The thing about apologies is that you have to mean them. Or at the very least, make a decent effort at looking like you mean them. I don’t think anyone’s convinced by the half-hearted mumbless that Rupes, Red and the rest of the crew have made about the ongoing debacle/funniest story of the year that threatens to engulf News International, in the same way that a hungry squid will go at a bag of doughnuts.
To me, the full-page apology and the press statements we’ve had up to now read like the sort of thing you’d get from a ten-year old that’s been dragged up to your front door by his dad after being caught scrumping apples.
“Say you’re sorry, Rupert.”
“I don’t think the nice man heard that, Rupert.”
“I SAID I’M SORRY, ALRIGHT? I’M SOOOREEEEEE. Cuh, you deaf, or what?”
That Murdoch kid needs a good clip round the ear.
Anyway, the problem is that we now see anything coming out of the News International Eye of Sauron as inherently untrustworthy. Even if the apology published yesterday was heartfelt, that’s not the way most of us perceived it. Tied in with a self-aggrandising interview Rupes did with one of his own papers, the Wall Street Journal, in which softball questions were gently lobbed and batted away, and you have the prime example of Journalistic Crime Numero Uno.
The whole situation isn’t helped by the Murdoch’s magnanimously agreeing to give evidence at the upcoming Select Committee – after receiving a parliamentary summons which meant they couldn’t really say no. That’s going to be an absolutely prime moment of comedy television. I’m thinking about setting up a drinking game. Take a shot every time Rupes, Red or Spud say “I don’t recall…” or “I have no knowledge of…” I think we’ll all be very drunk, very quickly.
To sum up the whole sorry state of affairs, I can’t really put it any better than this.