The evening after apologizing her calling Ivanka Trump a “feckless c***” and asking her to seduce her own father to change immigration policy, TBS’ Samantha Bee demonstrated wholeheartedly that her apology was meaningless. As expected.
Bee was slated to receive an award on Thursday night from the Television Academy. The awards show actually closed itself to the media thanks to the blowback over Bee’s comments, but her speech leaked anyway. She stated:
Every week I strive to show the world as I see it, unfiltered. Sometimes I should probably have a filter. I accept that. I take it seriously when I get it right and I do take responsibility when I get it wrong … we spent the day wrestling with the repercussions of one bad word, when we all should have spent the day incensed that as a nation we are wrenching children from their parents and treating people legally seeking asylum as criminals.
So, in other words, she was sorry she used the bad word but only because it undermined her larger point, which was that Ivanka Trump was a “feckless c***” who should have seduced her father to change immigration policy.
This is just more evidence that our culture of forced apologies is deeply stupid. There are some apologies that are obviously well-meant — like this one, for example. But most of the time, apologies are just attempts to escape condemnation, not truly felt. Perhaps there’s something to the idea that we, as Americans, should attempt to uphold certain taboos by at least enforcing a line. But the question is whether pro forma apologies ought to be accepted as bringing those who violate a taboo back within that orbit. It’s obvious that our societal acceptance of apologies varies based on the target. Roseanne apologized; nobody cared. Bee apologized; everybody basically nodded along. The chances are far higher that Roseanne’s apology was more genuine than Bee’s, in all actuality. But accepting apologies seems to break along partisan lines.
In any case, the apology itself from Bee was always suspect. It’s just amazing to watch as the entire media ignore the fact that Bee has now admitted, within hours, that the apology was prevarication.