Testing Time for
method for assessing psychopathy is a 24 point
checklist the Hare PCL-R and the
resulting diagnosis often leads to permanent
Ronson begins by
testing a theory that psychopaths are
disproportionately represented among those in
positions of power.
--Review of The
Psychopath Test, by Jon Ronson, in The New
Interviewer: Im happy to have former
Congressman G. join us as he begins his candidacy
for President of the United States. Sir, after
you left Congress you served as a university
professor. I assume you gave your students pop
G: My little
quizzies, I called them.
I: [Aside] Glib
charm. Im glad we dont have to see
his little testes. [To guest] Lets talk
first about your long-term goals.
G: Yes, we need to
reform Washington, get Big Government off our
backs, and pray for rain in the south.
I: [Aside] Lack of
realistic long-term goals. [To guest] But, you
were all for Big Government during the last
Administration. Started two wars. Lowered taxes
on the wealthy.
G: But, that was
because we dominated the House and Senate and had
the White House in our pocket.
Pathological lying and irresponsibility. [To
guest] So, you have no remorse or guilt about
changing your mind 180 degrees or manipulating
the American people?
G: Of course not.
That was then and this is now. My wife and
I: Are we speaking
now of your second or third wife? [Aside] Short-term
G: Um, I think my
I: That would be the
wealthy one. Would you describe your marital
relationship as parasitic? [Aside] Like a giant
G: Ill have
you know Im a church-going, born-again,
I: [Aside] Poor
behavioral control. [To guest] Just kidding. This
isnt an interview. Its a
psychological test the 12 question Hare
PCL-R test psychiatrists use to determine those
people [interviewer rotates fingers around head]
who need to be institutionalized. Im afraid,
Sir, youve failed.
G: What do you mean?!
We can run this country without anyone paying
taxes! Billionaires will create more jobs as soon
as the aliens stop taking over our way of life.
The Eastern elitists are all speaking foreign
languages, saying things like entrée
and ambience to mean dinner and
decoration! Were under attack!
I: [Aside] Lack of
empathy. [To guest] Sorry, Sir. Times up.
We have a crew of TV psychiatrists whove
determined youve gone round the bend.
Theres a nice institution full of Middle
Eastern death squad leaders and callous CEOs
where youll feel right at home,
behaviorally speaking. Thank you and good