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Made-for-media apologies teach a bad lesson

| Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I just want to take a moment and apologize to all of you. For what, you may ask. Whatever have you done, John• You know what, I'm not quite sure what I've done, but I should probably be sorry for it. As you will see, I already have a template set up for whenever I do the deplorable act I'm destined to do in the near future.

"I want to take a moment to apologize for an insert adjective describing behavior here and insert person, peoples or act. It was completely inappropriate, and we can understand why people were add disgusted verb. My behavior was thoughtless and stupid, I'm sorry. I'm going to seek insert type of counseling service here to combat the issues within myself."

The public apology has come into the celebrity world all too much lately, with Mel Gibson and his anti-Semitic rant, continued with Don Imus's racial comments and Isaiah Washington's homophobic slurs on the set of "Grey's Anatomy." Washington apologized for his comments and then allegedly said them again weeks later. Apology accepted• I don't think so.

These apologies don't equal atonement or change. I honestly wonder if members of the Jewish, African-American or homosexual community hear these apologies and feel better•

Recently Paris Hilton, she of little talent and less worth (so much for journalistic objectivity), was arrested for driving with a suspended license. It had been suspended due to a previous drunk-driving arrest and now she's wrestling with a jail sentence.

Harsh• I'm not quite sure. Necessary• You betcha. I, for one, am glad she's receiving jail time, because some people will never take fault into their own hands, and need someone else do it for them. If Hilton wouldn't have been assigned jail time, then she would have come to the press with an apology, which obviously would have not been written by the heiress based upon its use of more than monosyllabic words.

And now, she has been seen (see: staged) on visits to a church while wearing white holding a Bible and also looking in a Buddhist book store. Hilton gets a jail sentence and all of a sudden she's found a god• Forgive me for my skepticism in regards to the convictions of "Parish" Hilton. You can practically see the strings her publicist and attorney are using to hold her bony frame.

The issue here is that the apology is simply for the public, and honestly, probably won't curb or control the actions. Don Imus, for example, has been spouting racially charged epithets for some time, but has only gotten fired now. Having someone else write an apology and sending it out to the media and public does not a changed person make. Why would it• It will only take counseling, long stints in rehab, jail time and removal from the public eye to help these people.

And now Lindsay Lohan has been arrested after she crashed her car while drunk, with cocaine in the car. What message does the behavior of girls like Hilton and Lohan send to younger girls out there• Drink, do drugs, stay out all night, sleep with anything with a heartbeat and when it's all said and done, give an empty apology. I'm sorry, Mom. What• Come on, Lindsay did it!

The only way I could believe that someone like Paris or Lindsay was sorry was if they went somewhere where there wasn't paparazzi surrounding them and hounding for photographs (like a monastery somewhere, or an island that could be easily blown up). Well, I now have to go do some cocaine on my car dashboard while driving with vodka in my hand and calling out racial slurs from the window. I'm sure I'll be sorry, and will be available shortly thereafter for an official apology.

John Conroy, of Brackenridge, is a recent graduate of the University of Pittsburgh.

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