Daily Archives: September 15, 2021

That Was Not An Apology

Can we please stop saying someone “apologized” when they didn’t?

In this case, I’m referring to the VTDigger article entitled “Labor commissioner apologizes to legislators following unemployment benefit snafu.”

That would be Michael Harrington, allegedly apologizing for the administration’s failure to inform lawmakers in a timely manner that the federal government might block a supplemental unemployment benefit enacted by the Legislature. But what he actually did was take the coward’s way out.

Speaking at a hearing on the snafu in question, Harrington said this: “If the primary concern is that we didn’t inform the Legislature in what they feel was a timely manner, I apologize.”

That statement failed on two counts. First, when you put in an “if” you’re diverting responsibility from yourself to the injured party. A real apology doesn’t do that. It simply accepts the blame.

Harrington then blame-shifts some more when he adds “what they feel.”

A real apology would accept all responsibility without reservation. Harrington fudged. Twice.

These non-apology “apologies” are offensive, and non-apologizers shouldn’t get credit for something they didn’t really do.