Sunday, June 1, 2008

How to make a celebrity apology

It's like fingernails on a chalkboard when I hear a public official and/or celebrity say, in response to a public outrage of their own instigation, "If I offended anyone then I am sorry." It's as if that person had been tossing and turning all night thinking, "Hmm, I wonder if I chapped anyone's ass when I said that Kim Jong-il is just misunderstood. As soon as I wake up, I should find the nearest live microphone and qualify my statement, just in case."

Here's a news flash, you marblemouthed doo-doo heads. You OFFENDED someone. A lot of someones. Otherwise, you wouldn't be standing in front of a news camera in your contrition uniform (which smells like mothballs because it has been buried in the closet for decades).

So let's just get that "if" off the table. You misspoke, we get it. But your speechwriter has had hours, days even, to craft your apology. Don't misspeak AGAIN. Take out your little red pen, scratch out the entire sentence that contains the word "if" and replace it with this:

"My words were tactless, unartful, myopic and incredibly stupid. Millions of people are staring at me with gaping maws, and reporters are phoning 24/7, so there can be no mistaking I uttered things that would make a 4-year-old say, 'Dag, that's harsh!'"

If you're really brassy, you can add: "If there's anyone who was NOT offended, come closer."

Now, crouch down and whisper to those three:

"See those millions of scowling people over there? They are thin-skinned and humorless. You and I know the truth. I was only kidding."

egg-y cartoon © FNO Press, 2003, reproduced with permission from and

No comments: