Bad Samaritan: Apologies of the Week

Including a pet store's unfortunate fish decision
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 19, 2015 9:00 AM CDT
Paul Pelton, whose video of a car crash got him into trouble.   (Lorain (Ohio) Police Department)

(Newser) – A pair of controversial videos were at the center of two of this week's public apologies:

  • Bad Samaritan: “I want to offer a public apology to the families of the kids that got injured or deceased in the car accident. I never intended it to be a video that came across as a gore video. I wanted to put the video out there so other kids could see it and learn from the mistake of speeding and driving recklessly.”—Paul Pelton, an Ohio man charged after filming the aftermath of a deadly car accident instead of helping the victims.
  • Wrong tone: “Our top priority is the passionate care that we provide. In our video, one of our staff members speaks in a way that does not reflect that compassion. This is unacceptable, and I personally apologize for the staff member’s tone and statements."—Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, after an undercover video surfaced of a staffer talking about fetal organs.

  • Bad timing: “We apologize to readers and mourn with the victims’ relatives and loved ones."—Ria Novosti, state-owned news agency in Russia, after posting a happy-go-lucky news quiz ("Congratulations! Your answer is correct") about the crash of a Malaysian airliner over Ukraine on the one-year anniversary. Making matters worse is that many blame Russia, at least pro-Russian rebels, for the crash.
  • Jumping the gun: "An associate accidentally discarded a bag of goldfish that had just arrived at the store and appeared to all be deceased. When a customer noticed the mistake, an associate was able to recover the few live fish and place them into a tank. We regret the mistake and are reviewing our policies to avoid future errors.”—PetSmart, after an employee in Michigan tossed live fish in the trash.
  • Unposted: "The point of this story was not in my view sufficient to offset the embarrassment to the subject and his family. Accordingly, I have had the post taken down. It is the first time we have removed a significant news story for any reason other than factual error or legal settlement."—Nick Denton of Gawker, explaining why he made the rare move to pull a salacious story.
(Read more apology stories.)

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