Take the examples of Alex Rodriguez or Andy Pettite, for instance. Two admitted steroid users who publicly apologized for lacking the natural talent to propel themselves to the height of their sport, and instead looked for a cheap shortcut through the use of artificial substances. Well, Pol Position took the day off to attend the big Yankees Pride Parade last Friday, and were shocked that we were the only ones holding up big signs that read “Cheats!” (We weren't holding them for long!) Had everyone else forgotten their preseason admissions?
Just kidding all you Yankee fans! Wave your pinstripe flag proudly and don't ever let anybody tell you that you're a second-class citizens. And keep fighting for the right to marry each other!
But we digress.
There's nothing more powerful than the apology, even when it's not really an apology. Surely you've heard this one before: “I am truly sorry if anybody was offended by my words and actions.” Translation: “I'm not really sorry for what I said or did, I'm just sorry for you because you got your panties all in a bunch and started raising a very annoying stink that has disrupted my life and quite possibly jeopardized my livelihood. Thanks, jerk.”
Where are we leading with all of this? Newly elected councilman Dan Halloran.
In case you don't follow politics in northeast Queens, Halloran was elected to replace outgoing councilman Tony Avella in a nasty race that focused heavily on his adherence to a non-Christian religion. The Queens Tribune, which as near as we can tell is a dating guide for men with Asian fetishes that primarily publishes in that section of Queens, particularly harped on the subject, probably because one of the owners was running the campaign of Halloran's opponent. Let's just say that on more than one occasion Halloran was referred to as a “Pagan Lord.”
Unfortunately for Halloran, the story gained traction, and he has had to address the issue on several occasions, both in the media and before voters. And now he has to explain it to his fellow colleagues in the politics.
Halloran has been dogged by accounts of him taking part in animal sacrifice, which he has said has little to do with unholy ritual and more about a particular tradition centered around important religious events. In the New York Post on Monday, he said it wasn't much different than adherents of the Greek Orthodox Church partaking in a traditional lamb dinner on Easter.
And cue the free publicity machine!
Upon hearing those comments, Assemblyman Michael Gianaris of Astoria, himself a Greek-American, sent out a statement demanding an apology from Halloran.
Good Lord. (Oops...we mean) Gosh.
It's pretty obvious that Halloran could have said that it's no different than [insert faith] enjoying [insert big holiday in said faith] and a politician who practices [insert faith] somewhere in the city would have sent out a similar statement demanding an apology.
Halloran can't win, so he better learn to apologize. Which he did, even though he didn't really have anything to apologize for.
There are going to be certain outlets that are going to crucify...uhh...hound Halloran on this issue for the next four years, and they are going to wait for him to slip-up and pretend to be horribly offended in the interest of political or personal gain, so it probably won't be the last time he has to apologize. It's going to be a virtual jihad...no, not “jihad”...we mean...it's like a political progrom...no, no not “progrom” either...dammit this is hard...it's going to be an all-out witchhunt...wait, is that offensive, too?
You just can't win for trying.