APOLOGY UPDATE: Apology Crisis in the Punjab!

Speaking of the Punjab —

CHANDIGARH: The dera Sacha Sauda of Sirsa on Wednesday submitted a
revised apology to the Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of Sikhs
for hurting Sikh sentiments.
(“Dera Sacha Sauda sends revised apology to Akal Takht,” Punjab Newsline Network)

I know you’ve all been wondering if he would re-apologize. Well, he did!

APOLOGY UPDATE: Fox News Apologizes Again

The Fox News wrong tape epic continues. To recap: Fox News ran footage of Rep. John Conyers to illustrate a story about the indictment of Rep. William Jefferson. Fox News apologized. Rep. Conyers rejected the Fox News apology as insufficient. Yesterday, Fox News apologized again:

On Wednesday, Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum
explained to viewers that a production assistant picked up a tape that
had been identified as a meeting about Jefferson. The picture showed
Conyers.

“We regret this mistake,” MacCallum
said. “We in no way meant to suggest that there was any connection
between the Jefferson indictment and Congressman Conyers. We have
extended our apology privately to the congressman and we do so here as
well.”
(“Fox News Apologizes Again for Tape Goof,” FOXNews.com)

As you recall: “Conyers was reportedly upset that Fox’s first apology was nonspecific and didn’t mention he was the victim.”

Because when you’re the victim, you want everyone to know you’re the victim. Otherwise, what’s the point of even being a victim? If you’re victimized and no one knows about it, it’s like you weren’t even victimized at all. Or something like that.

Actually, the whole point of Conyers’ playing the “apology not good enough” hand is to prolong the story and extract another, more abject apology from his nemesis, the evil Fox News. This time he got his name into the apology (free air time!), a “We regret this mistake” AND made Fox go through the exercise of explaining how this terrible thing happened. The trifecta! PLUS — a private apology too. It was a good day for Rep. Conyers.

Now … will he accept the new apology and let this tedious story die? Or go for another round?

And if Fox has to apologize yet again, will they make Martha MacCallum do it? She must be the designated on-air apologizer.

Also: Atlanta columnist Jim Wooten sees it about like I do. But with different words.

DATE OF (RE)APOLOGY: June 6, 2007
APOLOGIZER:  Anchor Martha  MacCallum,  on behalf of Fox News
APOLOGIZEE: Rep. John Conyers
FOR: Running the wrong video footage

APOLOGY UPDATE: Redskin Portis Reconsiders Dogfighting

In our very first apology analysis, we dogged Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis for a fairly lame and not-terribly-sincere sounding apology for his remarks endorsing dogfighting — or at least questioning whether making two hapless hounds battle each other to the death for the amusement of onlookers should be considered a crime.

It appears that he has subsequently given the matter greater thought and reached the conclusion that dogfighting really is a bad thing:

“A couple of weeks ago, when I made those comments, I didn’t understand
the seriousness behind it,” Portis said. “I didn’t know it would affect
that many people, didn’t think what I said was that offensive. But
after doing research and seeing how serious people take this, I
shouldn’t have made the comments.”
(“Portis changes dog fighting stance.” SI.com)

He goes on to say:

“I had no idea the love that people have for animals or didn’t consider
it when I made those comments,” Portis said. “I’m not even a pets man.
I’ve got a fish — that’s the easiest thing to keep up. I’ve never been
into dogs, never dealt with dogs, don’t like playing with dogs. But at
the same time there’s a lot of people who are crazy over pets.”

The heat he has taken for his remarks probably helped focus his thinking on the issue:

The Washington Redskins running back spoke Tuesday of the searing
criticism he has received since he made light of the dog fighting
investigation involving Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick.

But he does seem, in classic TV sit-com fashion, to have learned a valuable lesson:

Portis said Tuesday that he’ll be more judicious before offering an opinion that might come back to dog him.

“From now on, I don’t comment on nobody,” Portis said. “My life is the only thing I can control.”

Sorry, Bo Jackson. I am for real

I found this little apology curious and did some digging. It comes from your friends at the California Newspapers Partnership, MediaNews Group, Inc., and MediaNews Interactive, Inc.

First, I’ll paraphrase my version, because the actual text is dry as sawdust.

“Hey, sports legend Bo Jackson, remember that article we published over two years ago where we said you were an abuser of anabolic steroids? You know, where we quoted that woman who said, “Bo Jackson lost his
hip because of anabolic abuse,” but we didn’t have any actual evidence to back that up? Remember how you sued us and we issued a retraction and apologized about two weeks later. Well, we’d just like to say today, randomly, on June 2, 2007 that we’re still really sorry.”

Here is the full text. While I usually don’t quote the entire article, this is more of a notice of apology and I am sure your friends at he California Newspapers Partnership, MediaNews Group, Inc., and MediaNews Interactive, Inc. will appreciate  my assistance in further disseminating it.

Public Apology to Bo Jackson


On
behalf of the California Newspapers Partnership, MediaNews Group, Inc.,
and MediaNews Interactive, Inc., we would like to reiterate our
previous unconditional apology to Mr. Bo Jackson and his family for the
article titled “Forum Tackles the Dangers of Steroid Use” that appeared
in both the print and online versions of the Inland Valley Daily
Bulletin on March 24, 2005.

The article quoted a speaker who stated that “Bo Jackson lost his
hip because of anabolic abuse.” Because the reporter did not obtain
corroborating evidence to support the statement, we fully retract this
quote and deeply regret and apologize for any distress this may have
caused to Mr. Jackson, his family, or friends. Mr. Jackson is one of
the finest athletes of the past two decades, and we apologize if the
article served in any way to call into question his athletic
accomplishments throughout his career.

Now what could be going on here?  The background is simple enough. The Inland Valley
Daily Bulletin
, a small local California newspaper ran the story referenced above. They said Bo knows steroids. Bo said no, but I do know a lawyer. Lawsuit. Retraction. ESPN has the details:

Report alleges steroid use ended Jackson’s career (ESPN.com, 4/6/2005)

Paper apologizes ‘without reservations’ (ESPN.com, 4/11/2005)

Just from the dates, you can see it did not take long for your friends at he California Newspapers Partnership, MediaNews Group, Inc., and MediaNews Interactive, Inc. to realize they were in deep trouble. Complete retraction and apology. But what interest us today is not their 2005 apology, but this seemingly out of the blue 2007 apology. What is up with that?

A clue, from the second ESPN article above:

Jackson’s defamation suit would continue, his attorney Dan
Biederman said Sunday, adding that he had no comment on the
newspaper’s retraction.

“The
statement released today is the first step towards a resolution of this
matter,” Jackson’s attorney Dan Biederman said in a statement to ESPN.
“The statement confirms what we knew all along — Bo Jackson never used
steroids. The statement does not change the fact that this reporter
printed a reckless lie and must be held accountable. Professional
journalistic standards demand that there be controls in place that
prevent such a reckless statement to be published across this nation
over the internet. Perhaps this reporter and the editors of the
newspaper can explain how you un-ring a bell.”
(ESPN.com)

The apology was given, but Bo was still mad, so the lawsuit went on. I don’t care enough to dig up the outcome but  …

(Okay, I do care — the lawsuit was later dismissed on jurisdictional grounds. Don’t say I never looked anything up for you.)

… it is safe to say that your friends at the California Newspapers Partnership, MediaNews Group, Inc., and MediaNews Interactive, Inc. realized that there was nothing to prevent Bo Jackson from suing them again in the proper venue and, most likely, hitting a homerun/scoring a touchdown victory in the courtroom.

So my guess is that some kind of settlement was reached. And that as part of that settlement, your friends at the California Newspapers Partnership, MediaNews Group, Inc., and MediaNews Interactive, Inc. agreed to apologize to Bo Jackson again and again. Perhaps for the rest of his natural life. Perhaps Bo also gets to smack the author of the offending article with a foam bat once a year at a time and place of his choosing. And/or throw a football at him. I have no idea.

But when I read that Public Apology to Bo Jackson quoted above, I smell lawyers. Don’t you?

DATE OF (RE)APOLOGY: June 2, 2007
APOLOGIZER: The California Newspapers Partnership, MediaNews Group, Inc., and MediaNews Interactive, Inc.
APOLOGIZEE: Mr. Bo Jackson
FOR:
Artcle titled “Forum Tackles the Dangers of Steroid Use” that appeared
in both the print and online versions of the Inland Valley Daily
Bulletin on March 24, 2005; any distress this may have
caused to Mr. Bo Jackson, his family, or friends; potentially calling into question his athletic
accomplishments throughout his career