It may be that Jon Stewart rejoices in his bleeding heart every time some conservative pundit or figurehead gets caught in an awkward situation. And if so, then the last week has been a very joyous time for him indeed, what with the recent George Rekers incident. Rekers, a prominent anti-gay activist who formed the Family Research Council with James Dobson, is the latest in a long line of conservative figures — which also includes Ted Haggard, Mark Foley, and Edward L. Schrock — who have been caught engaging in homosexual activity despite being known for their outspoken condemnation of homosexuality.
It’s the sort of hypocrisy that lends itself well to both righteous indignation and potty humor (both of which Stewart is very well-versed in). But it would be foolish to think that hypocrisy exists only within conservative circles. Certainly, there are folks on the Left who are just as stupid, ignorant, and hypocritical as any of the aforementioned individuals. However, it sometimes seems as if all we hear about are conservatives who have fallen from grace, and I’m curious as to why. (I’m not saying that’s actually how it is — I have no quantifiable data either way — just that that’s how it feels.)
Perhaps folks who lean to the left of the spectrum are just better at keeping their skeletons in the closet (so to speak). Or conservatives are so driven by the guilt over their double lifestyle — guilt which comes from the typical “conservative” values — that they eventually do something foolish so they can finally come clean. Maybe it does get reported in the news when a left-winger gets caught in a compromising situation, but their hypocrisy doesn’t seem like a big deal in comparison to the right-winger’s because of specific ideals that right-wingers espouse. Or perhaps it’s all part of some ominous, far-reaching liberal media conspiracy.
I have my own thoughts on the topic, but I’m curious what others think. Are there liberals who have been caught in Schrock-esque situations? Is there a liberal/left-wing equivalent to an anti-gay senator getting caught soliciting sex from a male prostitute? Are the typically “liberal” values and ideals capable of giving rise to that level of hypocrisy? What does it take to pick on the Left?