Botched Sexual Harassment Apology #193—Andrew Cuomo

Some public relations pro, not an amateur like me, should write a book on how not to apologize. There’s so much material in the public record, it would almost write itself.

Call it “Sorry, Not Sorry: The Art of Not Apologizing.” Each chapter a separate apology. Provide the context of what’s alleged, then the transcript of the non-apology, then translate each individual non-apology sentence-by-sentence. In a concluding chapter, illuminate all the problematic things the non-apology apologies have in common.

Rough notes for the Andrew Cuomo chapter based upon problematic things he volunteered at today’s presser:

  1. “. . . this has been an incredibly difficult situation for me—as well as other people.” Translation. . . Can we please focus more on me and my pain and less on these spiteful women’s misinterpretations of my personal style of communicating?
  2. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry for whatever pain I caused anyone. I never intended it.” The blanket “whatever pain” phrase coupled with the amorphous “anyone” is expert use of vague generalities to sidestep the very specific, credible, corroborated accusations. Translation. . . I didn’t do anything wrong to anyone. Major props to the journo who asked the Governor, “Who exactly are you apologizing to?” The exact right question. Along with, “What are you apologizing for specifically?” 
  3. “I will be better for this experience.” Translation. . . My political future, which is most important, is hanging in the balance. Can we please focus more on that? 

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