By | March 11, 2008 15 Comments

I’m sorry, but that’s no apology

Gov. Eliot Spitzer, a beacon of probity, has been caught allegedly hiring a prostitute. He has appeared on TV to apologise – see it here. And what an inadequate job he did.

I was reminded of a previous apology he made in the New York Times last July for his administration’s involvement in ordering the State Police to record the whereabouts of State Senate majority leader Joseph L. Bruno – read it here.

In neither case does he even do the first thing that any apology worth anything should do – he does not state what he did. If you’d missed news broadcasts you’d have no idea what he was apologising for.

According to Perfect Apology the key steps in any good apology are:
1. a detailed account of the offence
2. acknowledging the hurt caused
3. taking personal responsibility
4. recognising one’s role
5. stating one’s regret
6. asking for forgiveness
7. promising that it won’t happen again
8. offering resititution

Spitzer’s apology fails miserably on several of these counts. But even if he’d successfully ticked off each of the above criteria – say a savvy aide had written something more fitting – his tone means that the apology would have failed anyway as an apology. At the heart of any decent apology is genuine contrition, remorse, regret, sorrow, guilt, shame. These emotions are to my ears totally missing from Spitzer’s ‘apology’. I imagine that his wife loyally standing next to him must have been suffering a lot.

Let’s just recall what he’s alleged to have done. He patronized a high class prostitution service called Emperors Club VIP and met for over two hours with a $1,000-an-hour call girl. The call girl traveled to Washington, D.C., from New York City for the tryst. Spitzer paid her $4,300 in cash, which included $1,500 as a deposit with the agency toward future services. Spitzer had at least seven or eight liaisons with women from the agency over six months, and paid more than $15,000. Speaking on condition of anonymity, a law enforcement official said on March 11 that Spitzer, in fact, had spent tens of thousands of dollars with the Emperors Club. Another official said the amount could be as high as $80,000. So, not one “disappointing” mistake – an ongoing series of events involving who know whose money.

(Interesting side note: Spitzer registered at the hotel under the alias of George Fox, the name of an uninvolved friend, and the Governor’s own Fifth Avenue Manhattan address. So revealing – but a topic, perhaps, for another day.)

My conclusion is that an apology like this is actually an insult. It’s cruel, and perhaps that’s it’s point.

Posted in: Dr. Steve

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Thanks Dr. steve-
I was going to write on him too. Classic, but it’s amazing how obvious they are when you know.


Dr Steve,
I have followed this story on the net and CNN news. I know that we are not supposed to apply labels but I see Eliot Spitzer’s bizare misconduct as classic behaviour of a nracisisstic personality.
I wonder if anyone commenting will have the courage to say this as it would be a great example with which to educate the general public. Sadly, I think probabaly not as they are always so good at fooling most people. He’ll probably manage to convince everyone that he is the victim!! except perhaps for those of us unfortunate to have encountered these disordered personalities first hand.


Dr. Steve,
Matt Lauer, in an interview with a NY reporter this morning, was told Spitzer has been reputed to be extremely hypocritical, appeared aloof with an inability to connect personally with others, exhibited no compassion and confusing behavior with saying one thing but then doing the opposite, and was described by one official at the beginning of his term saying “that guy scares me.” At least in this case, Spitzer will lose his office and possibly face federal charges.

I listened to Bill O’Reilly last night argue and stand his ground with two mental health professionals sitting on either side of him that Spitzer’s problem was merely that he had an inward desire to be found out, against both professionals insisting that was but one minor trait among many others in pathology. Narcissim was mentioned, but neither sociopathy nor psychopathy was.

What’s scary to me is how Spitzer climbed into a governership in the first place and how uneducated, misinformed, and outwardly belligerent someone so public and so self-touted as a scholar can be. But what really sends shivers up my spine is how prevalent this behavior seems to be and how much power they actually wield that is either whitewashed or contained behind a veil of deceit, privilege, and all too often, immunity.


It’s funny, I checked the lovefraud blog tonight to see if Donna had an opinion of the Spitzer saga.

I spent a number of years working in hospitality – the book Hotel Babylon is completely accurate. It is more the norm than the exception for wealthy men, and any traveling men, to have a mistress or affair while out of their significant other’s sight.

So I wasn’t surprised to see yet another powerful man misbehaving. What strikes me as completely stupid is why he would pay for prostitutes when so many American women – beautiful, educated women – are loose and will give it up for free after a few drinks at the hotel bar. And, what dumba– pays $4000 for a hooker? ??

Also, he should KNOW that since 9/11 and the Enron/Worldcom scandals that the Patriot Act and Sarbanes-Oxley have changed everything. Anti-money laundering rules have become a lot more stringent; bank computer systems have automatic reporting that goes direct to the federal government, filing “suspicious activity reports” for all kinds of transactions.

How can the former New York Attorney General not know what the laws are?? He must have some kind of sickness.


One addition: I wonder what Spitzer has done to his wife that she feels like she had to stand next to him for his public apology? I hope she transfers all the money into her own name and exiles him. It’s not just an affair, it’s potentially exposing her to a deadly STD. He doesn’t deserve to keep his family.

Of course they were 1000 an hour gals…only the “best”
Blech-This guy is a psychopath–the idea they could careless about STDs not to mention fathering children is telltale of evil.

I linked on my blog to a photo-essay of women who “stood by their men.” The Chicago Tribune put it together- it’s just sad. These women from Ted Kennedy’s wife ( she was pregnant with the fourth child at the time) to Spitzer…

These psycho even use their wives for cover when all blows up.

Ox Drover

The “fake apology” that seems to me to be the NORM for psychopaths and narcissistis, or the verbal only “apology” is what they use to say “I SAID I WAS SORRY, WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT?” When they have failed to show any of the 8 things you mentioned.

If you pled guilty to a crime the judge will MAKE you tell the details of the crime or they will not let you take a guilty plea. Of course this is supposed to keep innocent people from pleading guilty instead of going to trial just to “cover their bases.” But it seems to me that even the law recognizes that saying you are guilty (and supposedly being sorry for what you did) you must verbalize what the crime was and admit that you actually did it.

Unfortunately the “fake apology” seems to be the norm with polititcians caught with their pants down around their ankles. I loved Bill Cliinton’s “I did NOT have sex with THAT WOMAN” and the spin that Hillary put on it as a “VAST RIGHT WING CONSPIRACY.” LOL

In a way it is so transparent that it is laughable, but I bet his wife is not laughing, or his family, or his political friends who are quickly sheding him like water off a duck’s back.

As far as the “wanting to get caught” comments, to me that just shows how ignorant the person is who says such a thing. It isn’t about wanting to get caught, it is just that they are SO ARROGANT it never occurs to them that anyone would ever be “smart enough” to catch them, after all, they are the smartest people in the world. The rest of the human race are idiots.


I believe they wont say what they are sorry FOR because they are just plain sorry they GOT CAUGHT! Sorry has become an empty word really.
Maybe, he thought going with the high priced gals, his secret was going to be better kept… the cheap gals might “talk” around town.

Ox Drover

We, of all people, should have empathy for the wives of these psychopaths—we’ve most of us endured the hell that they must be going through—plus they have PUBLIC humiliation in addition to what we have been through (most of us were at least not humiliated by our P on national television.)

As far as him going for “high priced gals” I think he thought he was entitled to ONLY THE BEST, since he was so exalted, an ordinary woman wouldn’t do for him.

Since the Feds have been apparently investigating this group of prostitutes, I wonder how many other political and prominent men are walking the floor tonight wondering when their names will be made public, surely he isn’t the only customer exposed by their wire taps.

Who knows, maybe his wife will post here, it would be I think an appropriate place for her to learn details about her husband’s personality disorder, that is unless he can convince her that she is responsible for him “disappointing” his family.

While I totally see the connection now of Spitzer being likely an N, I disagree that he was uneducated or “climbed into” government. Before this point, I was a big Spitzer fan because he is intelligent and he did earn/work his way to his current position, spending many years in the AG office.

Can we stick to his KNOWN failings and transgressions without putting a political slant on it and attacking him for what we don’t know (his education, background, alleged “aloof” personality, etc. All that is hearsay. His own actions speak loudly enough.)

My first thought after hearing this news was that he is a classic N. Thanks, Lovefraud, because I will never again miss the red flags.

I also disagree with wiretaps because I think they’re a political tool more than one used to catch terrorists.

But none of that excuses Spitzer’s behavior. It’s one step shy of Senator Craigs and others whose deeds I also found appalling. Such a shame. I’m convinced by the failed apology and his actions that he is suffering from N’ism.


Uneducated referred to uneducated in pathological behaviors not academia and was directed toward Bill O’Reilly. And “climbed into” referred exactly to the path you referenced, commonly known as climbing a corporate or in this case political ladder. How did he travel the path he did to arrive here, as pathology does not just appear out of the blue one day, and this was not one isolated incident. And you are correct, his own actions do speak loudly as his reputation and history are well documented and his “steam rolling” antics against others are common knowledge and have been widely reported. He appears to exhibit many symptoms of pathology to me. As such, as it was reported, because of his past public behavior toward others there was no one in his corner and the demand for his resignation was universal. A sociopath will use or step on anyone in the way of their goal. His public reputation isn’t heresay, but heresay on this site should be relatively a non issue because we are here for open discussion, opinions, and dissection of the behaviors of sociopathy.

You are certainly entitled to your opinion as are we all and no offense was intended. I have little interest in politics including his political record except as his behavior relates to pathology, and I wrote with no political slant in mind. I am however very interested in delving into and gaining understanding of the “hows” and “whys” of the spectrum of sociopathic behavior. I abhor abuse of all kinds and Spitzer, among other public figures, has committed at the very least abuse of his power and of his family. Obviously abuse is a major part I believe of why we are all here. Knowledge and education are the keys to change and this situation provides an opportunity for discussion possibly to shed more light on behaviors that are clearly widely unrecognized or at best misunderstood. That is our focus here.

Ox Drover

Politics is a “cut throat” game–and I have no doubt that many politicians in high places abuse their power and insider knowledge to profit on the stock market, and profit in many other ways as well as throw “pork” to their friends.

I don’t think ANYone can get to very high office with “clean hands” (not necessarily be a P but it “helps” if you can stab people in the back without remorse) Then we have the old adage that we all k now is true, and I think Liane pointed out that actual reasearch had proven that people who are Not Ns when they get a great deal of power began to start using arrogant and N-ish behav ior. “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Many Ns and Ps are quite bright and can keep their REAL faces hidden enough that they can acheive VERY high office in this country and any country for that matter. It is only a matter of naming off dictators and kings throughout history that are obviously Ns if not Ps–that will cheerfully murder all opposition.

In our society of the “good old boy” network, cheating on your wife is not necessarily considered “bad” as LONG AS YOU DON’T GET PUBLICLY OUTED. Look at JFK, apparently his philandering and Bobby’s was well known among their friends and even white house folks, and the media even, who also kept their mouths shut.

I think many people who are N-ish or Ps aspire to high office and power and public acclaim just because that is the “nature of the beast.” It is all about POWER and they feel that they deserve power and are ABOVE petty laws and rules such as not cheating on your wife. Those rules in their minds do NOT apply to them, they are special. Rules are made for the rest of the little people, not for those in high positions.

If you go back 2000 years and look at Jesus’ tirade against the Pharisees in the Temple who were pretending to be “Holy” men while they were stealing from the poor, and oppressing widows and orphans, you can see that it has “always” been this way, and probably always will be. The powerful take advantage of the not-so-powerful, and Ns and Ps aspire to be in a position to do just that, so it is not suprising to me at all that a man who is governor of a state would be an N or a P. I’m just glad that he was outed, by whatever tactics were used.

Not criticizing, BenzThere or OxDrover. Just think that we tend to have a pile-on whenever someone mighty falls. Not us, but like the Matt Lauers and Bill O’Reillys of the world (O’Reilly being one of the biggest P’s imaginable, I find it funny he can even bring himself to discuss sexual impropriety, given his own history).

You know, whenever there’s a public scandal people come out of the woodwork to say bad things about the person. It’s a free for all. Our media is another place full of P’s, N’s and S’s. Just wondering if the NY reporter had an axe to grind that we don’t know about, and how much hearsay we should believe.

That said, there’s just no way Spitzer doesn’t have a pathology, even just in the “What’s good for others doesn’t apply to me and I’ll never get caught doing what I take others down for doing” behavior. Makes him an N in my book, with that alone.

Sad, but true.

And I feel terrible for his wife. Who knows why we stayed with our N or P or S partners for the time we did? She may truly believe she loves him and up until now, believed he loved her, too. So sad for her.

Ox Drover

Yea,, you are right it is a “pile on” but I can’t say that it hurts my feelings to see ANY P “fall from grace” and the higher they are the bigger the splat when theyhit the concrete. Maybe that is “tacky” of me to feel that way, but so many times they seem to “win” and all the damage they do to others is never ever repaid.

Justice is when a bad-doer gets “what they deserve” it is NOT revenge on my part. If I see you rob my house and I call the cops that is NOT “revenge” it is JUSTICE, if I burn your house down because you robbed mine that is revenge.

If you get arrested because you are a robber, I will be GLAD to see you go to jail, because I applaud JUSTICE and too many times the Ns and Ps never get justice.

I was just as glad to see my DIL go to jail for trying to kill my son, and I was just as glad to see her BF go to jail as well. I will be at his parole hearing speaking as well—one way or another, either talking directly to the parole board or if they will not hear me, then I will be there with the local news media and a picket sign–either way I WILL be heard.

And just as I am sorry for the hurt my DIL heaped on the head of my son, I have a great deal of empathy for that poor woman who is married to him. Even if she knew he was an abuser and with the things that have been said about his showing of his “ruthlessness” I would be willing to bet she already has a good idea he is not “mr nice guy”–but for what ever reason that poor woman stayed with him, I have the greatest empathy for that woman and wish that she had not been subjected to the PUBLIC humiliation for something her husband did. Although she will also get sympathy and empathy from her friends and the people who do love her. I pray for her healing and solace.

If they have children (I am not sure) I also pray for their healing as well, because I am sure life will not be very happy for them for some time, and to be the child of a psychopath is pretty brutal—I know, I am one. I am also the mother of one. None of it is easy for the innocent.

Oh, I don’t feel bad for his fall, no matter from how high or that I formerly had respect for what I knew of his career. Nobody made him do the same things that he prosecuted other people for doing. Nobody except him thought it was ok for him to lead a dual life and think he was above the law he was sworn to protect. He’s earned whatever he gets and yes, I would wish that more P’s reaped what they actually sow in life — my ex P included.

I was more commenting on how much I hate that aspect of our society as a whole – if someone is a P or an N or just a general jerk, why do we never hear all about it until that person falls from grace? Why can’t people either just tell the truth about what they see from the word “go”?

It’s a vicious part of our society, the need to add fuel to fires. That’s how I see it, anyway. Regardless of what the fire is, or who it happens to, tons of people in the public eye always come running out with gasoline. Like Heath Ledger’s death: suddenly we hear about drugs and all sorts of things. Why if those things were happening did nobody come forward or try to help him sooner?

In the case of Lovefraud, the issue of Spitzer being an N or P is totally relevant not only to what this blog is about but also to spotting red flags of sociopaths. So it’s not like piling-on, but a meaningful discussion, here.

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