Thank you Ed Schultz, this is exactly how you apologize…

When Bill Maher calls Sarah Palin a “c*nt,” when Ed Schultz calls Laura Ingraham a “slut” — we have some insight into their brains, into a polemic that is hopelessly lost in cynical contempt for the Other. Willingness to use the most profane insults in the English language against political opponents bespeaks a deep political cynicism, a desire either to maximize one’s pop-culture profile, or simply to make more money on a ginned-up controversy.

Bill Maher not only didn’t apologize, but doubled down. He suffered no observable consequences. I wish liberals would punish him, because no one else evidently can. But so far as I can see, liberals simply said, if anything, tut-tut, and kept Bill Maher on their Google Reader — validating his cynicism.

Meanwhile, firebrand liberal Ed Schultz, whom I have deeply disliked until today, illustrates perfectly how one apologizes for stupid speech, and convinces his skeptical audience that he really means it. On his radio show, he called Republican commentator Laura Ingraham a “right-wing slut,” suffered a wrist-slap temporary suspension, and opted not merely to apologize — but to do so with reference to character and to what he wants his children to understand as appropriate behavior.

Watch it — because Ed Schultz sets the standard for signaling sincere embarrassment, self-awareness and getting a clean slate after you have been disgustingly partisan and vile — not an easy behavior to redeem.

We need more public figures describing their conduct in terms of what their children should understand. I salute Ed Schultz, and I presume Bill Maher has no children he wishes to influence.

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8 Responses to Thank you Ed Schultz, this is exactly how you apologize…

  1. Terrance H. says:

    Meh. I thought he was merely trying to save his job with a lot of maudlin rambling.

    I actually once liked Ed Schultz. He was unapologetically liberal, but he had a blue collar, man’s man way about him that I appreciated. Lately, I’ve colored him a partisan, hypocritical hack and nothing more. Right on part with Keith Olbermann.

    • I don’t believe his job was really endangered. And even if it was, it didn’t compel him to reference his children and the kind of character he hoped to portray to his children. He could have done any number of conventional “apologies” and saved his job, if it were ever imperiled. He opted to make a more profound statement about how we talk and words we use, and I respect him for that.

      I get your skepticism about Ed Schultz the firebrand liberal polemicist — me too — but Ed Schultz the apologizer and creator of a standard for political dialogue, that compels our respect.

  2. Snoring Dog Studio says:

    Wow. I missed this entire incident. I’m impressed with his apology – it should stand as a model for how apologies are done. I don’t care whether he was trying to save his job or not. His apology sounds heartfelt and real. But, you’re right, Kendrick, liberals shouldn’t be taking a pass on other vile behavior exhibited by their leaders and spokespersons. That speaks of hypocrisy, which I abhor.

    • You wrote the book on fake versus sincere apologies. šŸ™‚ I was thinking of your post when I wrote this post.

      • Snoring Dog Studio says:

        And thank you for that link back, Kendrick! I’m glad you added to the discussion with an incident I was unaware of.

  3. His apology was definitely sincere and classy. You’re right. That is the way to apologize. Bill Maher’s comment was disgusting. I hate that word soooo much. šŸ˜”

  4. Paul Grubbs says:

    Well, one thing’s for sure; Ed is sorry! Wished I could say that for Bill Maher. I admit that I am jaded. Like so many public figures they appear to me genuinely sorry. Sorry they got caught. The real proof that I am truly sorry is the promise not to do it again. We will see. More than a few political pundits choose to deflect the dialogue from factual intercourse into the arena of oral intercourse. Screw him! Screw her! Screw ’em all! Hopefully, Ed has learned a valuable lesson and will try harder to fight the temptation to resort to name calling and demonizing. Just the facts. Which will bring us back to the real question. What is truth?

  5. Wayne Winters says:

    Hey, So far I have a good memory—It all plays into the way the mainstream —or the “Obama causes tingles down my leg media’ to package and report their spin. Back in the day of the ‘hanging chads’ the most circulated comments were very critical of the Florida Sec of State and her choices in makeup and the ”haw haw —look at her!” Classless journalists— …Deflecting the question —I for one find it so hypocritical to criticize any one’s appearance when these pundits are all so in tune with not subjecting anyone else to any self esteem issues. And of course that bullying may harm forever some other indeterminate psyche—Of course there’s a gov’t program to deal with those issues —-Unless these anyone’s don’t chant the party line these unbiased reporters hide so well —-Gag me—

    Oh yes —they are plotting now …

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