Who is the Biggest Political Hypocrite? ...Vote in New GP Poll

April 8, 2008 -
Video games, as every GamePolitics reader knows, have become a political football.

It is often easier for elected officials to target the virtual mayhem in games than the real causes of violence in society such as crime, drugs, poverty, mental health issues and the easy availability of guns.

But in the three years in which GamePolitics has been tracking the nexus of politics and video games, we've noted some truly remarkable displays of political hypocrisy. The five listed below especially stand out. After you take a look, please feel free to vote for your choice of "biggest political hypocrite." The poll is located in the upper right sidebar.

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino (D): Mayor Menino led a 2006 movement to have ads for GTA: Vice City Stories removed from public transportation and got the local transit agency to commit to never again carrying an ad for an M-rated game. Now he is at the center of a legislative proposal that would equate violent games with pornography. In between attacks on video games, Menino hopes to lure game developers to set up shop in Boston. Because it's, you know, such a game-friendly city...

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R): The man who signed California's 2005 video game into law, and ordered the state to appeal a 2007 ruling by a U.S. District Court judge that the law was unconstitutional, is himself the star of many a violent movie. What's more, he appears in character in several violent games based on the Terminator films. Like the one pictured...

Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D): Gov. Sebelius threw her support behind an unsuccessful 2006 attempt to legislate video games. Earlier this year it was revealed that Gov. Sebelius' son John created a Grand Theft Auto-like board game called Don't Drop the Soap and marketed it from the taxpayer-funded Governor's residence.

 

New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D): During his 2006 election campaign Spitzer railed against video game content, saying, "Nothing under New York State law prohibits a fourteen-year old from walking into a video store and buying… a game like ‘Grand Theft Auto,’ which rewards a player for stealing cars and beating people up. Children can even simulate having sex with a prostitute…"  As everyone now knows, it was  the "sex with a prostitute" part that brought Spitzer himself down in 2008. He shoulda played GTA instead...

British Labour MP Keith Vaz: Vaz got into the video game violence debate in 2004 when a 14-year-old constituent, Stefan Pakeerah, was brutally murdered. Vaz alleged that the controversial Rockstar title Manhunt inspired the crime. A Scotland Yard investigation, however, established no such link. Vaz would go on to criticize Rockstar's Bully and Manhunt 2 games. While he has attacked the make-believe crime of video games, Vaz, as documented by the BBC, carries significant real-world ethical baggage.


Comments

Right, Spiter is simply winning because he's recent. It's ironic that he was caught by a program he started, but far less hypocritical than making millions off of the very thing you are now trying to restrict. He'd be on a par with my choice if he was making money whoring himself out, or at least taking money from prostitutes.

I voted for Arnie. He made his millions off of violent media (that I watched as a child and am no worse for wear), and now he's supporting restrcitions on it? Vote-pandering hypocrisy to a letter.

~~All Knowledge is Worth Having~~

There is a saying that "sinners pray the loudest". It isn't uncommon for somebody to passionately rail against something while deep down it is their obsession.

Exactly.

Spitzer does have quite the impact over here....

I wonder if he is aware of this vote....

Wow... Tough choice. They're ALL good choices!

I went with Spitzer simply because he made himself Mr. Squeaky Clean even though he was a dirty boy.

Spitzer.

Followed by Ahhhhrnold.

Teh Spitz

No mention of the ex-IRA member of Sinn Fein? Then again, considering I can't even remember his name, I'm not making a great case for him.

I went with Keith Vaz -- the others could be explained away as being simply misinformed on gaming issues, but Vaz is the one who's deliberately ignoring the counter-evidence to his number one issue.
---
Fangamer

GP, I wonder why you chose to use a picture of the woman Spitzer slept with, and not Spitzer himself. That doesn't sit well with me.

Same with the Terminator one, but at least T2000 bears a strong likeness to Arnie.

~~All Knowledge is Worth Having~~

@ DeusPayne

I didn't say that sort of thing would be easy. But sometimes if you want to make a stand for what's right, you have to make sacrifices.

And in case anyone was wondering, I went with Spitzer.

I don't think that Spitzalloverher can technically be dubbed "a hypocrite," because he was shouting about kids getting their digital groove on. It's the same as an adult being able to buy a pack of Camel Lights, while their toddler complains that he can't buy them yet.

It's like all of those "Made In America" stickers on products. The products themselves are made in Mexico, but the "Made In America" sticker was actually made in America. The sticker isn't saying that the product was made here--it's saying where the sticker was made. You have to think about it reeeeaaaally carefully, in order to get past the bull. And after thinking about it, Spizter is off the hook.

Arnie, though, got to where he is by exterminating people in movies. His image is used in a couple games, and I'm sure he's getting royalty checks from it all. And now he's like, "Children! Get to da choppa!"

So, Arnie wins.

I can't pick one, they're all equally asses and need a good reaming from the media for their hypocracy.

Really tough choice, but i chose Spitzer at the end

[...] wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptVideo games, as every GamePolitics reader knows, have become a political football. It is often easier for elected officials to target the virtual mayhem in games than the real causes of violence in society such as crime, drugs, poverty, mental health issues and the easy availability of guns. But in the three years in which GamePolitics has been tracking the nexus of politics and video games, we’ve noted some truly remarkable displays of political hypocrisy. The five listed below especially stand out. After you take a look, please feel free to vote for your choice of “biggest political hypocrite.” The poll is located in the upper right sidebar. Boston Mayor Thomas Menino (D): Mayor Menino led a 2006 movement to have ads for GTA: Vice City Stories removed from public transportation and got the local transit agency to commit to never again carrying an ad for an M-rated game. Now he is at the center of a legislative […] [...]

Boston's Mayor: Just a flat out boob who is completely out of touch with the issues at hand.

Kansas's Gov.: Funny, but it would have been a bigger problem had SHE made the game herself.

NY's Gov.: More of a problem along the lines of his complaints about prostitution. He was an adult and so was she.

Vazzy: A combo of John Bruce and Boston's Mayor. A boob in general.

So that leaves Arnie.
While the argument about his involvment in the movie industry are extremely valid, especially the recent Conan issue, there is another issue that sets him apart.

The Oxnard school shooting.

We'd heard plenty from old child psychologist Leland Yee about the effects of violent video games on kids. And Arrnie had no problem parroting and supporting those views. He vehemently wants to "protect the children".

But where was Leland Yee, the Governor, and oh so many vocal folks after the school shooting at the Oxnard school because of a claim of homosexuality. And the shooter himself claims he was driven to it by other students who verbally and mentally abused him by making fun of the possibility that the kid who was shot may have had a thing for the shooter.

You can't blame video games for overwhelmingly promoting bigotry and hate. So, using the arugments by so many "experts", we have to assume SOMETHING drove this kid to kill the other kid.

So, what can we blame that would have promoted bigotry and hate, even peripherally (after all, media exposure tends to be peripheral and not so direct, but it gets blamed)? Video games? Books? Movies? TV? What's used to repeatedly teach kids to hate other people who are "inferior" or "immoral". Hmmm....

Uh...

Oh dear...

We can't blame that!

It's more important than the children!

I've got an idea! Let's pretend it didn't happen.

So, what DID we hear from Yee and/or Arnie?

:: chirp chirp chirp ::

Yeah. There's consistancy for ya.

:/

Mind you, I'm glad the event DIDN'T apparently become sensationalised. Nevertheless, it IS a sign of inconsistant behavior on so many individual's, organization's, and politician's part.

Nightwng2000
NW2K Software
Nightwng2000 NW2K Software http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

I don't see how believing games cause kids to turn violent and movies don't, makes Arnold Schwarzenegger a hypocrite. My guess is he blieves that the interactive nature of games makes them more desensitizing or something then movies.

Also his law wouldn't ban violent games just make them illegal to sell to kids and who knows maybe a contract forced him to be in those games.

(Just to be clear I live in California so...)

this needs a poll?! spitzer! the guy wanted to be the goody 2 shoes and the sugar daddy!

While it really is a collection of two faced liars and cheats, i think i'm going to go with Kathleen Sebelius

Firstly, theres something sickening about the game itself. Secondly, there's her defense of it. And finally, she used taxpayers money to promote it.

All in all, she shows about as much decency as a rattlesnake

I've been having a trouble deciding btwn Arnie and Spitz. But my final thought is, that Spitz is the bigger hypocrite (and I was really pulling for Arnie). My reasoning is the time table. While Arnie seems to forget that violence made him, since becoming an advocate against violence.. has he made a violent movie, has he made a movie since becoming the governator? If not he's then kept to his word about violence = bad. Spitz on the other hand, said prostitution is bad then went out and found a hooker (I guess he was just making sure it was still bad)... that's much more hypocritical IMO.

It's a tough one to answer because they move up and down in relevance. Menino is a massive hippocrite, but a 'short term' one, he tries to force his own opinion on other people without consideration for their point of view, whereas Vaz is like an enraged Hamster, mostly harmless, but constantly there, squeaking at you. Spitzer was a joke, and Sebelius is merely clueless. As for Schwarzenegger, he's a hippocrite, but one that has, to a large degree, been pressured by his peers and the movie industry, he is between a rock and a hard place. Admittedly, he should have stayed in character and just stood by his own beliefs, which I don't think he is doing.

Gonna think about this one before voting...

IllegallyMindedJohn,

Arnie still gets royalties every time his likeness is used . . .

So he's still getting paid for those movies, and the Terminator video games.

~~All Knowledge is Worth Having~~

Spitzer, FTW!

If I remember right, the whole Sebelius was overblown and just accusations of misused funds. And accusations don't make a conviction.

Arnold isn't necessarily a hypocrite just for having a game that he wishes to regulate. (though I bet he would not back a bill to regulate violent movies, and then that would qualify as hypocrisy in my book).

Same with Menino; not necessarily a hypocrite just because he's cool with game devs setting up shop in Masshole.

And Vaz, well, the accusations against him are petty, and even if all true, nothing to do with video games or any particular ethic that would make him a hypocrite.

It's a three way tie between Arnie, Sebelius and Spitzer for me.

Arnie was the freaking Terminator. He has starred in movies and his likeness has been used in games. (Not terrific games, I might add)

Sebelius is pretty damn outspoken against any and all video games, but when a board game comes along and is more violent than a good portion of said games, she's okay with it.

Spitzer goes without saying.

I'm not clear on why Sebelius is on this list. How is it hypocritical of her to say one thing while her son does something else? If she was saying "parents should prevent kids from ____" it would be hypocritical, but as it is right now I just don't see it.

The Governator wins for me for both the games violence issue and continuing to consider himself a Republican. He needs to align himself with the party that best represents most of his views and decisions of late.

I think it also centers around where you are, in the UK, people who play Video Games are unlikely to even care what Spitzer's opinion on games are, just as most US members aren't going to consider Vaz any kind of threat to them.

I had to go with Sebelius. She railed against video games, but when her son made a board game using the exact same content as the video games she railed against, she praised him and came to his defense. All because it was her son and was a "sophisticated" board game.

I counted Arnie pretty low since he is not currently making violent films. His actions may reflect more of a change of heart than hypocrisy. I counted Spitzer out because he has been caught. i couldn't give a flying fig about Vaz. I had to go with Menino.

Let's see:

Menino has no problem essentially calling people scumbags, of whom he wants revenue from. I have a very big fucking problem with that kind of shit.

The Governator has whimped out and forgotten his past. I've forgiven him for it.

Sebelius doesn't mind her son doing things she complains about others doing. Her and millions of other "parents", unfortunately. Fuck her and the rest.

Spitzer was once almost as vitriolic in his attacks on games as old Jacky Boy, then got caught with a whore and hasn't had a thing say ever since. At least he shut up.

Vaz is just a doofus, and since he's on the other side of the pond to me, I'm not particualraly concerned about his hypcorisy. Meh.

So my vote's for Menino. He can cram his "I hate you, give me money" tactic up his ass.

For me, this is a 3-way contest: Sebelius and Vaz aren't really hypocrites as they are described in their mini summary. Sebelius merely has a son that either disagrees with her or is making a politically charged game to attract attention to current prison culture. Vaz could easily be treated as if his attacks on video games as a sign of his ethical baggage (i.e. distracting the issue).

Of the three, Spitzer won. Based on the bio, he lied specifically about the content of the game concerning prostitutes (while you technically could, it's minimally significant) and seemed to have already fell victim to such prostitution. Menino could simply be trying to attract T-rated games, and Schwarzenegger seemed to want M-rated games away from young players (but both botching the attempts to do so.)

Spitzer by a landslide. Aside from Sebelius and Ahnuld, Spitzer's case is truly ironic: guy who's against a game that has prostitution in it gets busted for having buttsekz with a prostitute.

Spitzner hands down. I found it kinda amusing that the poll was about "biggest political hypocrites" anything less specific would have been won by Jack Thompson I guess...

@ Freak

Honestly if I went to court, I'm hiring Tack, god he may be wrong on EVERYTHING, but my god would it be amusing, and man can he argue! Unles I'm on trial for a felony, then I'm hiring a DECENT lawyer.

Spitzer for the win!

New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D)--

Easy... why? he actually did something ILLEGAL in America.

I say Spitzer, closely followed by Schwarzenegger. Menino and Vaz are idiots, and I just can't say anything bad about Kansas for a while. Something involving a basketball game.

I think Schwarzenegger is by far the most hypocritical. The others have all attempted to keep "porn" out of the hands of kids, but not necessarily tried to ban games altogether.

The Governator, on the other hand, has actually been involved in the gaming industry, even if only directly and at that time made no equivocation about whether or not said games should be marketed to kids.

Spitzer all the way.

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino: It seems kind of tame compared to others.

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger: Close but not really, he did not really do all in real life but then again nether did gamers and there games...

Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius: Don't drop the soap sound like fun the board game not in the prison shower...

British Labour MP Keith Vaz: He lied about what video games had is a big one but that is not bad as....

New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer: HYPOCRITE in every sense of the word. It's diffrent to do it in a video game but in real life. tsk tsk tsk. What's worse is that this bastard is married and have kids. At least in the game you are single....

Man, that pic of Spitzer is hot! I would so hit that!

...

wait... that's not him?

...

er....

It's gonna be Spitzer for the win. Menino is small time, Arnold went against games after the fact, Sebelius' child is a boy and boys will be boys, Vaz is useless, who the hell cares about Vaz? Spitzer also mainly wins because he directly bashed prostitution.

spitzer period.

Vaz isn't a hypocrite, he's always managed to be a twat.

The obvious choice is Spitzer, but thats just because the others haven't been caught yet.

It´s a hard choice. I guess it is Vaz, because all his ethical problems he got. Spitzer, well, at least he already payed for his hypocressy. Schwarzenegger is not a big deal like the others. Sebelius, the same as Arnold.

The big faggot is Menino. I already hate him.

Why is "Kristen" swearing at the camera?

Spitzer
...wait is that her? Dang! All is forgiven my good sir.

This poll is an easy choice, Spitzer.

White wine SPITZER! SPITZER, Spitzer...

@Monkeyface

Thats the prostitute he was caught with, i believe.
 
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