A surprising and hopefully sincere apology

In the comments to Dave's earlier post about Shirley Sherrod's remark that Andrew Breitbart wants to enslave black people, I was unable to resist making a couple of remarks:

If she really believes that Andrew Breitbart wants to enslave black people, she isn't merely a racist, she's mentally deranged.

OTOH if she doesn't really believe it, that means she's dishonest and despicable.

Then, after Gringo said,
The more she talks, the more Breitbart is right for posting that video.
I couldn't resist an offhanded sarcastic remark:
And you'd think maybe Anderson Cooper might ask her whether she's serious.
Maybe my cynicism is showing, but never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that Anderson Cooper would apologize.

But apologize he did:

COOPER: I interviewed Shirley Sherrod last Thursday. And in the course of that interview, I failed to do something that I should have. I believe in admitting my mistakes. I looked at the interview again today, and Ms. Sherrod said during that interview that she thought Mr. Breitbart was a racist. She said, quote, "I think he would like to get us stuck back in the times of slavery." She went on to say she believed his opposition to President Obama was based on racism. Now, she, of course, is free to believe whatever she wants, but I didn't challenge her that night and I should have.

I don't want anyone on my show to get away with saying things which cannot be supported by facts. I should have challenged her on what facts she believes supports that accusation. That's my job, and I didn't do it very well in that interview, and I'm sorry about it. If I get a chance to talk to her again, I will.

Well good for Anderson Cooper. Assuming he meant it, the apology is much to his credit, and after my earlier comment, I can't ignore it.

When I am wrong, I try to apologize. If an apology is honest, I don't see it as a sign of weakness.

(That "never apologize" mindset is best left to activist ideologues like John Kerry and Jane Fonda. Some activists regard apologies not only as weakness, but as blood in the water.)

posted by Eric on 07.30.10 at 09:41 PM


As someone who is most likely on the opposite side as you on many issues, and in the absence of any comments, I just want to thank you for your civil and genuine response here.

Not Likely   ·  July 30, 2010 11:39 PM

Thanks, I appreciate your comment.

Eric Scheie   ·  July 31, 2010 12:25 PM

I have to admit, I won't accept that Cooper's apology was sincere unless the next time he's in the same situation he reacts differently.

I've seen his work too much to accept that he's for real.
IM cynical O, he just realized that he looked very unprofessional and decided to do some damage control.
Next time he's in a similar situation he'll act exactly the same.

I stopped giving any of those dishonest, partisan hacks the benefit of the doubt when I stopped calling them the NYTimesWashPostCNNABCCBSNBCetc. and started calling them Minitru. They threw away their ethics and responsibilities to lie and distort for their chosen political party.

The worst part, for me, about it is that the revelations of Journolist showed me to be not paranoid enough, I figured it was a consensus not a conspiracy.

Veeshir   ·  August 1, 2010 9:10 AM

That is pretty amazing. Thanks for pointing it out. Eric.

TallDave   ·  August 1, 2010 12:20 PM

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