The Downside of Saying ‘I’m Sorry’, by Stanley Bing. With the rise of the politically correct in control of media, it is often a poor strategy to apologize. Here’s why:
Here’s how it plays out most of the time:
Step 1: You do something that catches the notice of one of the sentries of righteousness. It could be something serious. It could be an ill-advised joke: Why did the chicken cross the road? Way to go, Stand-Up Boy: Now PETA has a petition demanding you apologize to chickens, who often die in the attempt.
Step 2: You apologize. Like sharks trolling the waters for chum, this activates an atavistic hunger muscle in the predator population. It’s blood. But not enough blood. Need more blood. Other sharks are alerted. The waters grow violent with the frenzy for meat.
Step 3: You are alarmed to find that the apology you offered has not been accepted. You’re sorry? How sorry are you? Why didn’t you say you were sorry earlier? Why now? Why not yesterday? What are you going to do about it? Are you going to resign? Will anybody be fired? Why not? Will there be an investigation? Who’s on the panel? And what about that other thing you did in 2011? How about that, huh?
Step 4: You clarify and bumble. The mainstream media have now joined the show and are interviewing people about you. Larger social issues are examined. Those around you begin to wonder whether you’ll survive. Your sponsors abandon you. (For good reason: You’re an idiot!) The fact is, very, very few individuals or business entities can stand up to the kind of relentless professional scrutiny kicked off by a professionally conducted witch hunt driven by apology lust.
Step 5: Crushed and disgraced, you are carried out of town, covered with tar and feathers, and deposited in a nearby ditch.
With personal contacts, of course, culture works just as it always has and the above does not apply.