Offering apologies takes toll on some

The Baltimore Sun

Hi, everyone, and welcome to another edition of Who Wants to Apologize? the show where we take public apologies from politics, sports and entertainment, and vote on which is the most insincere and done solely to stop an avalanche of career-threatening publicity!

As usual, we've got a great lineup of contestants -- get a load of how sheepish these folks look! So let's get right to it, shall we?!


Our first contestant is disgraced Idaho Sen. Larry Craig, who announced over weekend that he'd resign at the end of the month after news accounts revealed he was busted for disorderly conduct for an incident in an airport men's room. He said he pleaded guilty only because he was being hounded by -- here we go again -- the press!

In his apology, the senator thundered: "I am not gay. I never have been gay," but he made no mention of whether he planned to be gay in the future.


Anyway, bravo, senator! Expressing regret while blaming the media jackals for your problems -- a timeless weasel maneuver!


Our next contestant is Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick, who pleaded guilty to an illegal dogfighting charge and admitted cruelly killing a number of pit bulls.

In his apology, Vick broke out the Taj Mahal of all mea culpas: He said he'd found Jesus!

Here's what the man said: "I'm upset with myself and, you know, through this situation I found Jesus and asked him for forgiveness."

All well and good, Mike! But I'd ask that federal judge for forgiveness when you come up for sentencing, too!


Our third contestant is disgraced NBA referee Tim Donaghy, who caused a betting scandal that shook the basketball league to its core and pleaded guilty to felony gambling charges.

Here's a nice touch: Donaghy didn't even bother issuing his public apology in person! No! He apologized through his lawyer!


In fact, here's what his mouthpiece said Donaghy would say if he actually moved his lips: "Tim deeply regrets his involvement in this matter and especially the pain it has caused his family, friends and co-workers."

Is that a classic weasel statement or what?!

Is there even a shred of sincerity in all that lawyerese?

(Shouts of "No! No!")

Our final contestant needs no introduction. She's been an annoying presence in the tabloids for years, and on her very own reality show, The Simple Life, with fellow airhead Paris Hilton.

Ladies and gentlemen, say hello to ... Nicole Richie!

(Applause, wolf whistles.)

Get this, folks: during an interview with Diane Sawyer on Good Morning America, Nicole delivered a classic celebrity two-fer: She announced she was pregnant and she apologized for her DUI arrest in Burbank, Calif.!

Hoo, boy. You wonder what came first: the sonogram or the perp walk!


"If I could personally apologize to every single person that has lost a loved one from drunk driving I would," Richie said. "And, unfortunately I can't, but this is my way of paying my dues and taking responsibility and being an adult."

Yo, Nicole, that part about being an adult?!

About time, girl!


OK, time to tally the votes and find out whose apology was the absolute lamest!

The judges are casting their ballots ... I always get goose-bumps here ... and the winner is: Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho!

Well done, senator! A Hall of Fame weasel apology! You really put the "con" in "contrite" with that one!


Well, that's all the time we have today!

Tune in next week for a special Best of Who Wants to Apologize? featuring Lindsay Lohan asking forgiveness for blowing rehab again, Mel Gibson expressing regret for his drunken anti-Semitic remarks and Alec Baldwin groveling after his infamous profanity-laced phone call to his 11-year-old daughter, in which he called her a "rude, thoughtless pig!"

So long, everyone!

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