Thursday 15 September 2011

An apology

Lest I become part of the baying twitter mob, I thought I’d try writing something positive, so I shall offer some advice. An apology should be the main - some would say only - part of an apology; try to avoid the following:
  • Don’t make me count the ways. “two wrong and stupid things” - are you counting the type or number of offences?
  • Don’t name drop. “I took out nasty passages about people I admire” doesn't lessen your transgression, especially considering what you did to those you’re not so keen on.
  • Don’t self-aggrandise. “...the powerful people I had taken on over the years for their wrongdoing” would be wince inducing even if true. You’re a writer, not a freedom fighter.
  • Don’t leave anything out and don’t delay. If it takes several versions, disclosing a little more each time, leaving it until there’s no way out, people might think you insincere.
I do have some sympathy - a little - for your employer, when I last checked over 7,500 people had “liked” your “apology”. Perhaps this is why it feels like the minimum thought necessary, a token gesture to enable you, your employer and your readership to stumble on. There’s a ready market for your polemic, say nasty things about the right targets and it’s proof of something that deep down us ordinary types already knew; money trumps gross misconduct every time.


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