Off topic warning – Dick Clarke’s American Grandstand

Off topic warning – Dick Clarke’s American Grandstand: (Credits to Nashville DJ Gerry House for that heading.) Try as I do to keep this weblog free from news commentary, the last few days of my failed attempts to avoid the promotional steamroller supporting Richard Clarke’s book has led me to leave the sidelines on this outrage. If his “apology” to the 9/11 victims doesn’t prove he’ll stoop to any depths to sell a few books, then nothing will.

One of the reasons I’m willing to go public with my outrage at Clarke’s apology is the reaction to it of Jeff Jarvis, one of my blogger-guideposts on topics related to 9/11. He writes this morning:

I haven’t said much about Clarke because I haven’t yet decided what I think of what he’s saying. But I have to say that as his apologize sat on the stomach like a bad burrito and came up this morning like a burp, I came to think that his apology was disingenous, melodramatic, and ultimately divisive.

I couldn’t agree more. I did not see the video of the hearing, but the radio news report I heard described him turning to some familiy members of 9/11 victims seated in the gallery and saying:

I also welcome the hearings because it is finally a forum where I can apologize to the loved ones of the victims of 9/11, to them who are here in the room, to those who are watching on television. Your government failed you. Those entrusted with protecting you failed you. And I failed you. We tried hard, but that doesn’t matter, because we failed. And for that failure, I would ask, once all the facts are out, for your understanding and for your forgiveness.

Okay, Mr. Clarke. The government that failed those families has now dedicated billions of dollars and hundreds of lives of its courageous military to stamp out those who threaten our shores. In all theaters of battle, young American soldiers and sailors have printed the the words, “We shall never forget” on weapons, vehicles and military aircraft in honor of those who died on 9/11.

Mr. Clarke, what similar level of resitution have you displayed for your failure other than an attempt to cash in on that tragedy with your book promotion? And now, on the graves of those victims, you grandstand an apology to promote its marketing efforts.

So therefore, Mr. Clarke, I suggest you do this: Announce today that ALL PROCEEDS of the book (not just a portion of the profits, but ALL PROCEEDS) will go to one of the funds that have been set up for the families of the victims…or another specific charity that will help give meaning to your disingenous apology.

  • lcreekmo

    Now now. I must say right off that I have no idea what motivated Clarke to a. write this book or b. apologize to the families of the 9/11 victims. I hear both the political arguments and the “telling the truth” arguments and frankly, to me, both are believable and probably both a bit true.
    And maybe I live in fantasyland, but the huge, enormous idealist in me just wants to believe in the sincerity of an apology. So I think I will. It seems like 9/11 is WORTH apologizing for, and I’m guessing al-Qaeda’s not going to be doing that anytime soon.

  • Rex Hammock

    Sorry to burst your bubble, Laura. Clarke’s choice to make his apology in the midst of a book promotional tour is the height of insincerity. He could have made it any time during the past 925 days or so since 9/11. That he’s making it now in order to push the sales of his book, thus cashing-in on his admitted role as a failure, makes me think he meant to say, “I’m sordid…not, I’m sorry.”

  • lcreekmo

    Hmm. Maybe. And I know I’m often the cynic, but I still want to believe that Bush went to Iraq at Thanksgiving because he wanted to give the troops a morale boost and tell them “good job, we’re with you” and that when people say “I’m sorry” they mean it. Even if they’re selling an explosive book in the middle of a presidential campaign. I’m going away now, you can laugh at me all you want. 🙂