Jeffrey A. Schaler, Ph.D.

"Breaking her Silence" 

Fox News Now (cable TV, national broadcast), Wash., D.C. 

10:10 AM, August 4, 1999 

Fox News Now 

Fox News Channel (cable TV, national version) 

Wednesday, August 4, 1999, 10:10 AM 


[Lead-in with January 26, 1998 film of President 

Clinton saying "I want you to listen to me. I'm going 

to say this again. I did not have sexual relations 

with that woman, Miss Lewinsky. I never told anybody 

to lie. Not a single time. Never." 

News segment entitled : "Breaking her Silence" 

Lisa Carberg, host, in New York. 

CARBERG: Well Hillary Clinton is under fire again, 

this time for her comments about her husband's 

infidelities in the premiere issue of Talk magazine. 

The First Wife claims that childhood abuse explains 

and in some ways excuses the President's extra 

curricular activities. Dr. Jeffrey Schaler is an 

adjunct professor at American University and a 

developmental psychologist. He joins me from 

Washington. Good morning Dr. Schaler. 

SCHALER: Good morning Lisa. 

CARBERG: Do you believe that childhood abuse, in this 

case mental abuse, excuses adult behavior? 

SCHALER: Absolutely not. Sigmund Freud was one of 

the greatest charlatans of the twentieth century, and 

it's odd, to say the very least, that Hillary Clinton 

is invoking Freudian theory to explain why her husband 

has been unfaithful. There's no scientific evidence 

to support psychoanalysis, Freudian theory, and it's 

just peculiar that she would use this, for whatever 

reason. I guess she's trying to rationalize, or 

explain away--excuse--his behavior. 

CARBERG: Can you detail the Freudian theory a little 

bit more for us. 

SCHALER: Well, she focused, in the interview, on how 

Bill Clinton had allegedly had some kind of trauma at 

age 4, in terms of trying to win the affection of his 

mother and grandmother. This, in Freudian theory, is 

called the phallic stage of development that extends 

from about age 3 to 6. And it's a time in which young 

boys allegedly are struggling with what Freud called 

the Oedipus complex, where they focus their sexual 

interests on the mother and harbor, allegedly, 

unconscious desires to kill their father. Now, if 

that's unresolved, according to Freudian theory, it 

allegedly could influence people's behavior later on 

in life. For example, what Hillary seems to be 

suggesting, by invoking this theory, is that he's 

searching for the love he never had from his mother by 

being with all these women. But that's a way-out 

theory that isn't even taught in schools of 

developmental psychology any more. 

CARBERG: Dr. Schaler, parents have had a difficult 

issue explaining the President's infidelity to their 

children, and now this "abuse excuse" issue. What 

kind of an example is this now setting for young 


SCHALER: Well, I think it's setting a very bad 

example. Once again, I mean we've all grown tired of 

Bill refusing to take responsibility for his behavior, 

and here we have Hillary enabling him in refusing to 

take responsibility once again. What we do know from 

psychological research, particularly from a school of 

psychology called "Social Learning Theory," is that 

the example set is the lesson learned. And kids . . . my 

concern is that kids will learn that it's OK to be 

irresponsible . . . 

{Video-over showing Hillary and Bill Clinton leaving 

helicopter. Hillary walking ahead of Bill. Bill 

looking upset.] 

. . . This was hardly a sin of weakness. This was a 

sign of irresponsibility on the part of the President. 

And it concerns me that Hillary is excusing his 

behavior when in fact she should be insisting that he 

be held responsible for it. 

CARBERG: Now the First Lady used the term "weakness" 

to explain the President's behavior. 

SCHALER: Right. I hardly think it's a weakness. If 

anything it seems to be an indication of incredible 

determination and strength--an "iron will" if you 

will--on the part of President Clinton. He's 

determined to do whatever he wants regardless of the 

consequences. That's hardly an indication of 


[Title: "Breaking her Silence" is now replaced with "FOX 



CARBERG: Describe to us the differences between 

weakness and addiction, that we've heard before. 

SCHALER: Well, there is a lot of myth about 

addictions. . . the idea about addiction that's a myth 

is that somehow people can't control their behavior, 

and scientific research over the last 30 years 

consistently shows that people can control their 

behavior. So, once again to say that somehow 

President Clinton is suffering from a sexual addiction 

is inaccurate. If anything he's causing other people 

to suffer from his own preferences. 

CARBERG: The President's powerful role--did that play 

into his actions, his behavior? 

SCHALER: Well, I'm sure, because in terms of his 

relationships with women, they are undoubtedly 

enamored by his power and prestige. And I can't see 

how it could be otherwise. 

CARBERG: Did that feed it? 

SCHALER: I think it would. . . on the part of the 

women who participated with him? I imagine so. In 

terms of his own interests? I'm not sure. 

CARBERG: OK. Dr. Schaler . . . OK . . . What, if you 

were Hillary Clinton, of course she's received a lot 

of controversy over the article . . . and how she's 

handled it, and now she's back on her listening tour, 

everyone's waiting for her to address this issue, if 

you were her, how might you clarify things to make it 

easier to understand for the everyday person out 


SCHALER: Well, I think she should distance herself 

from this Freudian explanation for her husband's 

behavior, because, if you'll remember, Freud is the 

person that brought us the whole idea of "penis envy" 

which is an idea that's been disparaged by feminists 

for many years, so she does herself no good by 

identifying with a Freudian theory or explanation for 

her husband's behavior. What I think she should do is 

insist that he be held responsible for the 

consequences of his actions . . . and not get into 

this whole thing of excusing or rationalizing behavior 

. . . both . . . for the country, for herself, and for 

young people in America today. 

CARBERG: Do you think it's realistic for the First 

Lady to criticize her husband's behavior, I mean 

they're not your average couple. 

SCHALER: Well, I think it's realistic. I mean . . . 

we've gotten so exposed to their private life, which 

is a whole . . . another ethical matter, in my 

opinion, but the fact of the matter is that we do have 

access now to their private and personal relationship 

and I think she should do the right thing, and yes, 

criticize him for the harm and the irresponsibility 

that he has committed. 

CARBERG: Dr. Jeffrey Schaler, we thank you for 

joining us this morning from the nation's capitol. 

SCHALER: Thank you. 

[End at 10:16 AM]