Who says American manufacturing is dead? The nation has cornered the international market on making amends. Apologizing is a thriving industry. Call it Big Sorry.

It wasn”€™t always like this. The “€œCheckers”€ speech, with its low-key, almost sunny defiance, is a kinescope relic. Today, Nixon’s office would”€™ve issued a weasel-worded statement and given back the dog.

Here’s the highlight reel of this week in atonement:

“€¢ Actress Lisa Chan apologized for starring in Pete Hoekstra’s “€œracist”€ Congressional campaign commercial. Her mea culpa (“€œcuRpa”€?) was graciously accepted by, er, MSNBC’s Lawrence O”€™Donnell. (Last time I checked, the Irish were still white, although God knows that could change at any time.)

“€¢ Los Angeles disc jockeys John and Ken apologized for calling the late Whitney Houston a “€œcrack ho.”€ Actually, they were speculating that other people were calling the singer that name behind her back while she was still alive, but why split hairs?

“€œWho says American manufacturing is dead? The nation has cornered the international market on making amends.”€

“€¢ After Jeremy Lin’s spectacular game against the Lakers, black Fox Sports columnist Jason Whitlock Tweeted, “€œSome lucky lady in NYC is gonna feel a couple of inches of pain tonight.”€ The Asian American Journalists Association (!?) demanded an apology and got one, although Whitlock blamed his “€œimmature”€ sense of humor on all the Richard Pryor albums he listened to as a kid.

“€¢ Another black reporter was excoriated for his Tweets, this time of the “€œhomophobic”€ variety. CNN’s Roland Martin joked that any man who enjoyed David Beckham’s Super Bowl underwear ad needed something called the “€œish”€ “€œsmacked”€ out of him. Martin was suspended, CNN apologized, and now the unfortunate broadcaster has “€œagreed”€ to “€œmeet with GLAAD.”€ (Side note: Black people really like Twitter.)

“€¢ As I”€™ve noted here before, Big Gay never sleeps.

After he joked that “€œrehearsal is for fags,”€ Brett Ratner lost his job directing the Oscars. As penance, he’s been roped into directing a new video campaign for, why yes, GLAAD as a matter of fact.

(Is anyone else beginning to suspect that GLAAD’s well-oiled outrage machine is just a Heath Robinson device designed to lure rough trade into their offices?)



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