Pecksniffian: Bill O'Reilly's Word of the Day on Fox News Channel's The O'Reilly Factor

What the Heck is a Pecksniffian?

  • Bill O'Reilly's Word of the Day was Pecksniffian, which means to be falsely moralistic; hypocritical or insincere. Like politicians John Edwards...or Bill Clinton...or Gary Hart. There are so many falsely moralistic, hypocritical, insincere politicians that, quite frankly, it is hard to narrow that list down to just these three. Sport stars like Tiger Woods; and evangelists like Jimmy Swaggart, you'll have to wait your turn, but I will get to you. I promise.
  • Why do they do the things that have caused us all to think of them as falsely moralistic, hypocritical and insincere (cheat on their wives, claim to be good, moral men, chastise others who have done the same, then deny it all)? Because in their heart of hearts they actually thought they could get away with it.

John Edwards with his wife Elizabeth, who died of breast cancer in 2010.
John Edwards with his wife Elizabeth, who died of breast cancer in 2010.
One of Edwards' speeches he gave denying his affair.
One of Edwards' speeches he gave denying his affair.
Documentary film-maker Rielle Hunter and her daughter, Quinn, who was fathered by John Edwards.
Documentary film-maker Rielle Hunter and her daughter, Quinn, who was fathered by John Edwards.

Pecksniffian #1

  • I have to start with pecksniffian John Edwards, whom I believe to be the lowest of low, thinking back on the events that transpired and ruined his political career (hopefully for good). Edwards was a North Carolina attorney and Senator, and was John Kerry's Vice Presidential running mate during the 2004 Presidential Election. He had a wife and several children. His wife, Elizabeth, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004, but after treatment, it appeared to be gone. The cancer, however, resurfaced in 2007 and was incurable, although treatable. In December of 2010, it was announced that Elizabeth's cancer had spread, and she died the next day after the annoucement was made. She had been separated from her husband since early 2010 because of an extra-marital affair that he had had.
  • "Two years ago I made a very serious mistake, a mistake that I am responsible for and no one else. In 2006, I told Elizabeth about the mistake, asked her for her forgiveness, asked God for his forgiveness. And we have kept this within our family since that time." - John Edwards
  • In 2008, Edwards had dreams of becoming the President of the United States, but...
  • "In 2008, he based his entire presidential campaign on his selfless dedication to a cancer-stricken wife. Meanwhile, in order to pass the time between giving $50,000 speeches on poverty, Edwards was cheating on the cancer-stricken wife." - Ann Coulter, Social Commentator
  • During the time that Elizabeth was being treated for her cancer, Edwards was having an affair with a documentary film-maker, Rielle Hunter. Not only did he deny the affair, but Hunter gave birth to Edwards' child, which he also denied. One of his own staff members claimed he was the one who had fathered the child, obviously placing his own marriage in jeopardy to save the reputation of someone who was clearly unworthy of such devotion.
  • In 2008, Hunter gave birth to a daughter, Quinn, and Edwards consistently denied that he was the father of the child. Many events transpired, and in 2010 (two years later) Edwards finally admitted to fathering Hunter's child and he was finally seen as the liar he had always been. He is the top pecksniffian in my book, even ahead of Bill Clinton, who is clearly a contender for the #2 spot.

Clinton and Lewinsky
Clinton and Lewinsky
Former President Clinton was impeached and later acquitted after giving misleading testimony under oath and publicly denying he had had sexual relations with former intern Monica Lewinsky. His wife, Hillary, stood by him then and continues to do so.
Former President Clinton was impeached and later acquitted after giving misleading testimony under oath and publicly denying he had had sexual relations with former intern Monica Lewinsky. His wife, Hillary, stood by him then and continues to do so.

Pecksniffian #2

Bill Clinton is pecksniffian #2, although I am not going to go much into detail about the errors of his ways, because who in the world doesn't know about the things that he did? When Bill Clinton was running for President of the United States, he pledged that he would conduct "the most ethical administration in the history of the Republic." My thinking is that he fell a tad bit short.

Here are some of his famous quotes while he was President that offer my proof:

"I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky."

"I did have a relationship with Ms Lewinsky that was not appropriate. In fact it was wrong. It constituted a critical lapse in judgment and a personal failure on my part for which I am solely and completely responsible…Even presidents have private lives."

In the end, I guess it all depended upon what the meaning of "is" was.



Pecksniffian #3

"I did not have sexual relations with that woman"...wait...wrong politician!
"I did not have sexual relations with that woman"...wait...wrong politician!
The magazines aren't doing much for discouraging people to have sex with married politicians.  Donna Rice has done very well.
The magazines aren't doing much for discouraging people to have sex with married politicians. Donna Rice has done very well.

"Follow Me Around!"

  • The most famous quote of Gary Hart's career was a dare to the press corps and the one that essentially put an end to his political aspirations at the time:
  • "Follow me around. I don't care. I'm serious. If anybody wants to put a tail on me, go ahead. They'll be very bored."
  • Hart did not know that reporters from the Miami Herald had already staked out his Washington D.C. townhouse and saw 29-year-old model Donna Rice leaving on the same day that the quote appeared in print.
  • On June 2, 1987, the National Enquirer published a photograph of Rice sitting on Hart's lap. They had apparently spent the night together on a luxury yacht named "Monkey Business." His political career did not survive the scandal.


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