“We are sorry.”
“We” is News International, and in the course of one well-crafted apology – and would you expect anything less from a consummate newspaperman? – Rupert Murdoch used the S-word three times (once “deeply”), offered us “regret”, acknowledged “the serious wrongdoing that occurred” and committed (but without quite saying it) his organisation to “live up to this” (the idea of a free and open press) and to taking “further concrete steps to resolve these issues and make amends”.
As apologies go (and we after all live in the age of the incontinent apology) it ticked nearly all the boxes.
But is it authentic?
It is never just the words, but the context that is important. Not just the sorry bit, but much more – not least the taking of responsibility and the commitment (whether express or implied) not to do whatever you are apologising about again.
And that is the bit I missed.
And “Sorry and sad”? 19th century rhyming slang for “bad”.