trust”? Please spell that out.

    Wiener committed no crime, unless  sophomoric stupidity has suddenly become illegal, and last time we looked prostitution was a victimless crime. 

    Would we feel the same way if Spitzer had been caught smoking marihuana? 

    It really does look like Spitzer was set up (who knows? maybe some of those private contractors for the NSA were involved covertly in tipping off right wing scandal-mongerers) — he has been one of the few people to effectively challenge the Wall St. wise guys. It would make a great deal of sense for him to take on the job of comptroller — he could do a great deal of good in managing public pension funds on the order of $150 billion by putting pressure on big financial institutions to be honest, do the right things.

    Who cares a whit about Paula Deen? Why waste one’s breath? And who are these commentators to advise us who we should forgive or not — it all seems rather petty and pointless.

    • Bluejay2fly

      Prostitution is not a victimless crime. Whoring like drug dealing allows that person to earn income tax free and sometimes while collecting public aid. Worse yet when they are caught it the tax payer again, who has to front money for their arrest, trial, and incarceration. So much for fiscal responsibility, Spitzer!

      • ThirdWayForward

        The guest speakers never clarified why Spitzer’s actions were a betrayal of his public office per se. It seems that he faithfully discharged the duties of his office. His substantive misdeed was to be unfaithful to his wife (not the public), and that is a matter for the Spitzers, and them alone, to work out amongst themselves.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eliot_Spitzer_prostitution_scandal
        “In an editorial reflecting on the scandal, political philosopher Martha Nussbaum wrote “Spitzer’s offense was an offense against his family. It was not an offense against the public. If he broke any laws, these are laws that never should have existed and that have been repudiated by sensible nations.”[38]”

        It would not have been a victimless crime had Spitzer’s prostitute been coerced into the meetings or the profession, but from the Wikipedia page on the scandal, the liaison seems to have been her free choice. My understanding is that she is still liable for taxes even if the income is from illicit activity. That is her responsibility and her crime if those were not paid (and our guess is that they probably were paid).

        It’s hard to blame Spitzer for the needless expenses that the state may have made in pursuing the case — they did not need to go to those lengths. This is like blaming Bill Clinton for the expenses that his enemies racked up trying to impeach him. They should have simply dropped the case against him (they did not to prosecute any other identified clients of the prostitution ring) when it was clear that Spitzer wasn’t being blackmailed or defrauded. Rather than pursuing it, they should have just informed his wife, which would have been a punishment appropriate to the crime. 

        Regardless, if Spitzer vigorously prosecuted other people for similar crimes when he was attorney general, then he richly deserved the treatment he got.

  • Bigtruck

    Judge not

  • JoanieGentian

    Oh, please. I always thought Paul LaDean was a guy’s name. Nothing to forgive as she has never been of interest to me. As far as Sex and Politics, I lump the Sexual Morality plays and issues that seem to be today’s topic as Religion and I do my best to separate Politics and Religion.  If I distrust a politician it is because he or she lied to me, collectively or personally, and lies just switch off trust in me.  Again, not a matter of forgiveness.  I don’t vote for someone I don’t trust. 

    Forgiveness seems to be a more personal reaction to…well I think Roxanne is talking about this now, public trust and all.

  • debhulbh

    To try to define forgiveness as a religious…yadee yadee ya…
    is soo off center and sooo off heart center,
    If we are heart centered we forgive. Healing begings There and…then.
    Always.

  • bridget_in_wisdom

    In Paula Dean’s case, her cooking style is based on Southern Low Country and Creole cooking, a totally African American Tradition (okra from Northern Africa, barbecue from the Caribbean, etc.) and deep South plantation cooking.These are  the very people she seems to deride. Instead she should thanking them not ridiculing them.

  • J__o__h__n

    Most politicians need constant attention which is why they are charismatic and also why they often cheat. 

    • ThirdWayForward

      A high proportion of them have narcissistic personality disorders. Ditto for CEO’s. Our manufactured celebrity culture obsession feeds this disease.

  • J__o__h__n

    I was more offended by Weiner’s comparing himself to FDR and Mandela than by his stupid twittering. 

    • jefe68

      I agree, the size of this mans ego is the real issue.
      I hope he gets a real trouncing and slinks away back to his man cave. 

      • J__o__h__n

        I liked him in Congress as he seemed to be a Democrat with a spine but other than appear in the media, apparently he didn’t really do anything.  And once he became a joke and lied, he was no longer effective at communicating.

        • jefe68

          The laws of physics.

      • HonestDebate1

        “I would put our legislative and foreign policy accomplishments in our first two years against any president — with the possible exceptions of Johnson, F.D.R. and Lincoln — just in terms of what we’ve gotten done in modern history.” -President Obama

  • brian copeland

    Are we living in times where a politician should not risk condemning an opponent’s actions for fear that he or she may fall into a similar predicament?

  • Lois McNulty

    Did one of your guests just say “condundrum?” (for conundrum)

    • hennorama

      If so, it would have been much funnier if they had said “conDOMdrum” given the topic.

    • debhulbh

      Forgive them…

      • Lois McNulty

        haha. OK- call me judgy, but I have a hard time letting it go when I hear a common word misused, especially on NPR.  Next time I misuse a word, I hope someone nearby will gently correct me. It’s like being caught with spinach in your teeth.

        • hennorama

          Lois McNulty – welcome fellow nitpicker!

          Please allow me to put several of my current pet language peeves into one sentence:

          “Look – it is what it is, and it’s literally very unique.”

          • Ray in VT

            I heard someone today say “one of the only.”  That one really bugs me.

          • HonestDebate1

            Unloosen, co-conspiritor and hot water heater get to me. 

          • Lois McNulty

            I’m a big fan of the ATM machine

          • HonestDebate1

            I may or may not agree.

          • John Cedar

            You wouldn’t be if you forgot your PIN number.

          • hennorama

            Out of curiosity only, are you part of the anti-A conspirAcy, sir?

          • 1Brett1

            I think he’s bigoted against the A.

          • hennorama

            1Brett1 – TY for your response. Your opinion is noted.

            Personally, I try to be very careful with respect to the word “bigot” and nearly always use some form of the word “bias” in its stead.

            TY again for your response.

          • 1Brett1

            um…it wasjokeplaying offof his accusation that I u call him a bigot allthe time.

          • hennorama

            1Brett1 – believe me, I’ve read the exchanges and have observed the various terms thrown around.

            Any implied criticism was intended for any and all users of the word. It’s too loaded to be tossed about willy-nilly or silly-nilly or willy-silly IMO.

            (perhaps “willy-silly” is more of a description of today’s topic? But I digress…)

          • 1Brett1

            I don’ttossit around; I dothinkhe’s a bigot. His arrogance (convincedof the superiority of his opinions; his narrow mindedness, etc.

          • 1Brett1

            But, then, you didn’t use the word, I did. I chose my owrdsasI see fit. 

          • hennorama

            1Brett1 – really, no worries.

            “It’s all good.” (yet another pet peeve phrase)

          • HonestDebate1

            What follows below is a thread all about me. No matter the topic it turns to me. But it’s not about me.

          • hennorama

            HeDebatesNot – yet another example of your odd habit of the  “self-reply.”
            This one gives the lie (again) to your many and various claims of “I don’t care what you think.”

          • HonestDebate1

            More about me. Have you no shame?

          • hennorama

            BoneheadTest- another RC issue, it appears.

            “It’s not about” you, it was about “yet another example of your odd habit…”

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT – Look – it being it and all, I literally squeezed four pet peeves into one very unique sentence, making me one of the only ones ever to do so, and at 11:00 AM in the morning, to boot!

          • nj_v2

            Definately!

          • hennorama

            nj_v2 – I can’t tell whether your post was a typo or simple misspelling of one of the most frequently misspelled words in the English language, or if you were adding to the list of “pet language peeves.” Or none of the above.

            http://grammar.yourdictionary.com/spelling-and-word-lists/misspelled.html

            Regardless, thank you for your response.

  • Pat

    Whatever happened to the sort of humility shown by the late John Profumo, British MP who, after the scandal of the “Profumo Affair” in the early 1960s, spent the rest of his working life as a volunteer for a charity? Profumo had the financial means that allowed him to do that; perhaps Spitzer and Weiner don’t. That said, Spitzer, Weiner, Sanford, etc. could make a very comfortable living outside public life.

  • Joyisaboynamedmurphy

    interestingly, Paula Deen did not just use the N word 30 years ago …she uses foul, racist language as long”as it is not mean”
    The deposition explains what she did and the P o r n that she allowed in the restaurant that she and her brother run.
    There was an out take video that she wanted to be run before she did a performance that used many foul words and the 
    person running the show would not show this.
    Someone should actually read what she did and what she said.I believe using this language is acceptable in the Southern culture so she just lifted the stone on a behavior that is considered acceptable as long as it is “not said in a mean way”
    I think words have value and I think that saying these things even in a funny way is hurtful and important ….

  • Zee Zarbock

    In Australia they have something called the “tall poppy syndrome.” It’s mostly negative, but people who stand out through self-promotion higher than others (the tall poppy), often get chopped down to be even with the rest. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tall_poppy_syndrome

    • hennorama

      There
      is a Japanese proverb – Deru kui wa utareru – that is often
      paraphrased as “The nail that rises up gets hammered down.” It
      literally means “The stake that sticks up gets hammered down,”
      meaning ‘If you stand out, you will be subject to criticism.’

      see:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_proverbs#Examples_of_Japanese_proverbs

      In
      Japan it’s more about conformity to societal and cultural norms.
      Japanese culture has long valued harmony and homogeneity. Over the
      centuries, Japanese society developed ethnic, religious, linguistic
      and cultural homogeneity, and general societal solidarity. One would
      expect such things from a relatively isolated island nation.

      Japanese
      society generally works together for the good of the whole, whereas
      American society generally celebrates the success of the individual.
      There are also significant differences in the attitudes about
      failure. Japanese society generally severely stigmatizes failure,
      which leads to risk-aversion and much less entrepreneurship.

      Given
      that Aussies value individuality, egalitarianism and especially the
      “fair go”, one might expect Aussies to convert “tall poppy
      syndrome” into something positive rather than negative.

      • jefe68

        And yet there is a lot of corruption in Japanese politics.

        • hennorama

          jefe68 – indeed. However, given the extent of political and bureaucratic corruption, one might argue that the “clean” politician or bureaucrat would be an anomaly that would get “hammered down,” making the proverb apt.

      • Zee Zarbock

        I agree, Aussies like to give a fair go. I think the issue is “self-promotion,” i.e., seeing those who have self-promoted so much put back into line. Interestingly, the wikipedia entry said that of all the places “tall poppy” syndrome is called such (mostly Commonwealth countries), it is considered to be negative, but that the tide may be turning for it a bit in Australia a little more toward sometimes being at least less negative.

  • pplr1

    I don’t mind seeking forgiveness but I think there is a lack of truly saying some of the things done wrong.  With Paula Deen she is alleged to have gone beyond saying a bad word once.  She my understanding that she repeatedly used it (and may have lied about how often), wanted a “plantation” wedding w. black servers for a family member, and treated an employee badly.

    I’m glad someone finally mentioned the issue with fatty foods and type 2 diabetes.

  • tbphkm33

    I do not believe in forgiveness, because 9 times out of 10, the person seeking forgiveness is actually asking you for acceptance of their behavior.  They have not changed or transformed from the experience, they only seek social justification of the person they truly are.  

    When asked for forgiveness, I say that I do not believe in it, that they need to seek personal acceptance of who they are.  Accept themselves, instead of seeking absolution in the form of a rubber stamp from me. 

  • JACOBB719

    Not sure who said it, but even bad publicity is publicity. I
    believe this is very true especially in the case of politicians but extends to
    celebrities at large. Sometimes I feel like these “mistakes”, albeit probably originally
    real mess ups, are spun and used to prey on our emotions. While used to prey on
    our Judeo-Christian duty to forgive, the
    whole act reinforces the negatives of celebritism in the U.S. as we have
    come to know it. Is it really about right and wrong? Or is it about
    entertainment?

  • Valeriezoe

    With 230 million people in the country, certainly we can find a few who are more ethical than Wiener and Spitzer to vote for a major political office.  And God knows we already have plenty of cookbooks available that one more from a cook who doesn’t care about health won’t be missed.  Like one of the guests pointed out just now, they’re only sorry because they got caught.  Without that they’d have never considered what they did was wrong or stupid much less would they have apologized for it.

  • JACOBB719

    Not sure who said it, but even bad publicity is publicity. I
    believe this is very true especially in the case of politicians but extends to
    celebrities at large. Sometimes I feel like these “mistakes”, albeit probably originally
    real mess ups, are spun and used to prey on our emotions. While used to prey on
    our Judeo-Christian duty to forgive, the
    whole act reinforces the negatives of celebritism in the U.S. as we have
    come to know it. Is it really about right and wrong? Or is it about
    entertainment?

  • ThirdWayForward

    Bush, Cheney, and their cohorts fabricated a case for a needless war that killed 4,000 Americans, over 100,000 Iraquis, and wounded many times these numbers. They have never apologized, not in the least.

    Then there are all the Wall St. wiseguys that cooked books and made off with hundreds of billions in profits. They have never apologized, not in the least.

    We need to focus on real evil, not these idiotic, petty mistakes of narcissistic politicians. The sooner we stop obsessing about celebrity culture, and this discussion of forgiveness is part of that obsession, the healthier we will be as a society.

    Celebrities are not real people — they are mass media projections —  and we should not buy into the illusion that we should treat them in the same way as we would someone we know.

    • Bluejay2fly

      Well said.

    • nj_v2

      Best post of the day on this thread!

    • LinRP

       Brilliant

    • Doubting_Thomas12

      Thanks for saving me the trouble of posting. I was wondering when we would talk about some of the clear and present dangers facing our country, rather than a bunch of nuts who made mistakes that affected more or less trivial things in comparison.

  • Michael_Rafferty

    As an Irish Catholic, I am spiritually required to forgive and culturally unable to forget.  Today’s discussion does seem to point to the value of “holding a grudge.”

  • JoanieGentian

    John Edwards is such a liar.  I decided that, though, when he lied to me in person back in NH in 2004 while he was running for president/VP. So earnestly convincing with his blue eyes and all, but he went out of his way to lie to me.  So the rest of his story just confirmed my initial impression of him.  The liar sort of person I just could never trust, and would have a really hard time voting for.  Just my observation/reaction though, not a matter of forgiveness or non-forgiveness. 

    • J__o__h__n

      I always thought he was sleezy.  I had no idea to the extent.  His wife was the only thing I liked about him.

  • Blake_PA

    I think these folks in the spotlight should have to face similar consequences as regular folks when they commit crimes.  For example, if an accountant is caught embezzling money from the business they work for they will lose their job and face jail time.  Once out of prison, what is the likelihood that their former employer would hire them back?
    Another thought, what would you want if you were caught doing such a crime as these folks in the spotlight – what would you then consider as a fair punishment?

    • J__o__h__n

      What if the accountant had an affair?  Should he be fired?  Most accountants who commit crimes are promoted. 

  • tbphkm33

    On a side note, this headline from yesterday: 
    Iran will provide state-run email addresses to all citizens http://flip.it/lpLEG

    — What’s the problem, here in the “land of the free” private companies provide citizens with e-mail… then the companies, their advertising “partners”, and the government monitor everyone’s e-mail.

    • HonestDebate1

      Getcha’ a Reagan dot com address and you’re gold.

  • Raoulduck

    Paula Deen’s troubles are related to her treatment of employees in the past few years, not statements she made twenty-five years. She’s been quite unrepentant, insisting that people accept her as she is, because she won’t change. Her non-apologies don’t cut it.
    Spitzer and Weiner both resigned from their posts, publicly issued clear mea culpas and spent time in political exile for their moral shortcomings. So those cases are not equivalent. Deen’s life is largely irrelevant to me, except for the fact she advocates a poisonous diet that she herself has suffered health consequences for. That “sin” is greater than her racial douchery.

    I consider John Edwards and Mark Sanford to be alike. Both cheated on their spouses, committed financial fraud, lied to the public and supporters, and betrayed their families and the public trust. Neither should ever hold public office again.

  • 2Gary2

    I forgive as it helps me retain my serenity.  I forgive for my benefit and not the person I am forgiving.  To forget is just plain stupid.

  • PH1

    When you say “get a pass” think Chappaquiddick.  Kennedy was reelected countless times.  The State of Massachusetts must be full of forgiveness!

    • TomK_in_Boston

      No, think spendin’ the summer clearin’ brush in Crawford after being briefed “bin Laden Determined to Strike in USA”, then invading iraq after fooling us with scary WMD stories. 

      • HonestDebate1

        You seem to bring that up a lot. Are you really serious? Seriously, really? Can you honestly debate that premise with gut-wrenching truth to the bitter end wherever it leads? Are you actually prepared, hypothetically, in your heart to make the moral (or not), tactical and practical equivalences between forgiveness bestowed to Ted Kennedy’s actions at Chappaquiddick and President Bush regarding the infamous PDB? 

        I have a hard time believing you can sincerely say you’re serious. You’re smart enough to be a 1%er. God bless you and I swear on a stack of Bibles I’m not a Christian, but I know you can’t be that dumb.

        • TomK_in_Boston

          Yes, I bring it up a lot, since 9/11 is a rather big deal, and a lot of Obama bashers seem to have forgotten who was in charge, negligently, readin’ “my pet goat”, at the time.

          If you want to “give a pass”, as the OP said, to the negligence that brought the towers down and led to the waste of blood and treasure in the iraq debacle….well, I’m actually not surprised, as you are 100% partisan. 

          You ranted quite a bit about Bengazy. Ask yourself how you would have reacted to news that Hilary had ignored a briefing “al Queda Determined to Strike in Benzagy”.

          • HonestDebate1

            First of all Hillary WAS warned about Benghazi. Secondly, it was a no brainer because of 5 previous attacks. Third, “in USA” is a bit more broad than “Benghazi”, if you did have a point which you don’t. Fourth, Bin Laden already tried to bring down the WTC in ’93 so the PDB was the biggest “duh” in the universe.

            So your position seems to be Bush was reading MyPet Goat, completely disinterested in protecting America. He should have known to outlaw box cutters and ground every airline indefinitely immediately. 

            You’re just pulling my leg.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            I get it. You’re infinitely more outraged about the less direct warning about the incident of infinitely less consequence, because all you care about is partisan attacks.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      It is amazing.  The clown parade continues with the latest cast of characters.  At least the House Speakers usually get convicted of some sort of felony to take them out of circulation.

    • debhulbh

      Laura Bush ran a red light and killed a youong man…
      What IS your point?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    Roxanne said “icky” disqualifies.

    I didn’t hear the whole show. I hope that having an abortion was not brought up as how a female pol or celebrity or public figure “failed” and “had to apologize”.

    But considering how “icky” abortion is to the mainstream press, I’m almost counting the days until it happens.

    (And, of course, I’m doubling down on it being an anti-choicer.)

  • Sy2502

    Frankly actors and celebrities shouldn’t seek forgiveness from me. I am not some kind of judge and executioner that they should try to impress and sway. They need to deal with their own conscience and whether they are happy with themselves or not. Politicians on the other hand do have a responsibility toward us, and are accountable to us.

  • nj_v2

    (Disqus post-placement fail.)

  • Tyranipocrit

    paula dean–dont know her–but she looks like a psycho.  Most of these people in public life are mentally unstable or incompetent.  Like the FBIs fraudulent war on terror–they entrap people who are stressed, weak, marginalized, perhaps in need of help–

    the Corporate aristocracy props up questionable nutty people because sane people dont have time for nonsense or see thru the lies.  These are people who in a fair world–unscripted and unmolested by big money–would be unknown, unimportant, and unaccomplished.  

    I’m sure paula dean would look nice if she wasn’t clowned up by mainstream TV.

  • Tyranipocrit

     the worst thing about a public official going to a prostitute is that many prostitutes are inn a slave trade.  But if said prostitute has made a choice (social ills aside) she is doing nothing wrong.  its her body.  And neither is the ublic official–he is making a choice–his right.  sex is natural.  we live in a capitalist society –are you really surprised people pay for sex?  Its the oldest trade in history.

    all politicians do.  all rich people do.  all powerful people use their power to take what they want.

  • Rachel Bernu

    I am SOOOOOO over hearing about the Paula Deen thing as if it was about whether or not the woman said the N word 20-30 years ago… It was SO much more than that. She condoned a work environment where it was ok for the manager of her business (her brother) & others to say sexist & racist things and to watch and share pornography on site.  She also changed her story on when she used the N word, how often etc…And totally, initially played down the hurtfulness of using it.  It was only when her business was in serious trouble that she made her apology.  If it had simply come out that 20-30 years ago the woman used the N word, it would have been a non-story.  It was a MUCH bigger thing than that and I wish that would be recognized. 

    • phytolipide

      I agree -it’s not a matter of a word she used or misspeaking. She perpetuated a systemic racism at her restaurant. 

      Her comments, including the “N word” and desire to see a wedding staffed by grinning and stooping black men, speaks to a world view that I can only call racist.

      To be honest, I often wondered whether she was a racist because of the part of the country she comes from and her lifestyle, but I gave her the benefit of the doubt. Her comments and indictment just reveal/confirm racist ugliness on the part of people like her that I was hoping would no longer be there.

      I don’t accept the comments of callers who talk about how such thinking was common and it takes a long time to get such [racist] thinking out of your mind, etc.

      Given that such a racist worldview has real world implications – in her case the treatment of the workers at her restaurant – I can’t forgive and forget this.

      I also can’t speak to the sincerity of her apologies. It isn’t clear to me that Paula, as with others who give public apologies, isn’t most sorry about losing her media empire.

    • marjkramer

      Have to say our world is still very racist.  In NYC 90% the people doing manual work, have brown skin.  In Georgia recently, in a town with 50% black residents, white people live lives quite segregated except for manual work and food service.  Even with Barack Obama as president. I went to a wedding last month that had all white guests and all black male grinning and stooping food servers. The food was wonderful, (I wonder how wonderfully paid they were, somehow I suspect not well paid). That’s still reality.

  • John Cedar

    One thing missed about the Weiner story is that he texted his junk to an unsuspecting woman. Electronic indecent public  exposure and lewdness. It was not mutually consenting adults “sexting” each other, as the media would have us believe.

    Whereas Spitzer and his lovely hooker were both consenting.

    But Spitzer’s bigger transgression was troopergate. A word coined for him before the Palindrones tagged Palin with it. And although Bruno was a crook Spitzer was no longer the steamroller AG when he made that political illegal blunder.

    What they do have in common is that they are both bombastic divisive derisive megalomaniacs. When Newt was speaker and doing a fine job, the republicans were wise enough to oust him when he became poison. The democrats never care about such things.

    The interesting thing about all of this comeback stuff is that in order to put Weiner back in office they have to give a big fat finger to a very qualified female of the lesbian persuasion named Christine Quinn. And the democrats seem to eager to do just that especially for the party that supposedly is on the side of the members in both those identity politics. The super-delegates had an easy time doing the same thing to Hillary. I voted for Hillary in two elections.

    • phytolipide

      Yes, I wondered why the panel seemed to minimize Weiner’s conduct – as if it were a harmless prank.

      To my mind, beyond displaying an extreme lapse in judgement, it is the kind of thing that 1) had he done on a public street would have gotten him arrested and possibly on a sex offender registry and 2) may be indicative of a larger dysfunction (we read that unsolicited exhibitionism like his can escalate to other sexual offenses).

      The fact that Weiner’s wife has forgiven him doesn’t hold any sway with me either. We don’t know the dynamics of their relationship, her expectations (some people have very strong beliefs around remaining married) and frankly, many women in her situation, pregnant with their first child, would have stayed.

      Re Spitzer – He had a favorite sex worker — a woman whose testimony has pointed to a consensual arrangement. While I don’t like what looks on the surface as a betrayal of his wife (and again, I know absolutely nothing about how their relationship functions), I see that as quite different than Weiner’s situation. 

      As regards, the illegality of visiting a sex worker — I think we need to be certain to distinguish between what is illegal and what is unethical. There are many people in this country who feel that sex work should no longer be illegal, although trafficking or sexual slavery should be and that to continue to have it on the books as such harkens back to earlier sexual mores. Homosexual sexual activity is still illegal in many states although the nation’s opinions about gay people seem to have moved on. Marijuana possession/consumption remains illegal in most states and federally even though most Americans don’t seem to judge it a sin.

      I agree that what Spitzer did was illegal, but think we’d be hard pressed to find anyone in this country who has not done something that is illegal. Spotless conduct viz a viz the law is an ideal, never a reality.

      I just don’t buy the argument that Spitzer’s private sexual life constituted an abuse of power or a betrayal of the public trust or hypocrisy.

  • brettearle

    Depending upon one’s transgression, one can be forgiven or not forgiven.

    But one thing for sure, from my point of view:

    Many who finger-point often do so self-righteously and in a particularly mean-spirited way.

                     
                             *****************
                             

    Ho-hummmmm….One wonders as to whether those who finger- point zealously are doing so to compensate for the deficiencies in their own lives and for their own character flaws…..Ho-hmmmmmm.

  • average_tom

    I’m surprised everyone gave the guest a free pass on her comment “… and all these guys are white and of a certain class”.  Granted, the numbers are telling.  But shouldn’t Marion Barry’s record be just as obvious?  After serving time for drug charges he was re-elected mayor of DC.

    We cannot expect better out of our politicians unless we are willing to hold them to a higher standard. The citizens of DC and SC (re Sanford) weren’t willing to do that.

    And maybe we should expect better out of those in the media?

  • debhulbh

    That reading of the pressure and strain on James Gandolfino was heart wrenching…that he could not separate the man from the actor and that it swallowed him up and finally killed him is much too sad.
    He paid the ultimate sacrifice…as did his family…
    Maybe he was just weird…I don’t know….
    But maybe just maybe we ask these men to be much too dark and for what…?
    so that we can sit and watch them descend into madness….as Gandolfino did.
    The studios should put systems in place to take better care of their committed actors…
    How about presenting the fact that this decline can easily happen if one does not keep ones head..

  • Anthony Amiewalan

    I think it is important to forgive, but never forget. We are all human. The important thing is to learn from your mistakes and keep it moving.

    http://thejumping-offpoint.com/2013/08/01/decorating-as-a-couple/

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