Matt Lauer: The problem with your sexual harassment apology statement

Memo to Matt Lauer::
Re: Your sexual harassment apology
Matt, nice statement but maybe you should have had someone look it over one more time before your people launched it. The emotional tone works, The line about getting past this issue being your full-time job now is a nice touch. But there is one glaring error.

Take a second look, no, I mean right now, to see if you can spot it. I’ll wait.
Can’t see it, Matt? Let me give you a hint – it’s right toward the end when you wrap up by considering the effect of your behavior, at least of the discovery of your behavior, on those close to you. Still don’t see it?

Oh, all right – I’ll just tell you:
You said, “I regret that my shame is now shared by the people I cherish dearly. Repairing the damage will take a lot of time and soul-searching and I’m committed to beginning that effort.”

Well get out your soul-scrubber, Matt, because your loved ones do not have shame over your conduct. They may have embarrassment, disappointment, humiliation, anger, disgust, probably also creepiness and pity, but shame? No. Shame is not contagious to those close to you; your taint does not rub off on them, it is yours alone. The person who does the wrong thing is the one to be ashamed. That’s you.

So, I think you should have your people put out an addendum: “I further apologize to those close to me for trying to make them complicit in my actions. Sorry about that too.”


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