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Feeling Hypocritical? Don't Worry: Everybody Else Is, Too

Everyone hates hypocrisy. But, hold on, says one philosopher, we’re all hypocrites. It’s part of being human.

In a photo taken Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013, newly-elected Rep. Vance McAllister, a Republican of Louisiana, waits to be sworn in at the Capitol in Washington. McAllister says he's asking his family and constituents for forgiveness after a West Monroe newspaper published a video that it says shows the congressman kissing a female staffer in his congressional office in Monroe, La. McAllister, only in office a little over four months, attracted national attention because of his endorsement from the bearded men of the "Duck Dynasty" reality TV show. (AP)

In a photo taken Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013, newly-elected Rep. Vance McAllister, a Republican of Louisiana, waits to be sworn in at the Capitol in Washington. McAllister says he’s asking his family and constituents for forgiveness after a West Monroe newspaper published a video that it says shows the congressman kissing a female staffer in his congressional office in Monroe, La. (AP)

We all know hypocrisy when we see it.  Say one thing, do another and you’re there.  We condemn hypocrites and hypocrisy.  Dante, in his Inferno, consigned hypocrites to the eighth circle of hell.  And yet, if we’re honest, we can see what a crowded place that would be.  Neuroscientists now say we are, as a species, hard-wired for some degree of hypocrisy.  For self-deception.  Cognitive dissonance.  But that’s different than saying it’s okay.  If we don’t resist hypocrisy, we’re in a big moral muddle. This hour On Point:  the human capacity for hypocrisy, and just how deep it goes.

– Tom Ashbrook


Clancy Martin, philosopher and novelist. He’s contributing editor at  Harper’s Magazine and professor of philosophy and business ethics at the University of Missouri,  Kansas City’s  Bloch School of Management. Author of “How to Sell: A Novel.”

Roxanne Roberts, feature writer covering Washington’s culture for the Washington Post, and former co-author of the Post’s pop culture column, the Reliable Source.

From Tom’s Reading List

Harper’s: On Hypocrisy – “I’m in good company in my dislike of hypocrisy. Complaints about it were common in Ancient Greece and Rome: Aristotle’s successor, Theophrastus, wrote a treatise attacking it as a vice, and one of Cicero’s requirements for friendship was that a friend must never engage in “feigning or hypocrisy. ”

New York Times: Amid Charges of Hypocrisy, Louisiana Lawmaker Faces Calls to Step Down – “After winning an election pledging to ‘defend our Christian way of life,’ Mr. McAllister now faces accusations of hypocrisy as thick as spring mosquitoes on the bayou. Gov. Bobby Jindal, a fellow Republican, has called on him to step down, and the state Republican chairman labeled him ‘an example of why ordinary people are fed up with politics.’”

Huffington Post: Staffer Who Was Caught Kissing Vance McAllister Resigns, While Congressman Keeps His Job — “McAllister chief of staff Adam Terry says Peacock has already been removed from the congressman’s payroll. However, the congressman told the News-Star he has no plans to resign. He says he will seek reelection in the fall ‘unless there is an outcry for me not to serve, and so far there has been an outpouring of support, not for my actions, but for me to continue to represent the people.’”

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  • Expanded_Consciousness

    Jung on the General Hypocrisy of Man:

    “C. G. Jung a few times referred to the hypocrisy of people who are not aware of the dark or shadow-side of their nature.

    Every individual needs revolution, inner division, overthrow of the existing order, and renewal, but not by forcing them upon his neighbors under the hypocritical cloak of Christian love or the sense of social responsibility or any of the other beautiful euphemisms for unconscious urges to personal power (Jung, 1966:5).

    It is under all circumstances an advantage to be in full possession of one’s personality, otherwise the repressed elements will only crop up as a hindrance elsewhere, not just at some unimportant point, but at the very spot where we are most sensitive. If people can be educated to see the shadow-side of their nature clearly, it may be hoped that they will also learn to understand and love their fellow men better. A little less hypocrisy and a little more self-knowledge can only have good results in respect for our neighbor; for we are all too prone to transfer to our fellows the injustice and violence we inflict upon our own natures (Jung, 1966:par. 28).

    In New Paths in Psychology (1916) Jung pointedly referred to the “hypocritical pretenses of man”.

    Dream-analysis above all else mercilessly uncovers the lying morality and hypocritical pretenses of man, showing him, for once, the other side of his character in the most vivid light (Jung, 1966:par. 437).

    Jung omitted this characterization from his later essay On the Psychology of the Unconscious (1943), which developed out of the former.”

  • Yar

    Half the world lives on less than 2 dollars a day, the rest of us are hypocrites. We elect hypocrisy to high office, we sit it in the judgment seat, we strain at the gnat and swallow. We preach love while practicing hate, A good show for Holy week because pointing out Hypocrisy is a good way to get crucified, while not pointing it out is the practice of hypocrisy.

  • HonestDebate1

    Hypocrisy doesn’t bother me much.

    • jefe68

      Make up your mind, is it about you or not.

      • HonestDebate1

        We give our opinions here, that’s the purpose. Are you stupid?

      • hennorama

        jefe68 — one might fairly conclude that the individual to whom you replied omitted the words “My own” from the beginning of his claim, above.

        Three days ago, this individual wrote, in part (emphasis added):

        Brettearle please I’m begging, don’t follow your idol to become a schoolmarm. Not only is it annoying as hell, it is hypocritical as it can possibly be.


        • brettearle

          Me thinks, contributor–who speaketh with forked tongue about prim-proper young tutor–doth kneel to False Idols…

          marmwood! marmwood!

          • hennorama

            brettearle — HA!

            Glad that wasn’t repeated thrice. Be careful of what you might conjure:


          • brettearle

            Thou hast clicked heels thrice
            and hath taken flight to coded room
            where thy coated acronyms await
            thy decipher…

            Ah! But no need!


            For thy drivel Rival will De-dunce, soon: Erasures hath covered tracks of Electronic favor

          • hennorama

            Apropos of the topic:

            I do believe you think what now you speak
            But what we do determine oft we break.

            Purpose is but the slave to memory,
            Of violent birth, but poor validity

          • brettearle

            For Gonzago, here, seal,
            thy “On Point” Fate

            The Forum, doth Inflate;
            `Tis where, we’ll catch,
            the conscience of
            No Debate

          • hennorama

            Impressive, that.

          • brettearle

            Moo Chose
            Gratz E Us

  • John Cedar

    So predictable… the example of hypocrisy given here, would be of an obscure republican.
    Clinton, Edwards, Spitzer, Heart, Kennedy… all fight as soldiers of fortune in the war on women, while treating the women in their lives as crap. You will never hear the MSN ask Hill or Bill, how Chelsea should respond to a blue dress scenario, if she were one of the stars in a similar play.

    Hypocrisy does not bother me. It is the core of Christianity, the religion that produces the nicest folks in the world. They preach not to sin but acknowledge they are all sinners.

    What bothers me much more, is double standards for hypocrisy, or anything else for that matter. .

    • geraldfnord

      Well, he’s not obscure, because he’s the latest such, just as Michele Bachmann and Herman Caine weren’t obscure once they were frontrunners.

      Edwards mistreated his wife, as did Clinton and the rest (if by ‘Heart’ you mean ‘Hart’), but that is different to public acts with effects on all women…and you will note that Edwards has no political career…Clinton et ux have such solely because their opponents raised the stakes too high and too fast,and too many of them were guilty of the same (that is, hypocrisy).

      Spitzer is or was a terrible hypocrite because he prosecuted johns; the use of force makes it much worse.

      As voters and customers and supporters, we get to decide how much to weigh it all. It seems likely to me that Al Gore does more against anthropogenic climate change flying around for face-to-face meetings than he does promoting it with his jet,one among thousands,most of whose other owners nothing or worse on the issue…Vitter’s and McAllister’s constituents may well decide that the office-holder does more to advance their blinkered views on ‘family values’ than the men have done to impede them. The sins of the man or woman are one thing, but I’m disinterested in the sex-lives of my servants.

      • John Cedar

        But what if Gore could attend all his face to face meetings while flying empty leg? Whatever…forget the jets, his carbon footprint is a big fat scarlet H for other reasons. But unlike the other misogynist D’s mentioned above (or below, depending on your sort by settings), he does likely pay his masseuse he gropes, equally as well as he does his masseur.

        However, while there is no doubt that giant mansions and private jets make for giant carbon footprints, there is no guarantee that extramarital smooches will destroy a given family or the value that it adds to society. Which means that the example of McAllister as hypocrite is obscure in two senses of the word.

        It is just such a sad state of affairs, so to speak, when we have a president whose legacy is hypocrisy, and who sets new records weekly in the sport of hypocrisy, yet we have to drag out some obscure republican sneaking a smooch, as the example.

  • Ed75

    The most dramatic accusation of hypocrisy of course came from Jesus to the Pharisees: ‘You hypocrites!’. (I think in Greek in means ‘actors’.) These specific people acted as if they loved God but really loved comfort and honor and money. One effect of a prayer life is that God shows us who we are, and God gives us the power to act differently.
    But hypocrisy is different from just weakness in reaching our ideals. St. Paul says ‘Miserable man that I am, what I want to do I do not, and that which I do not want to do, that I do’ (my paraphrase). Hypocrisy isn’t weakness but is intentional, with some self-knowledge, and is much worse. We all fall short of God’s glory, which involves, among other things integrity (lack of hypocrisy), which is why we admit our sinfulness and ask for mercy at the start of every Mass.
    Plato’s Republic begins with the question ‘What is Justice’, but the republic and be seen as an analogy of the individual’s soul, and the question can be translated ‘What is integrity’, part of which is living without hypocrisy.

  • Human2013

    I’m really starting to dislike capitalism, but I have a closet full of shoes and handbags.

  • creaker

    Sure we all are – but there are degrees of hypocrisy – this is kind of like saying scratching the paint and totalling the car are all the same thing.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Speak for yourselves.

  • Omaha Guy

    Hold on! Hypocrites are those who actively work against those that they SAY they support.

    Not a Hypocrite: If an alcoholic says that alcohol should be taxed, even though he admits he is still addicted, in hopes that he and other addicts can help escape alcoholism… that is not a hypocrite. That is someone who does not yet live up to the ideals they aspire to.

    Hypocrite: If an oil company supports their political candidates, and requires them to be pro-life to manipulate religious people (common since the 80′s)… yet poisons the water of those children, and then sends those children off to fight an oil war in Iraq…. actions against life… THAT is a hypocrite.

    Not a Hypocrite: If a poor person shops at Wal-mart because they are desperate, and very price sensitive, even though they are aware they are part of a system that sends their jobs to other bad countries… they feel sad. They are not hypocrites.

    Hypocrite: If a corporation wants lower tax rates in order to create jobs, yet takes a deductible business expense for products made in slave labor countries, and maintains those deductions under the lies of creating jobs… that is a really bad hypocrite.

    Not a Hypocrite: A person who would love to create a solar panel on their roof, and a windmill in their backyard, yet cannot afford it, and ends up using natural gas from frakking… sad, but not a hypocrite.

    Hypocrite: A person who SAYS they support the troops. Then they drive a gas guzzling pickup (by choice to show off) They know that protecting oil makes the job of protecting our freedom more difficult needlessly, for our troops. A very misguided hypocrite.

  • geraldfnord

    In Neal Stephenson’s “The Diamond Age” a character gives a stirring defense of hypocrisy, ‘The tribute Vice pays to Virtue.’, as being at least the acknowledgment of the existence of Virtue. The problem with this argument is that Virtue as such does not exist, just individual virtuous acts and forebearances from acting. The net effect of the tolerance of hypocrisy is that it allows the powerful to champion Virtue while eschewing virtues, even as they exhort the rest of us to toe the line and pounce on our non-compliance. How many teenage sons of anti-drug crusaders have been tried as adult dealers lately? How many vocal abortion critics see things differently when it’s their daughter? Evidently ‘Don’t ruin this young person’s Bright Future.’ are magic words, particularly since we know in advance that our young people all have bright futures, but not those young persons over there about whom we give not a fewmet.

    It makes one long for John Rawls’ Veil of Ignorance.

    Congress really ought to be fully subject to fair labour and civil rights laws, but I don’t want the Executive Branch to be able to reach into the halls of Congress with force majeure (see ‘Long, Huey Pierce’), and at least the voters could enforce compliance if they cared to do. I’m more concerned with public and private actors who don’t see the need for improving the environment because it’s fine where _they_ live, or who preach ’personal responsibility’ to consumers of their extremely unhealthful products even as they shrug off any of their own responsibility for encouraging consumers’ _not_ acting maturely—a small ‘drink responsibly’ does not leave you morally off-the-hook for twenty times that spent shewing the mob just how alcohol will get them bikini babes and otherwise make them cool, especially if all the harm is blamed on the firm for whom they work even as they get hefty rewards for abetting that artificial person’s sins and crimes….

  • sickofthechit

    You can quote me on this,
    “Republican politicians; Hypocrites? or Schizophrenic Hypocrites?”
    (copyright 2008 charles a. bowsher)

  • Coastghost

    Requisite specificity, per favore: what specific hypocrisies beset professional philosophy these days? (“Physician, heal thyself”, et cetera.)

  • Jeff

    Ah yes, the hypocrites…you know like Obama demanding equal pay and yet the White House doesn’t have equal pay. Or how about Al Gore travelling the world on a private jet to inform people about global warming?

    • creaker

      There’s enough to go around – hypocrisy is a form of dishonesty and I don’t think there is such a thing as politics without dishonesty.

    • geraldfnord

      I don’t know about pay equality in the Executive Branch; I do know about staffing-numbers inequity, but as Obama isn’t asking that everyone else remedy it perfectly or near, immediately or close-to….

      As for Gore, his is but one of thousands such, many of them transporting men (and a few women…a fraction far lower than the White House’s, I’ll gratuitously add) working assiduously to heat things up; if he at least believes that his advocacy helps to net-ameliorate the problem, he’s not in this wise an hypocrite. (Note that I cut Phyllis Schlafly similar slack, as I believe that she believes that her self-actualisation and use of her talents outside the home will lead to all women’s lives’ being constrained and diminished in the ways she wishes them to be, suchthat they won’t be allowed or even want to follow her example, much as a master-worshipping slave might run off on the holy mission of recapturing all the slaves who have escaped.)

  • Coastghost

    Do advocates and theoreticians (with or without practitioners) of deontological ethics spawn more widespread or more pernicious forms of hypocrisy than less strident moralists and ethicists?
    How susceptible is the practice of philanthropy itself to hypocrisy?

  • anne sweeney

    Tom, The worst thing happens at work. Recently our Union, Local 42 negotiated a contract for their workers prior to winning a 387 million dollar contract from the state of Massachusetts. Prior to the contract, Management told us that they had no money, therefore we had to settle for a lower amount. They had our union convinced, they had no money and in fact, might have to close. Is this Hypocrisy? or Politics and is Politics Hypocrisy and we just expect that most politicians are Hypocrites?

    • geraldfnord

      Well, if management knew the truth they were just lying, they weren’t in that case hypocritical because everyone knows that they’re always try to poor-mouth as much as possible. If the union leadership knew, that would be hypocritical because they claim to be trying to get you as much as they can.

  • Bill98

    I think that the issue is with the way that we define our beliefs. Since humans are incapable of creating one perfect set of rules which apply in all situations, there will be conflict between these rules. And hypocrisy follows. I believe it is unavoidable.

    • geraldfnord

      Very much so, and we have to judge, morally and practically…if Hitler had died in ’36, genocide and perhaps even war could have been avoided if leadership had been with the hypocritical Göring, but not with the absolutely sincere Goebbels, it’s the difference between ‘_I_ decide who’s a Jew.’ and ‘I don’t want my children to live in a world without National Socialism.’.

      Which was the better man? Well,they were both absolute shites…but we could have dealt with one….

  • Emily4HL

    There’s a huge range of how hypocritical one can be for politeness. It’s impossible to totally avoid, but you can usually be polite without saying things that aren’t true

    In the example given of seeing “Tom” @ school, you can acknowledge someone’s presence politely, “hello, how are you?, I haven’t seen you in awhile,” without saying that you’ve been missing that person. They are standing next to you and deserve acknowledgment–you don’t have to say you missed them or that you want to get together soon. Just like you can genuinely thank someone for thinking of you when they give a gift you don’t care for without falsely praising the gift.

  • anne sweeney

    We need a better ethic, both at work and in politics. We hire hypocrites and seem to embrace them more and more, why ?

  • anne sweeney

    The Catholic Church is the worst parental body, Do as I say, not what I do philosophy.

  • andrewgarrett

    A lot of the comments below prove how hypocritical we are, as the commenters set out to prove that it’s only the other side that’s hypocritical. Have you ever known somebody who is always right? Of course not. So how could one slice of the political spectrum (the progressive Left, the tea party Right, etc.) be right about everything? So somewhere on some issue the “progressive” is in fact not being progressive (I can think of a bunch of “progressive” stances that aren’t progressive). That’s hypocrisy. Likewise, somewhere on some issue the tea partier is being hypocritical.

    A certain amount of hypocrisy is inevitable, but it seems that a lot could be avoided by not subscribing to a religious-like set of political beliefs.

    • hennorama

      andrewgarrett — while I agree with much of what you wrote, there is a difference between inconsistency and hypocrisy.

  • J__o__h__n

    All hypocrisy isn’t equal. We don’t need to examine our own hypocrisy before complaining about that of a politician or religious figure. They are governing us or telling people how to live their lives. They should be held to a higher standard.

  • Oh bummer

    “If you like your health insurance, you can keep it”.
    (Barack Obama)

    That has got to be the most hypocritical, as well as dishonest statement, any politician has ever made.

    • Emily4HL

      I still think he said that because he didn’t think people actually liked health plans that were so crappy and thought people wouldn’t like insurance that screwed them over.

      • Oh bummer

        He said it because he was trying to sell a toxic, health care plan that he knew a majority of Americans wanted no part of. It was a convenient lie.

        • Emily4HL

          I do agree that it wasn’t a good statement to make, but how horrible it is depends on how you judge Obama’s intentions, belief in his own plan, and the results of an election largely run on ACA. Clearly, we judge them differently.

          • Oh bummer

            I know that you have good intentions, and deep down you don’t want to believe that the President lied to the American people, but he did. He wasn’t the first President to lie to the American people, and he won’t be the last.

    • ThirdWayForward

      How exactly is this hypocrisy?

      Obama was saying that the insurance reforms would not affect health insurance policies that were then in effect. It was also mainly true — only a very small fraction of minimalist, fig leaf health insurance policies were affected by the reforms. For the vast majority of us, what he said was true. Those who had those ripoff fig leaf policies are also better off because of the reforms — they are now able to get real coverage at lower cost. Those who can’t are mainly in Republican controlled states that have refused to expand Medicaid to cover low income people in these situations.

      It is complete hypocrisy for Republicans to criticize Obama on health care, when they themselves vehemently oppose universal access to health care.

      • Oh bummer

        How do you explain 5 million Americans getting notices from their insurers that stating their health care coverage has been dropped?

        Make sure you consult your Obamacare talking points before you respond.

        • jomuir

          actually, it was more like 2.6 million, and those were entirely due to how poor those policies were to begin with. Anyonewho lost those policies should be thankful for the ACA for exposing just how BAD those policies were.

          • Oh bummer

            ‘Only 2.6 million’? 5 million is a lot more accurate.

            The 5 million were dropped because their plans didn’t have coverage for abortions or sex change operations.

          • Jerome

            “abortions and sex change operations”? That is a completely ludicrous statement. There has never been any evidence to support the causal relationship as these criterion being necessary to constitute proper insurance. The reason they were lost is because they didn’t cover things like trips to the emergency room or they discriminated by not covering prenatal care or other demographic dependent services. A male could effectively push the cost of children to females by opting out of prenatal and thus engage in legal discrimination by saying a protected class needs to pay more for insurance. By your logic, the plans also didn’t cover cloning and alien autopsy and that is why they were dropped….. It was all a conspiracy to clone aliens!!!!!

  • Oh bummer

    It’s hypocritical for Barack Obama to have ‘won’ the Nobel Peace Prize,
    when his illegal drone strikes have killed many innocent civilians in: Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen.

    Even an Irish MP in the Irish Parliament called Obama a “war criminal”.

    • J__o__h__n

      It isn’t much of a prize – Arafat got it too.

      • Oh bummer

        How many innocent civilians died from Arafat’s illegal drone strikes?

        • J__o__h__n

          How many innocent civilians died by means that were invented at the time that he used?

          • Oh bummer

            Arafat identified himself as the leader of a terrorist organization (P.L.O.)

            So what does that make Obama?

    • hennorama

      Oh, the beat of a different drummer, which when banged too loudly and for too long, makes one ignorant and confused.

      Please, someone tell this individual what the words “hypocritical” and “ironic” each mean.

  • Jesse53

    there are people in this world who aren’t hypocritical, they’re called “jerks.”

  • Expanded_Consciousness

    The people do not elect truth-tellers. The truth is political suicide. Massaging the truth is the only option.

  • Fredlinskip

    discussion below reminds me of joke:
    “Come join our church”.
    “No- there’s nothing but a bunch of hypocrites in there!”
    “That’s okay. we’ve always got room for one more.”

  • Scott B

    Listening to Roxanne, talking about pols and talking heads in DC, and I think of people like Paul Ryan and Sr Ben Carson, both of whom want to gut social safety nets, the very same safety nets and programs that they both benefited from in their youth, and put millions of people further behind the 8-ball. And of Sen Ted Cruz, who gives sly winks to those that call Obama’s being a natural American citizen, and seeks to punish illegal aliens and deny those that would fall under the “Dream Act”, while his father was an illegal alien, and Cruz himself only gave up his Canadian citizenship within the last year.

    • geraldfnord

      Ryan and Carson aren’t necessarily hypocrites, more either incredibly ungrateful, incredibly superior-feeling (so that they feel they deserve what similar others do not), or else merely incredibly callous (the sin of Sodom).

      • Scott B

        It’s just an example I consistently from the Right, the Tea Party wing in particular, where if it happened to them, or theirs, it’s ok, but not for others. They all say essentially the same thing: “But I really needed it, and it was there. But others are just too lazy to find jobs, and/or can;’t be trusted not to abuse it.”

        I have some friends that are dyed-in-the-wool Repubs and Tea Party people, and they’ve literally tried to shout me down when they start talking about how 47% of people don’t pay taxes (“the takers”) and a slew of other issues. Then get upset when I remind them that they’re in that 47% themselves, and are on (or have been on) assistance with things like LIHEAP and medicaid, as I am myself. Without exception they all say the same thing:”Yeah, but it’s available, and I really need it, and I’m not abusing it.” Or, “I paid into the system, I deserve it.” That’s what multi-millionaire Ayn Rand said about getting Social Security and Medicare in her later years when she clearly didn’t need need it.

  • Oh bummer

    Obama administration wins Jefferson Muzzle award for restricting free press


    So much for all the ‘transparency’ Candidate Obama promised would define his administration.

  • ThirdWayForward

    Hypocrisy is irritating because it violates the Golden Rule of reciprocity, do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Or Don’t expect of others anything that you would not have them expect of you.

    Hypocrites hold others to standards than they themselves don’t obey. They expect other people to adhere to one set of (ethical) rules, but then they do not uphold those rules (they “cheat”, often taking advantage of the adherence of others to the rules).

    It’s most obvious when the hypocrites are loud and sanctimonious about their values or beliefs and then their private violations of those professed values are exposed for comparison. Conservative politicians are especially obvious because they loudly espouse sexual abstinence (outside of marriage), but engage in unsanctioned sex in their private lives.

  • Emily4HL

    Sometimes two or more important tenants of our beliefs come into conflict, so we have to pick the best path, which will always be somewhat hypocritical. I try to chose the option that’s most genuine to all of myself.

    For example, polite behavior: I don’t want to lie, but not hurting others feelings is also important to me. Or eating meat: Ecology, sustainability, and animal welfare are important to me, as is having some pleasure in life and I like meat. So I try to eat only small amounts of meat when I will really enjoy it.

    None of these choices are perfect, we just have to do the best we can.

  • Oh bummer

    36 Times Obama Said You Could Keep Your Health Care Plan


  • Scott B

    If only the media would take more of a Jon Stewart model of hypocrisy in DC and just “ask” (read, “tell”) them, “You know that we have you saying (or behaving) otherwise on tape, right?”

  • Coastghost

    Broadcasters and newscasters and journalists are among our chief hypocrites, then (in terms achieving consensus here), since they benefit putatively from warning us every day about hypocrisy, anthropogenic climate change, et cetera.

    • Blue_To_Shoe


    • geraldfnord

      I don’t understand how that follows, unless you are certain that they don’t believe that they believe these to be dangerous and so worth the warning; do you?

      • Coastghost

        According to the standard of “gain” that Roxanne Roberts was invoking, anyone in the news business would at least be highly susceptible: while journalism may not be utterly lucrative in itself, the publicity of the byline and the aura of philanthropy that hovers over advocacy journalism surely pose professional temptations. (Dante made no specific provision for journalists’ distribution in the Inferno, that I’m able to recall.)

  • Scott B

    For Newt, and most of the pols, he seems to take the “It’s not hypocrisy when I [and those like me] do it.”

    • geraldfnord

      Well, one is more likely to believe that there are extenuating circumstances and that the offence were not as bad as it might be when one is dealing with notional kin.

  • Scott B

    Look at our drug laws? Avg working stiff gets caught with a joint in his pocket, go to jail. Be an exec at HSBC, literally in the room with drug cartels, helping then launder drug money and get told, “That was very naughty,” and pay a token fine that can be made up in a couple weeks.

  • mikejquinn46 .

    Tom, are you trying to fill an empty email bag, calling Chagrin Falls “the perfect place for a call on hypocrisy?” Even though many of the residents make their money in Cleveland, where I live, while badmouthing the city every chance they get, even the 1 percent has feelings.

  • Oh bummer

    “The only people who don’t want to disclose the truth, are people with something to hide”. (Barack Obama)

    Could that be why Barack Obama’s visa, medical, college application, and passport files are all sealed?

    How could Barack Obama could flunk out of Occidental College, and then get accepted into Columbia University, which has some of the highest acceptance standards in the nation?

    • brettearle

      Well, I guess that must mean that our Leader is an Illegal Alien, with an incurably, contagious disease, whose scholastic achievement was dismal.

      Come on, out with it….isn’t that what you have uncovered?

      If so, please go collect your Pulitzer Prize now. The profession of journalism is waiting to bestow honors, upon you….so you don’t have to pollute the Forum any longer.


      Because after you receive your award, you can go on to bigger and better things.

      And we’ll be the beneficiaries!

      Why, again? Because your scalding Hot Air will no longer contribute to the Global Warming of this Forum.

      • geraldfnord

        Growing up with a paranoid near and dear to me, I learned early that the darker the intimations, the lower the evidentiary quotient.

        • brettearle

          I second the motion.

        • Jerome

          Well said

  • kokyjo

    Ah St. Peter you hypocrite! 3 times you denied relationship with Jesus. Yet , you are Peter, the Rock, the foundation of Church and community. Quite an ironic mystery! Hypocrites as the best foundation? I think I SEE it!

  • Blue_To_Shoe

    There’s a HUGE CULTURE of Hypocrisy here in the deep South!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The deep South is not a true Democracy – Rich ‘old money’ Republicans have near-absolute power in the South!
    Their will is the will of the state!
    Rich ‘old money’ Republicans practically own State legislatures.

    Most deep Southern States have been completely dominated by Republicans for decades!
    Yet…many – if not most – working and middle class white Southerners, whose very economic lives have been badly deconstructed/devalued by Republican ‘trickle-down’ economic policies won’t blame them for ANYTHING; choosing to blame the usual suspects of minorities, Democrats/’Liberals’ and Obama!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I mean…look how welfare is discussed: It’s as if there is literally no such thing as whites on welfare!

    If you are not a Republican in the deep South, you literally have no state-wide representation whatsoever!!
    Yet…many white Southerners conveniently look past the FACT that they have empowered Republicans for over 50 years now; and it just so happens that their economic prospects started to decline at this same point.

    This culture of conveniently blaming the very groups that have even less money and power than they do, while simultaneously looking past the very Republican legislatures that arguably are a detriment to them!

    • geraldfnord

      It’s nothing new: back when racist Democrats occupied the same positions racist Republicans do now, there was already a joke:
      Q.: Why do you go fishing with at two Babtists?
      A.: Because if you go fishing with just one, he’ll drink up all your liquor.

  • Oh bummer

    The big, pro-Democrat unions, are pretty hypocritical as well.
    An ex-union member from New York City once told me,

    “A union will screw you just as fast as any company”.

  • brettearle

    While I agree that fairness needs to step forward, front and center, with regard to interpersonal relations, what would you say are some of the most glaring gaps, as far as fairness is concerned in interpersonal relations?

    Can I assume that you are not simply thinking of the relationships between men and women in a long-term relationship or between same genders, in long-term relationships…..but that you are considering friendship, employer-employee, employee-employee, family, etc.

    In any case, what are some of the obvious examples, in your opinion?

  • hennorama

    Hypocrisy? Cluelessness? Something Else?:

    “Statue Of A Homeless Jesus Startles A Wealthy Community”


    A new religious statue in the town of Davidson, N.C., is unlike anything you might see in church.

    The statue depicts Jesus as a vagrant sleeping on a park bench. St. Alban’s Episcopal Church installed the homeless Jesus statue on its property in the middle of an upscale neighborhood filled with well-kept townhomes.

    Jesus is huddled under a blanket with his face and hands obscured; only the crucifixion wounds on his uncovered feet give him away.

    The reaction was immediate. Some loved it; some didn’t.

    “One woman from the neighborhood actually called police the first time she drove by,” says David Boraks, editor of DavidsonNews.net. “She thought it was an actual homeless person.”

    That’s right. Somebody called the cops on Jesus.


    The most high-profile installation of the bronze Jesus on a park bench will be on the Via della Conciliazione, the avenue leading to St. Peter’s Basilica — if the city of Rome approves it. Schmalz traveled to the Vatican last November to present a miniature to the pope himself.

    “He walked over to the sculpture, and it was just chilling because he touched the knee of the Jesus the Homeless sculpture, and closed his eyes and prayed,” Schmalz says. “It was like, that’s what he’s doing throughout the whole world: Pope Francis is reaching out to the marginalized.”

    Back at St. Alban’s in Davidson, the rector reports that the Jesus the Homeless statue has earned more followers than detractors. It is now common, he says, to see people come, sit on the bench, rest their hand on the bronze feet and pray.


    • brettearle

      Nothing more sacred than a Messiah humbling himself to be among the most disenfranchised brethren in Life.

      Nothing more hypocritical than the Reactive Disturbance of Affluenza, who can’t bear to see Ecumenical NIMBY.

      And that’s no Schmal[t]z.

      • hennorama

        brettearle — TYFYR.

        I really enjoyed Mr. Schmalz’ interpretation of Pope Francis’ actions, as “reaching out to the marginalized.”

        In my view, the success of the current Bridge Builder (AKA “Pontiff”), is due to his humility, and that he not only builds the bridge, he also walks under it, and washes the feet of those living there.

        • brettearle

          Very Few will ever come close to Pope John Paul’s deeply magnanimous charisma.

          But Pope Francis is rapidly developing into an especially appealing figurehead and leader with great panache.

    • geraldfnord

      Very apt: ‘Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.’

  • HonestDebate1

    When the guest told the story of confronting his own hypocrisy regarding the occupy movement (I feel sure that’s the “political group” he was speaking of) it got me to thinking. One has to be judgmental to accuse others of hypocrisy. It requires reading minds. Who knows what the guest had to assume to conclude hypocrisy?

  • Amma21

    Dan Goleman has written a marvelous book on the psychology of individual and group self-deception, titled: Vital Lies, Simple Truths. I heartily recommend it.

  • Amma21

    Martin Buber describes self-deception as: “the uncanny game of hide-and-seek in the obscurity of the soul, in which it, the single human soul, evades itself, avoids itself, hides from itself.”

    Dan Goleman, in arguing that the “collective mind” is as vulnerable to self-deception as the individual mind, listed multiple examples of this dynamic, which include Arthur Schlesinger’s report of President Kennedy’s “Bay of Pigs” fiasco to NASA’s final account of the events leading up to the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger.

    When “groupthink” is operating each individual in the group feels him- or herself to be under an injunction to avoid making penetrating criticisms that might bring on a clash with fellow members and destroy the unity of the group.

    In such a scenario, anyone seriously “dissenting” is put in the position of standing apart from and against the group. Rather than become a pariah of sorts, potential dissenters often remain silent. Self-censorship then leads to predictable consequences: important feedback never enters the collective awareness.

  • Jamie Taylor

    apparently Simony is the act of selling chuch offices and roles. named after Simon Magnus who I supposed engaged in this activity.

  • Amma21

    In his book Vital Lies, Simple Truths Goleman notes that: “The first victim of groupthink is critical thought.”

    He continues:

    “whether in a therapy group or a meeting of presidential advisors, the dynamics of groupthink are the same. Typically, talk is limited to a few courses of action, while the full range of alternatives is ignored. No attention is paid to the values implicit in this range of alternatives…

    “The group simply cramps its attention and hobbles its information-seeking to preserve a cozy unanimity. Loyalty to the group requires that members not raise embarrassing questions, attack weak arguments, or counter softheaded thinking with hard facts. Only comfortable shared schemas are allowed full expression.”

    Therefore, a willingness to “rock the boat” is an essential quality of all those who wish to counterbalance the pull of collective denial and inertia. In fact an individual (or subgroup) may be serving the larger group by bringing into the open those perceptions or facts that have been hidden. At the same time these dissenting members would be wise to know from the start that, regarded as “deserters” from the group’s unspoken norms and assumptions, they may well be the target of strong collective animosity, .

    Goleman finally observes that: “Cultures and nations offer the best example of this principle writ large.”

    In this light it makes sense to explore the areas in which U.S. culture is in denial, stifling dissent. disallowing truth-telling. Naturally, the more significant the dastardly secret, the more committed relevant institutions would be to preventing simple truths from ever seeing the light of day. I’m guessing that we can all think of possible examples of this dynamic. And of course, as individuals (if we are interested in living with integrity and operating in reality rather than illusion) we need to be vigilant about “vital lies” we may be telling ourselves.

  • Broadnax

    IMO – we should try to produce what we believe best. If you believe one thing but work toward its opposite, you are not so much hypocritical as plain evil. But hypocrisy can be a positive good.

    I have tried to develop hypocrisy to a fine are. I work very hard to be fair and courteous both to people I like and those I don’t. I work hard to allow people to behave in ways that I personally dislike. I understand that lots of things simply are not my business and that I have no right to express a “sincere opinion.” I want to be the world’s best hypocrite in these respects and in that I am sincere.

  • WhitakerSM

    I liked this show but I think that is a terrible headline: “Feeling Hypocritical? Don’t Worry: Everybody Else Is, Too!” Neither of the guests says any such thing. Was the headline written to absolve us of our responsibility? That’s not being faithful to the story … it is being, shall we say, hypocritical?!

  • DJ-Trad

    Thought this would be an interesting show but you and your guest couldn’t help but inject a little Republican hating. Really? Gingrich’s affair and Bush on Iraq? Would better examples have been Pelosi’s Catholicism and her stance on abortion or Clinton’s abuse of an intern? Can you stop dividing us? Everyday examples might have been more interesting to your audience and not been as intellectually dishonest.

Aug 28, 2014
Photos surround the casket of Michael Brown before the start of his funeral at Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis, Monday, Aug. 25, 2014.  (AP)

The message that will last out of Ferguson with New Yorker writer Jelani Cobb.

Aug 28, 2014
Some of the hundreds of earthquake damaged wine barrels cover and toppled a pair of forklifts at the Kieu Hoang Winery, Monday, Aug. 25, 2014, in Napa, Calif. A powerful earthquake that struck the heart of California's wine country caught many people sound asleep, sending dressers, mirrors and pictures crashing down around them and toppling wine bottles in vineyards around the region. (AP)

Drought in California, earthquake in Napa. We look at broken bottles and the health of the American wine industry.

Aug 27, 2014
The cast of the new ABC comedy, "Black-ish." (Courtesy ABC)

This week the Emmys celebrate the best in television. We’ll look at what’s ahead for the Fall TV season.

Aug 27, 2014
Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, shakes hands with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, right, as Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, center, looks at them, prior to their talks after after posing for a photo in Minsk, Belarus, Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014. (AP)

Vladimir Putin and Ukraine’s leader meet. We’ll look at Russia and the high voltage chess game over Ukraine. Plus, we look at potential US military strikes in Syria and Iraq.

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