Posts Tagged ‘apology’

Rush Limbaugh apologizes under fire from Democrats. Where’s their furor over name calling from the left?

March 4, 2012

Rush Limbaugh has apologized for calling Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke a slut and a prostitute for supporting health insurance coverage of contraceptives.

He was immediately swamped with outrage from the Left and from several sponsors of his radio talk show who announced that they would sponsor no longer.

Rush posted an apology on his website yesterday. After explaining his position against insurance coverage of contraceptives, he concluded:

“My choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir. I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices.”

I’ve written before about the three types of apologies:

Category 1 is the defiant apology:“I’m sorry if you think I did something wrong.”

Category 2 is the evasive apology:“I may have made an innocent mistake, and I’m sorry for it—if I actually did it.”

Category 3 is the real apology:“I did something wrong, and I’m sorry for it.”

Rush gets only provisional credit for a Cat. 3—provisional (more…)

Murdoch apologizes—really!—for News of the World’s phone hacking and police bribery

July 18, 2011

Ethics Bob is always on the lookout for fake apologies, so when CNN reported that News Corp’s Rupert Murdoch had made a non-apology my senses sharpened: who better to nail than Murdoch, the genius behind Fox News’s right-wing propaganda machine. I wanted to disbelieve Murdoch’s acceptance of any responsibility.

Here’s the ad he ran in British papers last weekend:

The News of the World was in the business of holding others to account.

It failed when it came to itself.

We are sorry for the serious wrongdoing that occurred.

We are deeply sorry for the hurt suffered by the individuals affected.

We regret not acting faster to sort things out.

I realise that simply apologising is not enough.

Our business was founded on the idea that a free and open press should be a positive force in society. We need to live up to this.

In the coming days, as we take further concrete steps to resolve these issues and make amends for the damage they have caused, you will hear more from us.

(signed) Rupert Murdoch.

One could quibble  with Murdoch’s use of “wrongdoing that occurred” rather then “wrong that we did,”  or “hurt suffered” rather than “hurt we caused,” but that’s only a small quibble. It looks to me, and I think will look to most people, that Murdoch is accepting responsibility. And by not putting the corporate name under his signature he’s signifying that the responsibility is personal. Hooray (gulp) for him.

LeBron James makes a phantom apology for breaking hearts in Cleveland

May 16, 2011

Basketball superstar LeBron James broke new ground last week with an original kind of non-apology. Let’s call it a phantom apology, apologizing for a non-offense instead of for the real offense.

James left the Cleveland Cavaliers after last season to join two other superstars on the Miami Heat. No problem with that: he was a free agent. But he did it in a particularly ugly way that was gratuitously hurtful to his fans in Cleveland. The hurt damaged his image with fans everywhere.

Last Wednesday James led his new team to a victory in the quarter-final series of the playoffs over the Boston Celtics, the team that had knocked out his old team (the Cavaliers) last year. In the flush of victory he tried to repair his image. But a real apology would have admitted he did wrong. So James came up with the phantom apology.

Instead of apologizing for the ugly hurt he had caused, he semi-apologized for jumping to Miami—an act that was entirely honorable and ethical. Semi-, because he went on to explain that his move was a “once in a lifetime” opportunity to get past the Celtics and compete for the championship, His entire statement is here.

So James gets credit for apologizing without accepting blame for what he did.

But no credit from EthicsBob: that’s not a real apology.

A real apology is (more…)

Steve Cohen’s “apology”: I’m sorry Republicans took offense when I said they were just like the Nazis

January 21, 2011

 

There are lots of reports that Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) apologized for likening the Republican opponents of Obamacare to Nazis, but don’t you believe them. His regret was not for his ugly accusation, but was “that anyone in the Jewish community, my Republican colleagues or anyone else was offended by the portrayal of my comments.”

His complete statement can be found here.

Kudos to Rachel Maddow and Ed Schultz, the only people on the left who’ve been willing to say anything against Cohen’s House remarks. Maddow said, “Nothing is like the Nazis,” Schultz said “This can’t be tolerated.”

Tragically, no peep of criticism has come from Cohen’s Democratic colleagues. They remain silent; therefore they approve.

 

Alabama Gov. Bentley apologizes–more or less

January 20, 2011

 

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley apologized—sort of—for his Martin Luther King, Jr day speech, in which he appeared to embrace fellow evangelicals as “my brothers and my sisters,” but to exclude everybody else.

The Associated Press reports that Bentley met for an hour with members of Alabama’s Jewish community and afterward told reporters he meant no insult with his words.

“What I would like to do is apologize. Should anyone who heard those words and felt disenfranchised, I want to say, ‘I’m sorry.’ If you’re not a person who can say you are sorry, you’re not a very good leader,” Bentley said.

Bentley’s apology seems to have been agreeably received by local Jewish and Muslim leaders, but it would have been better had he regretted what he said rather than that some people “felt disenfranchised” upon hearing it.

 

Dr. Laura Schlessinger teaches us how to apologize

August 17, 2010

Dr. Laura Schlessinger is ending her radio show at the end of the year, nudged along by the furor over her repeated use of the “n-word” in a conversation with a caller. Dr. Laura repeated the word six or seven times, not in a racist way, but in a complaint about a double standard whereby black comics can use it ad nauseum, but it’s off limits to whites.

In the conversation Dr. Laura spoke disrespectfully and hurtfully to the caller, who, after all, called in for some consoling and advice. The next day Dr. Laura taught us all a lesson about apologizing. Not a Category 1 (defiant) apology: “I’m sorry if you think I did something wrong.” Not a Category 2 (evasive) apology: “I may have made an innocent mistake, and I’m sorry for it—if I actually did it.”

No, Dr. Laura issued an all-out Category 3 apology that’s so rare in public life:

“I talk every day about doing the right thing. And yesterday, I did the wrong thing. I didn’t intend to hurt people, but I did. And that makes it the wrong thing to have done.

“I was attempting to make a philosophical point, and I articulated the “n” word all the way out – more than one time. And that was wrong. I’ll say it again – that was wrong. (more…)

Agriculture Secretary Vilsack apologizes to Shirley Sherrod, offers her a job

July 21, 2010

When you screw up, say you screwed up, apologize, and attempt to repair the damage, Kudos to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who screwed up big-time yesterday by firing Shirley Sherrod on the basis of a sharply edited right wing video. He did the right thing today. The following is from Politico:

“POLITICO Breaking News:

“Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has personally apologized to Shirley Sherrod, the employee who was forced to resign Monday after videotapes surfaced of her making remarks that initially sounded racially discriminatory. Vilsack said Sherrod was “extraordinarily gracious” in accepting his apology and said he offered her a job that would take advantage of her “unique experiences” working with black and white farmers in Georgia. Sherrod, he said, wanted to think about it before answering. “This was my decision and it’s a decision I regret,” Vilsack said, saying he received no White House pressure to force Sherrod to resign. Vilsack plans to meet with the Congressional Black Caucus later Wednesday to discuss Sherrod.”

var sc_project=6152467;

var sc_invisible=1;

var sc_security=”2276aa67″;

counter for tumblr

More shame for USC: After spreading careless accusations of cheating, a non-apology from Mike Garrett

July 12, 2010

When you’ve done something wrong and you want to apologize, say. “I’m sorry.” Even better, say what you’re sorry for. This doesn’t apply to the University of Southern California.

After USC was hit last month with sanctions from the NCAA for serious rule violations involving football star Reggie Bush and basketball star O. J. Mayo, the athletic department feared that players already committed to the Trojans (or already enrolled) would switch to other schools. Not just fears: according to ESPN, USC accused five other schools–Oregon, Washington, Florida, Alabama, and Fresno State—of cheating by contacting top Trojan recruit Dillon Baxter without the Trojans’ permission.

Mike Garrett, Trojan athletic director confirmed the ESPN report when he sent letters of “apology” to the five schools. After accusing the five schools of cheating Garrett belatedly asked Baxter, who said he’d not been contacted by any of the schools.

Garrett didn’t apologize for his careless accusation of cheating, or perhaps for damaging their reputations, nor for anything he had done. No responsibility for Mike Garrett, nosirree:

“I apologize for any inconvenience or embarrassment this matter has caused to you and your institution,” Garrett wrote.

var sc_project=6152467;

var sc_invisible=1;

var sc_security=”2276aa67″;

counter for tumblr

The three types of apologies and Illinois Senate Candidate Mark Kirk (R)

June 30, 2010

Apologies fall into three categories. Category 1 is the defiant apology: “I’m sorry if you think I did something wrong.”

Category 2 is the evasive apology: “I may have made an innocent mistake, and I’m sorry for it—if I actually did it.”

And there’s Category 3, the apology that’s so rare in politics it doesn’t yet have a name: “I did something wrong, and I’m sorry for it.” This used to be just called an apology, but the other types of apology make the old name inadequate. Just as technology made us replace “phone” with “dial phone,” and mail with “snail mail,” politics makes us put an adjective in front of “apology.” Call it the real apology.

Republican Senate candidate Mark Kirk of Illinois had a lot to apologize for. A month ago he apologized to the Chicago Tribune for a pile of whoppers about his 21-year record as a Navy Reserve intelligence officer: He had not come under fire in Iraq as claimed; had not participated in Operation Desert Storm; had not won the Navy’s award for intelligence officer of the year; had not commanded the Pentagon war room, and had not served in Operation Iraqi Freedom, the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

His apology was Category 2: “I am sorry, absolutely. You should speak with utter precision. You should stand on the documented military record. In public discourse, for high office, you should make sure that there is a degree of complete rigorous precession.” (more…)

Israel should apologize to Turkey for the loss of life aboard the Mavi Marmara

June 8, 2010

“We’re sorry.”

Magical words.

When a U.S. C-130 reconnaissance aircraft collided several years ago with a Chinese MIG that had been closely tailing it, the MIG crashed into the sea and the C-130 made an emergency landing in China. The Chinese government delayed releasing the crew, and it looked like a serious threat to U.S.-China relations when the Chinese ambassador paid a call on Secretary of State Colin Powell.

“We demand an apology,” said the ambassador. “We’re sorry,” replied Powell. “You’re sorry?” “Yes, we’re sorry,” Powell repeated

The ambassador was taken aback. “I must talk to Beijing,” he explained and left the State Department. Two hours later he was back with Powell. “Can you regret the loss of life?” he asked. This was a no-brainer for the intrepid Secretary of State.

“Yes, we’re sorry and we regret the loss of life.”

“I can assure you, the American airmen and the wreckage of the plane will be returned immediately,” the Chinese ambassador responded.

And so ended a potentially dangerous confrontation between the United States and China. Two magical words.

If only somebody as sensible as Powell could influence the Israeli government. Israel is about to suffer a costly—and possibly irreversible—breach in relations with Turkey, the only Muslim country it counts as an ally. (more…)