The recent firing by NPR of Juan Williams (one of two of my favorite liberals) brought to mind, once again, something that I’ve seen over and over again in the media — public apologies.
Not from Mr. Williams. His statement about Muslims on airplanes requires no apology – his opinion is shared, I’m sure, by many Americans in these post-9/11 days. I’m talking about the public apology from NPR President Vivian Schiller. The day after his firing, Ms. Schiller said Mr. Williams’ comments should’ve been “between him and his psychiatrist or his publicist” implying that his views were so out there that he must have mental problems. Only after such comments received negative press did she issue a statement, “I spoke hastily and I apologize to Juan and others for my thoughtless remark.”
There was no problem with the firing of Mr. Williams because his remark about Muslims on airplanes was politically incorrect, was not in line with NPR’s left-wing bias and his frequent appearances on Fox News didn’t sit well with the powers that be. I don’t believe the far left’s sugar daddy George Soros’ $1.8 million donation to NPR on the same day Mr. Williams was fired is just a coincidence.
To prove my point, remember in 1995 when Nina Totenberg said, if there was retributive justice, Jesse Helms or one of his grandchildren would get AIDS from a transfusion. That vile comment obviously didn’t bother NPR because Ms. Totenberg is still its legal affairs correspondent.
I’m convinced public apologies are made for a couple of reasons. One, the person got caught doing something he or she shouldn’t, or two, the negative press was just too overwhelming and someone had to backtrack. If no apology is given, it’s because the statement, no matter, how reprehensible, is the politically correct way of thinking.
This past summer, a producer for an NPR-affiliated radio station said in an email she would “laugh loudly like a maniac and watch his eyes bug out” if she were to see Rush Limbaugh suffering a heart attack. Only because of the fallout over the exposed emails did Sarah Spitz issue a statement she “made poorly considered remarks about Rush Limbaugh to, what I believed was, a private email discussion group from my personal email account.”
In the spring, a memo from the Bergen County Education Association, a teacher’s union in New Jersey, surfaced which said, “Dear Lord this year you have taken away my favorite actor, Patrick Swayze, my favorite actress, Farah Fawcett, my favorite singer, Michael Jackson, and my favorite salesman, Billy Mays. I just wanted to let you know that Chris Christie is my favorite governor.” Association president, Joe Coppola, said the “prayer” was a joke and was never meant to be made public. Christie didn’t see any humor in the memo.
Who can forget Julianne Malveaux’s statements about Justice Clarence Thomas, “I hope his wife feeds him lots of eggs and butter and he dies early like many black men do, of heart disease.” No apology necessary because he’s a conservative.
Bill Maher, never one to hide his disdain for Christianity, regularly rants against religion and says things like Christians are “part of a dress-up cult that hates sex and worships magic.” He preaches to the choir so he’s not going to get any huge public outcry over his remarks.
Rosie O’Donnell said on The View that “radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam in a country like America.” And after saying 9/11 was an inside job, she’s still getting her own talk show on Oprah’s new OWN network. Why O’Donnell continues to have job offers is beyond me.
Jesse Jackson, thinking he was speaking with a (like-minded?) Washington Post reporter when he referred to Jews as “hymies,” issued the following apology, “It was not done in the spirit of meanness. However innocent and unintended, it was wrong.” When he made the comment, “I wanna cut his n^*s off,” unwittingly into an open microphone about then Presidential candidate Obama, he had no choice but to apologize for his crude comment.
And then, of course, there are the politicians who issue soul-searching apologies – after they’re caught – like Bill Clinton, South Carolina Republican Governor Mark Sanford, former New York Democratic Governor Eliot Spitzer (who now has his own talk show, by the way), former Colorado Democratic Senator, Gary Hart, Louisiana Republican Senator David Vitter, and the list goes on and on and on.
One apology I and many others will not accept is from Jane Fonda when she said, “I will go to my grave regretting the photograph of me in an antiaircraft gun, which looks like I was trying to shoot at American planes. It hurt so many soldiers. It galvanized such hostility. It was the most horrible thing I could possibly have done. It was just thoughtless.” Nice try, Jane.
Of course, there are the celebrity apologies – Tiger Woods, Kobe Bryant, Mel Gibson, Jesse James, Ted Haggard, Michael Vick, Mark McGwire, Michael Richards, and John Mayer. Again, always after their deeds have been exposed in the media.
And, finally, last but not least, the winners for the all-time, most transparent, most insincere, most dishonest apologies – criminal defendants. Has anyone ever seen a less contrite “I’m sorry” than one coming from the mouth of a criminal defendant right before sentencing? I’ve yet to see a defendant who wasn’t reading from a little piece of paper, no doubt written by his defense attorney, how very sorry he is to the family of his victim(s) and that if he could, he would surely trade places with them. Yeah, right. When was the last time you heard of someone walking into a police station saying, “I’m sorry, I just robbed/raped/murdered my neighbor”?
Perhaps it’s just human nature. Still, a lot of it, I don’t get but, if you do, God bless you.
Copyright © 2013 BernardGoldberg.com