Famous Hypocrites

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Hypocrisy: saying one thing and then doing another. Celebrities who want to tell us how we can be better people, politicians who want us to do what is best for every one and religious figures who have elected themselves the position of our moral guides are regularly caught doing the opposite of what they tell us we should be doing. Here is a list of the most notorious hypocrites


1. John Lennon


He is known as a campaigner for peace, pacifist and good all-round happy but there is one side of his persona that inconveniently suggests otherwise. Despite his apparent desire for world peace, Lennon was a supporter of the IRA ‘ a Catholic organization dedicated to a united and republican Ireland. They used terror tactics such as shootings and bombing public spaces in order to achieve their aims. A former member confirmed years after Lennon’s death that the singer had been in negotiations to perform at a fundraising concert for the group

2. Al Gore


To some, he is the champion of the campaign to reduce our carbon emissions ‘ the only politician or former politician doing something other than talking about climate change. Made famous outside of the US with his film An Inconvenient Truth, eyebrows were raised in late 2013 when it was revealed that he sold the Current TV network to Al Jazeera ‘ the celebrated middle-east based news network whose international network has been lauded the world over. So what is the problem? The network is funded with money from oil companies

3. John Prescott


Not to be outdone by a former politician, when The Labour Party were in power in the UK, former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott was for a time Environment Secretary ‘ the man responsible for cutting the UK’s carbon emissions, promoting green living and otherwise investing in a greener future. He came in for a storm of criticisms when moving from his hotel to the centre where the party was holding its conference. Nothing wrong in that’¦ had the journey not been just 250 yards! He later claimed that he was worried his wife’s hair might be ruined by the wind

4. Ted Haggard


Haggard ‘ one-time faith advisor to President George W. Bush often preached against the typical bugbears of the religious right: gay marriage, sex outside of wedlock and abortion. So imagine the surprise of the world’s media when it was discovered that this self-professed paragon of Christian virtue had had an ongoing arrangement with a male escort with whom he engaged in a number of sexual acts. The pair also confessed to using crystal meth together. Haggard resigned from his very powerful position and was removed from the mega church where he was a regular preacher

5. Paris Hilton


The hard-living daughter and heir to a hotel empire was one of the front people for the campaign to encourage young Americans to vote in 2004 ‘ pointing out how important it is for them to have their voices heard and making them realise that they are the future of the country’s political direction. However it was later revealed that not only did Hilton not vote, she had also not registered to vote. A later interview that challenged her failure to do this revealed that Hilton did not even know how to register to vote

6. Mohandas Gandhi


Surely this paragon of peace and tolerance was not a hypocrite? Firstly, he was surprisingly a racist. In his struggles against British colonialism he stated: ‘Ours is one continued struggle against degradation sought to be inflicted upon us by the European, who desire to degrade us to the level of the raw Kaffir, whose occupation is hunting and whose sole ambition is to collect a certain number of cattle to buy a wife with, and then pass his life in indolence and nakedness.’ Kaffirs are black Africans. In other quotes he states they should be taxed more because they don’t work hard enough

7. Papa John’s


The US pizza giant is one of the businesses that was most vocal about Obamacare, going so far as to say it would make their employees worse off ‘ the cost of a pizza would rise by approximately 15c and they may have to reduce employees’ hours in order to remain competitive and pay for Obamacare. The internet got immediately on the case, pointing out that no pizza chain has more free giveaways than Papa John’s. Once bright spark created the meme: ‘Obamacare is killing my business! I should give away 2 million pizzas for free in protest’

8. Lily Allen


Campaigning against fans stealing music (as is her right as a musician) Brit pop singer Lily Allen began writing extensively about stealing intellectual property and copyright infringement on her blog. Yet she was left with egg on her face when it turned out that she had not written one of the articles. She copied, word for word, an entire article from a site called TechDirt. Reposting is not a crime but when you fail to provide a link back or make it clear that you were not the creator, then that is copyright infringement

9. The Daily Mail (1)


The most famous right-wing reactionary newspaper in the UK has in recent years been at the spearhead of a campaign to block access to most pornography on the internet in order to ‘protect the children’. Critics, aside from standing up against those who would limit our free expression, have commented that there is no more hypocritical newspaper than The Daily Mail due to its sheer number of scantily clad women on the site and criticizing every small flaw of well-known celebrities

10. The Daily Mail (2)


The newspaper said of 13 year old Elle Fanning looked ‘all grown up’ in an article in 2011. A year later, the newspaper referred to the same actress/model as having ‘womanly curves’ ‘ she was just 14. Another 14 year old – Kylie Jenner – was described as wearing a ‘flirty white dress’ in a photo-shoot in which she is also seen wearing a skimpy bikini. The problem has become so bad that there is a national petition to convince the newspaper to reconsider the language it uses when referring to underage celebrities


To err is human and nobody is perfect undoubtedly; in the modern age, hypocrisy appears to have become one of the modern deadly sins and we are always ready to proclaim the double standards of those to whom we are supposed to listen to and look up to. In so doing, we need to keep our own hypocrisy in check

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