Do Us a Favor: Don't Apologize

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 18, 2009 10:03 AM CDT
In this March 12, 2009 file photo, Bernard Madoff arrives at Manhattan federal court in New York.   (AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano, file)
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(Newser) – Bernard Madoff said he was sorry last week. But it’s hard to believe him, writes Joe Queenan in the Los Angeles Times, given that he’s refused to help the government find his pilfered billions, or even identify his co-conspirators. It reminded Queenan of the time his “alcoholic, belt-wielding father” apologized for years of bad parenting “with the remorse-by-numbers routine he’d learned at his Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. Sorry, Pop. No dice.”

But it’s no surprise Madoff went off about how sorry he was. “Lamentably, the insincere, halfhearted, self-serving apology has become a staple of modern life,” practiced constantly by public figures of all stripes. “Haven't we reached the point at which the choreographed donning of sackcloth and ashes merely pours salt into a festering wound?”