A Big Apology Owed

I’m a firm believer in owning up to mistakes, to eating crow when conduct requires.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Jeff Schreiber
America’s Right

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Comments

  1. sirmatthew says:

    To be human is to make mistakes.
    Mistakes are easily forgivable when a person can face up to them like this. It's when people try to deny, ignore, justify, or "clean up" mistakes that they are seen in a bad light. You did wrong, yet you did the right thing to correct that wrong. What more can be asked of you and how can a person not respect you for that? The media and politicians can all learn a thing from this example.

  2. Sue says:

    Jeff–You are one classy guy. We ALL make mistakes, it is inevitable—but the way in which you apologized was honest, sincere and heart felt. I shall remember it the next time I have to apologize!

    Sue

  3. Morgen says:

    Jeff, your comments are appreciated and a testament to your character. For my part I regret not thinking more about the the initial impression people would have from the headline I used on my Jennings post. (We've since changed it.) And this initial misimpression was only confused further by Jenning's own poorly worded statement. And so it was clearly an honest mistake (one which others have made as well).

    And let's not let Jennings off the hook here. I personally think it's offensive that rather than hold the perpetrators fully accountable for their crimes, his focus instead is on blaming society for teaching traditional views of gender and manliness.

    Thanks again for your professionalism in setting the record straight on this.

  4. Anonymous says:

    You have earned our respect in many ways, Jeff, and your chagrin over having made an untintentional error is consistant with what we all have come to expect from you. You're a class guy; a man without guile.

    Old Bob

  5. Courtney says:

    Jeff, don't be so hard on yourself. You're an honorable man and the fact that you owned the mistake, addressed it & didn't whitewash it proves that. You've done more than a lot of people (especially our elected officials) would even pretend to do. I have a lot of respect for you as, I am sure, do many others!

    I am truly grateful for the time you devote to your website. I don't know what I'd do if I couldn't check in here everyday for the latest update! (I hope your exam didn't turn out as bad as you thought!)

  6. Laurie says:

    Jeff, you are a true professional. We all make mistakes and it takes a much bigger person to admit it. I wish more people both public and private would follow your example (including me sometimes – but I do try).

  7. John Feeny says:

    That's a conservative for you…another one taking responsibility for his mistakes. Thi will never fly in the New World Order.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Jeff:

    I would consider support for NAMBLA and not reporting statutory rape a form of violence.

    I know you had to do this for legitimacy and accountability, but honestly, the words you have printed about Jennings are probably MILD compared to many others' inner emotions about him.

    Violence isn't always outward or bloodly. Some of the deepest results of "emotional violence" are the permanent scars that remain hidden….PERMANENTLY.

    Lisa in TX

  9. Still a Patriot says:

    Hi Jeff -

    We know that you are a man of integrity – a rarity in this day & age. Thank you for all that you are doing to inform & enlighten us.

    Blessings to you – Susan

  10. SallyW says:

    My daughter just went thru the beating-herself-to-death thing over a bad decision she made a few years ago that devastated our family. She didn't come to me with just an apology and understanding that trust has to be rebuilt. She one upped herself and first took full responsibility for her action and then apologized for the consequences it had on our family.
    You, Mr. Schreiber, show more class in your little finger than the majority of bloggers in this internet world put together. Because your blog name starts with "A" it puts you at the top of my reader and I read your posts with confidence that you know what you're talking about and respect your professional opinions probably more than any other blog I follow.
    So… you screwed one up. You took responsibility for it. You've publicly apologized and ate that crow. Now… carry on!! Don't stop being that professional we all respect you for. Nobody reading this has ever thought you were Jesus, so pick up and keep going.
    I look forward to more precise pieces now. Those things we do that we regret keep us humble and help keep us focused.

  11. goddessdivine says:

    You are a world class person/blogger. I still hold your thoughts and posts with high regard. You've earned and kept my respect since I discovered this fantastic site.

    Don't be too hard on yourself. "To err is human…." Two mistakes (minor ones) in the past few years is minute compared to what 'real' journalists do on a daily basis. Keep fighting the good fight!

  12. Boston Blackie says:

    Apology accepted though not necessary. I am still amazed how you do it all – family, school, website and SELLING your home. I am exhausted just thinking of it so stop beaating yourself up.

  13. JEFF SCHREIBER says:

    Thanks, guys. I just feel it's necessary to be right. And that involves admitting when I'm wrong.

    As for Boston Blackie's kind words — I don't know, either. But I will say that I've got one and maybe two big announcements in the works that will blow minds. Both have me looking at the 24 hours in a given day and wondering where I'll be able to fit anything else in.

    And that's all I have to say 'bout that.

    Thanks again for understanding on the apology. My mission here is to provide information and commentary. Critical is fine, when it is deserved. And, while Kevin Jennings is deserving of criticism, my misinterpretation of the VS piece went way too far.

    It's like criticism of the president. I'm going to laud him when he does right, and criticize him mercilessly when he does wrong. But, on the latter, I'm only going to do so when he actually does wrong. I refuse to jump on the bandwagon of giving him hell for going out to dinner with his wife — I love my wife, and if I were in his position as POTUS (*cough* eventually *cough*) I'd still want to take her out if at all possible on our anniversary.

    Jennings did not advocate murder. Plain and simple.

  14. POP IN THE MOVIE HONEY says:

    My wife to be is so hot. I'd love staying in at the White House and eating popcorn.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Kinda creepy, huh?, I sounded like Joe Biden in that last post.

  16. Jan says:

    Jeff –
    Your actions are to be admired. This is the type of responsibility that is so lacking in our children and the majority of the populace these days. Thank you for providing a positive example. Repentance = heart-felt sorrow and turning away from what you have done. You, my friend, have truly repented. God bless.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I cannot remember the last time I got more than five hours of sleep during a given night.
    ===========

    Jeff we are willing to tolerate much more, i assure you :-) but we will not have this lack of sleep.

    as the Slep Czar i officially encourage you to scheme, plan, slice and dice a way to get more rest. its important.

  18. Anonymous says:

    i am always annoyed about people who apologize and hide it as if it must never be known that they really made an error.

    some will write a headline piece and when forced to correct an error it will appear in two sentences at the bottom of a page and never on the front page or in the same size letters of the error.

    here you once again prove to us why we are so comfortable here. can anyone ask for more?

    p.s. Jennings believes in boy-man relationships(NORTH AMERICAN MAN-BOY INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIAITON) or NAMBIA. he is associted with a group that promotes it but he is heading our schools as a SAFETY IN SCHOOLS head. simply put that is DEAD WRONG. OBAMA KNOWS BETTER AND SO DOES JENNINGS but like bill ayers and the pro-obama songs they are determined to begin their little NUDGE-ing of america via our children.

    WE MUST STOP THEM..
    VAN JONES IS GONE… JENKINS IS NEXT.

  19. Anonymous says:

    And on to Valerie Jarret, 11:29.

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