DC Trawler

MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts Doesn’t Know How to Apologize

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When you make an apology for something you’ve done, you need to be honest about it. You need to admit the truth of your actions, even if you don’t really think they were any big deal. If you lie about it, if you try to worm your way out of it, you’re just making things worse for yourself.

Yesterday this happened on MSNBC:

As I opined yesterday, I don’t really think this was racist. It was based in race, sure, but so is St. Patrick’s Day and nobody complains about that. Well, except for all the janitors the next day.

But it was very clearly making fun of Mexicans. And so, as Brendan Bordelon reports:

MSNBC will apologize for an allegedly racist segment depicting a sombrero-wearing, tequila-guzzling Mexican on the morning of Cinco de Mayo, after the president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists demanded the network make amends.

I don’t think they should have to apologize for a dumb joke on an early-early-morning “news” show, especially since it’s not on Fox News. But okay, fine.

However, if they are going to apologize, they need to do better than this:


Or: I’m sorry you misunderstood.

Well, no, Thomas. You didn’t “make sarcastic references to the way some Americans celebrate” Cinco de Mayo. It wasn’t some sort of metacommentary. You were goofing on Mexicans. Which, again, I don’t think is racist. But if you’re going to apologize for it, even if you’re being forced to, you have to be honest about what you did.

Going back to the St. Patrick’s Day example: If that dude had lurched onscreen wearing a leprechaun hat, waving a bottle of Jameson in one hand and a shillelagh in the other, and bellowing “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling,” it wouldn’t be a sarcastic reference to the way some Americans celebrate St. Pat’s. It’d be a fairly accurate depiction of how we Irish spend our weekends. And most Irish people with a sense of humor about themselves — which is to say, those outside of most newsrooms — would shrug it off. I’m sure some people would demand an apology, but I wouldn’t be one of them.

If Roberts did “apologize,” though, and he pulled this crap, I’d call him on it.

Either apologize or don’t, Roberts. It’s not an apology if you can’t even admit what you did. If at all possible, don’t be such a weasel.

Alright, I’m done berating a guy nobody watches anyway.

If this had happened on Fox and Friends, though… Damn, CNN might actually stop reporting on a missing plane for a minute. Mob rat Al Sharpton would hold a telethon to fight FNC’s racism. It would be Christmas in May for all those creeps.

But no. This story is done now. Move along, teabaggers.

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Jim Treacher