Today Lindsay Allen of WDRB-TV offered an apology, sort of, for her comments yesterday on the air about Tiger Woods and the use of the N-word:
“Yesterday a viewer contacted us over a comment I made during this newscast. I want to assure everyone that the comments I made were misunderstood. I apologize if any of our viewers were offended.”
As apologies go, this one is pretty weak. First of all, she blamed the viewer who brought the comment to the station’s attention, rather than actually apologizing for what she said.
The statement also is a denial that she uttered the phrase. In the last 24 hours, I’ve talked to several media experts and not one has watched the tape and concluded anything other than what we all heard come out of her mouth.
It’s always better to admit a mistake rather than denying it ever happened, especially when there’s video evidence.
Then, apologizing only to viewers who were offended is a classic way of saying “I didn’t do anything wrong, actually, but I’m being forced to publcly apologize.”
Actually, here’s what a dose of truth serum might have prompted: “Yesterday I said the N-word during the broadcast while trying to be hip in an exchange with Sterling. I’m not racist, and I know that the word is offensive to African-Americans. It was a huge mistake, and I apologize to everyone in the WDRB audience who heard it. And I especially apologize to Anthony Fresh, who brought the comment to the station’s attention.”
There’s no doubt Allen’s apology was written and edited by station management, which seems to simply want the controversy to go away. I doubt it will.