Folks, it’s not often that I egregiously foul up here at America’s Right. That’s not something I say to compliment myself, but it’s something I can say because I generally am fairly careful to substantiate everything and deal in fact.
Until yesterday, the one time I really screwed up was in the aftermath of a crucial Senate vote on the president’s federal budget. In short, I didn’t cross-check my sources, and ran with a piece detailing my outrage at certain Republicans who had been reported by various outlets–including Fox News–as having voted in favor of the budget, when in fact they had not. I felt I needed to apologize profusely, and did.
And, honestly, I’m human. I work my posterior off between school, work and family. I cannot remember the last time I got more than five hours of sleep during a given night. I’ll screw up from time to time. When my mistakes impact me and whatever credibility I have, that’s fine. Yesterday, however, I projected my mistake onto someone else–in fact, a number of people–and I feel terrible about it.
Yesterday, I spotted a story at Verum Serum–quickly growing as one of my new favorite Web destinations for news and commentary–about “Safe Schools Czar” Kevin Jennings and his past as an activist for gay rights. Despite the order in which posts were published yesterday at this site, I had stumbled across the Jennings-related piece after penning an angry note about Sen. Lindsey Graham and his support of cap-and-trade in the Senate. I was pissed, to put it another way, and I read Verum Serum’s absolutely great piece on Jennings in the very worst possible light. And I recklessly ran with that brainless interpretation.
In the process of commenting on it, I attributed ideas and interpretations to Morgen at Verum Serum that weren’t there, and characterized Jennings himself unfairly. For that, I apologize to both Morgen and Jennings. I let the combination of anger and limited time come together in the worst possible way. I’m so sorry.
All day yesterday, limited to moderating comments on my mobile phone but nothing more as I prepared for an awful exam at school (it was horrible), I was beating myself up. Because of the limits of the mobile phone, I had one of three options:
- Erase the post. Doing so from the phone would have been easy, but I’m not one to cover up mistakes. Even now, the post stays–along with a link to this apology–so I can be on the record with my stupidity. Whitewashing does nobody any good.
- Post something new. On the phone, it’s not easy, and it rarely comes out well. For what I wrote, mischaracterizing Jennings and misrepresenting the argument presented by Verum Serum, I needed to do more than finger-type a two-sentence apology into my phone.
- Keep putting in comments, pointing out my shortcomings, and address it as soon as possible.
I chose No. 3.
For those who come around here fairly often, you know that I’m not the type of guy to criticize the president on every single little stumble and falter. Nor am I the kind of person to feast upon rumor and untruths. I think we can all be better than that.
What I said about Kevin Jennings was inappropriate. In no way did he advocate, endorse or condone violence. Does he have his issues? Sure. Do I think he’s an appropriate choice for Obama’s “Safe Schools Czar?” No, I don’t. Still, what I wrote was patently unfair. And if I had the opportunity to apologize to him personally, I would do so.
As for the folks at Verum Serum, I put words into their mouths and ideas into their message which were never, ever there to begin with. I know that I wouldn’t want anybody misrepresenting what I’ve said here at America’s Right (and I haven’t liked it when it has been done before) and, gee whiz, I cannot apologize enough.
Thanks for understanding, and I understand completely if you don’t.