Zuckerberg and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Apologies

He did not testify in this hoodie.

This morning, Snarly was asked to write a piece for Tablet Magazine, where she is a contributing editor and columnist, about Mark Zuckerberg and apologies. One of Zuck’s talking points, as captured by a photographer in a pic of his notes, was “not who we are.” NO, MARK! NO! That phrase is a particular SorryWatch bugaboo, and it sort of set Snarly off. Read the Zuckerpology analysis here.


Posted in Apologies and the Law, Bad Apologies, Government Apologies, Media Apologies, Political Apologies, Social Media Apologies, Youth apologizes | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Bambi and the bunnyhuggers

Image: André C. De Takacs. Public domain.

Traffic, shmaffic. No way I was missing this dance.

People often have places to go, and important things to do there. Often they drive to those places.

Animals often have places to go, and important things to do. While some animals find a nice place and stay there, other animals need to travel for business.

They might need to go where the grass won’t be covered with deep snow. They might wish to meet other animals who are interested in meeting other animals, if you know what we mean. They might want to go where mosquitoes aren’t. They might like to go somewhere safe for their children. Or somewhere to find and eat other animals’ children.

When animals have places to go, they almost never drive to those places. But they might cross the road.

(Not talking about chickens.)

Continue reading

Posted in Good apologies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Laura Ingraham, turning the other cheek like Jesus


Most of us know the backstory: Talk show host/harpy Laura Ingraham mocked Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting survivor David Hogg. Hogg responded with a suggestion that people boycott Ingraham’s advertisers. Seven advertisers, sensing prevailing winds, immediately pulled ads from Ingraham’s show. Ingraham promptly apologized.

First the tweets, then the analysis.

SorryWatch line-by-line reading! A la Genius!

“Any student” — eh, he’s still not that special.

“in the spirit of Holy Week” — I am religious and noble and turning the other cheek like Jesus. My apology is about my holiness, not about him being deserving of an apology.

“I apologize for any hurt or upset” — note lack of specificity, open-endedness as to whether  “any” hurt or upset may or may not have occurred.

“my tweet caused” — not me, my tweet. I didn’t cause anything. Blame the Twitter bird.

“brave” — I sound good when I proffer this compliment, but it costs me nothing with my base. “Brave” refers only to surviving a shooting, not to the kids’ subsequent activism.

“For the record” — I am being unfairly targeted. (“For the record” almost always precedes a variant of “see how little history you know.”)

“I believe my show was the first” — I am a hero. I have the pulse of the nation. I knew how newsy Hogg was before anyone else did. (No idea if Ingraham really was the first to feature Hogg, by the way. Anyone not frantically typing this between bouts of Passover prep is welcome to research it.)

“poised” — I certainly didn’t say he was correct in his evil and anti-American quest to not have children murdered in their classrooms, just oddly self-possessed.

“As always, he’s welcome” — I’m not inviting him, you understand, but if he shows up at the door of my studio, an intern will let him in. (In other words: Not a gracious invitation. Not really an invitation at all.)

“Productive discussion” — this discussion is not productive! He’s being meeeeeeeeen to me! He’s being unfair! Using the Twitters to hurt me! Unlike what I just did to him by mocking his lack of college acceptances! My Twittering is TOTALLY productive! (Also, “productive discussion” is a phrase parents use with recalcitrant children who are tantruming rather than being rational: “Go to your room until you can have a productive discussion about this.”)

Hogg did not accept her crappy apology.

Also? SAVAGE apology-flipping slash mockery, young man. YA BURNT, as the youth probably do not say anymore.

And now, back into the Passover trenches for SorryWatch. In the spirit of Holy Week, may everyone who celebrates any spring holiday have the blessings of reflection and renewal.



Posted in Bad Apologies, Celebrity Apologies, Media Apologies, Showpologies, Twitpologies | Tagged , , | 13 Comments

God give me one funny moment. For revenge

Photo: U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Eric Summers Jr. Public domain.

Tiffany Haddish cracking troops up in Incirlik, Turkey.

SorryWatch just read The Last Black Unicorn, by Tiffany Haddish. Loved it.

She published it through Book In a Box, a company started by Tucker Max, an author, speaker, and professional drunken bro. The company helps people publish books. SorryWatch doesn’t much care, though some people have made a thing about it because Tucker Max. Whatever. It’s in Haddish’s voice, and that’s what matters.

Haddish mentions some apologies made to her. These were for some ugly insults early in her comedy career. You probably shouldn’t make an enemy of Haddish, but she seems like a fan of apologies.

Continue reading

Posted in Accepting apologies, Artistic apologies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Somebody help my cow

Maybe you thought you’d escape political and social issues by turning to the latest issue of Bovine Medicine. Practical, science-based information about medical aspects of cow-calf operations, mastitis, job opportunities for bovine veterinarians – useful and soothing, no?

Not necessarily.

Photo: Dave from Leicester, UK. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

Common English words for one bovid designate sex because we focus on whether we can get milk from them. (English Longhorn.)

Sure, that kind of stuff is there. Also “Drivers of Direction,” an economic analysis of the recent AABP (American Association of Bovine Practitioners) study on factors that affect career decisions. Factors other than pay. In other words, why do people graduating from vet school decide to become – or not to become – doctors for cattle?

The pay for “food-animal practitioners” tends to be good, better than other areas of vet medicine. What else could there be besides money? Huh, what do the experts say?

Continue reading

Posted in Bad Apologies, Good apologies, Institutional Apologies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Sorry I didn’t read your book

Image: James Montgomery Flagg. Public domain.

I didn’t read your article. I never read civilian literature.

On “Fresh Air,” Terry Gross was talking to the co-writers and co-directors of Coco, Adrian Molina and Lee Unkrich. Setting up a question about how to make a “child-friendly” movie about death, she began, “Now, this is a family film. Adults are supposed to bring children to this film, though you don’t need children to enjoy the film as an adult….”

Unkrich jumped on it. “I’m glad you said… you don’t have to have kids with you to go see the movie, because I can’t tell you how many people have said to me, ‘oh, I haven’t seen your film yet because I haven’t been able to find kids to take with me.’ …That’s like my biggest pet peeve is that people somehow think that we’re making kids’ movies and that they’re embarrassed to go see the movies [without] kids. I just want to pull my hair out.”

Yes. And that is why so many filmmakers/writers/journalists have those sporty bald patches.

Say you meet someone who has a new movie/book/performance piece. You haven’t seen it or read it, and you feel bad about that. Maybe you meant to.

Do not apologize. “Sorry I didn’t read your book” contains the words “I didn’t read your book.” Which is fine, actually, but WHY SAY THAT.

What you should say is “Congratulations on your book!” Or “Your movie is out! That’s fantastic!” “It’s so great they’re showing your ceramics at the museum!”


Continue reading

Posted in Poisoned Apologies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Tune in for action! Suspense! Personal sagas! Ignorant national stereotypes!

Photographer unknown. Scanned by Abasaa. Public domain.

Japanese troops leaving Korea in 1945, under admiring gazes of local residents.

NBC just fired Joshua Cooper Ramo, whom they’d hired to do analysis for the Olympics.

These winter Olympics are being held in South Korea. During the opening ceremonies, Ramo commented that from 1910 to 1945, Korea was occupied by Japan, “but every Korean will tell you that Japan is a cultural, technological and economic example that has been so important to their own transformation,” he added.

What? NO. Not according to this petition signed by thousands of South Koreans, which reads in part, “Any reasonable person familiar with the history of Japanese imperialism, and the atrocities it committed before and during World War II, would find such statement deeply hurtful and outrageous…. And… no South Korean would attribute the rapid growth and transformation of its economy, technology, and political/cultural development to the Japanese imperialism.”

Continue reading

Posted in Bad Apologies, Celebrity Apologies, Corporate Apologies, Media Apologies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

We love a good hostile apology song

SorryWatch reader Pablo pointed us toward this wonderful song by Christine Lavin, “Regretting What I Said to You When You Called Me at Eleven O’Clock on a Friday Morning to Tell Me That at One O’Clock Friday Afternoon You’re Gonna Leave Your Office, Go Downstairs, Hail a Cab to Go out to the Airport to Catch a Plane to Go Skiing in the Alps for Two Weeks.”

It’s not a bad apology! She doesn’t say she’s sorry for “what I said” — she TELLS the apologizee she recalls exactly what she said and why it was, uh, overkill. She says she’s sorry for her hyperbole, but not for her anger. (“I don’t really want to see you dismembered by the marijuana-sniffing dogs when a simple little nipping would suffice.”)


Posted in Musical Apologies | Tagged | 3 Comments


Oh hush, Piers Morgan.

Your old pal Donald has not “publicly apologized.” Nor was there any “stunning admission” of wrongness. I’m so annoyed I made the headline all-caps. HOW DARE YOU.  Continue reading

Posted in Non-apologies, Political Apologies, Presidential Apologies, Sorry If | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

A very vintage, very cretinous apology song!

not so much.

Whispering Jack Smith, (born Jacob Schmidt in the Bronx at the end of the 19th century) didn’t really whisper. He spoke-sung with a gentle, quiet, breathy cadence that he blamed on inhaling poison gas during his heroic WWI service on the battlefields of France. Good story! Actually, he was totally capable of belting, but he did really serve in the Great War, and who doesn’t love a good story and a memorable nickname? Whispering Jack’s soft, airy, talky-sing-y vibe was probably more a tribute to the development of the microphone in 1925 than to any need to whisper; it also helped distinguish him from the loud, raucous, vaudeville pack. His big hits were “Baby Face,” “Gimme a Little Kiss, Will Ya, Huh?” and “Me and My Shadow.”  He also appeared in an early Hollywood musical, 1930’s Cheer Up and Smile.

But we are here to talk about “Are You Sorry?” his popular apology number. And oh, Jack, no!  Continue reading

Posted in Musical Apologies | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments