Apologies: Authentic and Inauthentic

When I first posted about Rick Sanchez at the start of the week, I considered closing with some thoughts about the alternative ways Sanchez could handle the inevitable public statement and apology. I chose not to, but knew anyway that the most likely choice would be the carefully worded, inauthentic utterance of someone coping with a “situation,” with an apology very little if at all for what was done and mostly for how it all turned out. Here is the apology Rick Sanchez released yesterday.

On October 4th, I had a very good conversation with Jon Stewart, and I had the opportunity to apologize for my inartful comments from last week.  I sincerely extend this apology to anyone else whom I may have offended.

As Jon was kind enough to note in his show Monday night, I am very much opposed to hate and intolerance, in any form, and I have frequently spoken out against prejudice. Despite what my tired and mangled words may have implied, they were never intended to suggest any sort of narrow-mindedness and should never have been made.

In the aftermath of these comments, CNN and I have decided to part ways. However, I want to go on record to say that I have nothing but the highest regard for CNN and for my six wonderful years with them.  I appreciate every opportunity that they have given me, and it has been a wonderful experience working for them. I have tremendous respect for everyone there, and I know that they feel the same about me.  There are no hard feelings – just excitement about a new future of opportunities.

I look forward to my next step with great anticipation.  In the meantime, I will continue to promote my book, Conventional Idiocy, in the hopes of broadening the discussion to get a better understanding between all Americans, regardless of race, creed or religion.

Sanchez thought it okay to issue this kind of “apology” because it is the kind of fake representation that we allow people to make in the public sphere without adequately scorning them. You could have laid odds that Sanchez would apologize to those “whom I may have offended” rather than for what he said. Was there anyone who wasn’t offended to some degree or other? What kind of people were they? Does Sanchez think it reasonable that anyone would not have been offended by what he said? Was what he said offensive or was it not? What is his judgment after several days of reflection?

One has to laugh at the artfulness of “inartful.” Is there an artful way to ignorantly stereotype a person and whole classes of people, while being, as well, factually incorrect about many things: Stewart did not grow up the privileged elitist Sanchez portrayed and Jews do not run television news. One could only have hoped that Sanchez would not blow smoke up the social rectum by claiming to feel, at one of the lower moments of his life, “excitement about a new future of opportunities.” One might never have dreamed that he would close his apology by pitching his book.

Rather than reveal himself to be – when he should have been looking most deeply into himself – little more than a surface of media presentation and self-promotion, he might have delivered an apology close to this – a real apology.

On October 4th, I had a very good conversation with Jon Stewart, and I had the opportunity to apologize to him for the comments I made about him last week and the suggestions I made about Jews.  I sincerely apologize to Jon, to the listeners that day, to my viewers, and to everyone.

As Jon was kind enough to note in his show Monday night, I am very much opposed to hate and intolerance, in any form, and I have frequently spoken out against prejudice. The things I said that day were stupid. Jon Stewart is a humorist who poked fun at my foibles as he does those of many others. I was too sensitive, and I allowed myself to be hurt by his humor and to develop a sense of grievance. As a result of my feeling of grievance, I thought stupid things, which led me to say stupid things that are contrary to all of my best instincts. They were inexcusable. I feel embarrassed and ashamed.

The one good thing that comes from an error like the one I made is that it presents an opportunity – the opportunity to do better. I vow to do better, and I hope to demonstrate that in the future.

AJA

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1 thought on “Apologies: Authentic and Inauthentic

  1. What a slug! tweeting his way to mediocrity…he shouldve simply said,”I apologize for publicly expressing my private, hateful thoughts.”

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