Occasional blogging, mostly of the long-form variety.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Whelan Apologizes

Not long ago, Ed Whelan was still defending outing publius. He has now apologized, to his credit, and publius has graciously accepted.

I agree with most of John Cole's take, but disagree somewhat on the issue of apologies (he's expressed similar sentiments before). For example, when someone makes a widely-public racist statement, it affects more people than the direct target of that statement. That said, I agree it's generally silly to be more outraged than the actual target of the offense, and to carry grievances when the actual parties involved have moved on. It's also unhelpful, especially if there's actual contrition and not just a non-apology apology or PR spin. Whelan's actions specifically targeted publius, but also contributed to a larger atmosphere of intimidation – particularly when some (but not all) conservatives defended his actions, suggesting all this could happen again all too easily. Whelan's correct that he can't undo what he did, but his apology seems genuine, and publius has accepted. None of this means Whelan's political and legal arguments shouldn't be critiqued, of course. But both publius and Cole are right that this couldn't have been easy for Whelan, and I hope his apology both makes apologies more fashionable in the future, and dissuades others from outing bloggers.

(Cross-posted at Blue Herald)

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