90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
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

Guests

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.'”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Nov 21, 2014
President Barack Obama announces executive actions on immigration during a nationally televised address from the White House in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014.  (AP)

The president throws down the gauntlet on immigration. Bloodshed and new tensions in Israel. Keystone fails. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Nov 21, 2014
Laura Ingalls Wilder, an American  writer and novelist, at age 27. Her "Little House" series is a beloved semi-autobiographical take on her childhood in the Western American plains. (South Dakota State Historical Society )

A big new look at the legacy of Laura Ingalls Wilder and the woman behind the Little House.

RECENT
SHOWS
Nov 21, 2014
Laura Ingalls Wilder, an American  writer and novelist, at age 27. Her "Little House" series is a beloved semi-autobiographical take on her childhood in the Western American plains. (South Dakota State Historical Society )

A big new look at the legacy of Laura Ingalls Wilder and the woman behind the Little House.

 
Nov 21, 2014
President Barack Obama announces executive actions on immigration during a nationally televised address from the White House in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014.  (AP)

The president throws down the gauntlet on immigration. Bloodshed and new tensions in Israel. Keystone fails. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
The Explicast, Episode Six: What Does A White House Press Correspondent Do?
Friday, Nov 21, 2014

We turn to White House Press Correspondents all the time for news, but we’ve never really wondered how they gather their information. Fortunately, our guest host Jessica Yellin had time to sit down with The Explicast to explain.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: November 21, 2014
Friday, Nov 21, 2014

We offer a panel of hand-drawn digital sheep, and wonder how to best lead the rest of you to programs that matter.

More »
2 Comments
 
The Explicast, Episode Five: What Is Net Neutrality?
Friday, Nov 14, 2014

The Explicast dives into tech policy territory with a quick look at the real meaning of a complicated bit of tech policy known as ‘Net Neutrality.’

More »
2 Comments