Tuesday, January 10, 2017


This is an SNL skit, for sure. I refuse to believe otherwise. It's got all the elements of a groveling apology and none of the need for it. As a student of fake apologies and phony outrage, I'll breakdown just how insulting this is to everyone involved.
First, the idea that an apology is needed at all. Jenna Bush isn't a lifelong broadcaster. She's hosting her first red carpet on national, live TV. And she's George Bush's daughter. A gaff that easy to make is a solid days work in that family. She isn't Walter Cronkite. She came out of an old rich guy from Texas. We're lucky she didn't drop a different F word or mistake Figures with something much closer.
Now for the apology. If you NEED to do it, maybe tweet, hey I made a mistake. Whoops. The idea that you need to sit down on the Today show and explain mixing up two words should seem silly to all of us. And this one had all the elements. She starts by casually mentioning how much she loves Pharrell and Viola Davis. Like, hey before we get started, shoutout to a couple black people. And for Jenna, this is a risky move. She could mispronounce Pharrell or call Viola Davis Kerry Washington and then we're right back where we started. And of course, her level of sorry has to be the same as if she mowed down a family with her car. You can't be mildly sorry. You can't assume people didn't really care or even notice the mistake. You have to be profoundly sorry and BEG that someday, MAYBE people will be able to forgive and move on.
Now, the 3rd element is very subtle, but important. It's critical that a black person be there to accept your apology. And there's no one the black community turns to on these issues, more than chubby weathermen. But I do have to give Al Roker credit. He realized this woman wasn't in black face, putting on a minstrel show. Al knows it was a dumb mistake that anyone could make, especially on live TV. But as usual, the guilty white higher ups panicked and needed to put on a show.
Isn't it obvious Jenna Bush isn't a racist. Or maybe she is, but this error doesn't prove it. And pointing out that Hidden Figures and Fences are the two movies with largely black casts, is really no different than Jenna mixing up the titles. No one was offended by it. But the PC Mafia needed to take another hostage and have them read their ransom note on camera. Recognizing that Jenna Bush made a simple mistake and comparing her to 1946 racists, is needed from no one and just hold us back. But, nevertheless, that was our first groveling apology of 2017. Here's to many more.

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