Alex: What is the question that evokes the answer: “A cartoon with a watermelon punchline referencing the President of the United States.”
We reply in chorus: “What was the racist garbage in the Boston Herald today?”
Again, this has been picked up in the comments, but it’s been making me crazy for a couple of reasons. For the obvious one, I’m just going to outsource to Charles Pierce, who knows the Herald very well indeed:
Let’s move along down my personal resume to The Boston Herald, where the current editors, whom I know well, today made me ashamed ever to have set foot in the place, let alone worked there for six years. They ran an editorial cartoon by someone named Jerry Holbert. In the cartoon…the White House intruder is in the bathtub while the president is brushing his teeth. The caption reads: “White House Invader Got Farther Than Originally Thought.” This is what the cartoonist, Holbert, has the intruder saying from the tub.
“Have you tried the new watermelon-flavored toothpaste?”
Pierce notes the hollow contempt for those of us disgusted by this in the non-apology that followed our outcry, the assertion that there’s not a racist bone in Holbert’s body, that he was just referencing his own kids toothpaste, and that, wait for it….
…we didn’t mean to offend anyone. Take it away, Charles:
Of course, it was not meant to offend anyone. That was just a bonus. What it was meant to do was to appeal to the base prejudices of the elderly white suburban demographic to which the Herald has been pitching itself for three decades. It is racist hooey pitched to fans of racist hooey. Period. And, like so many other things, it is different with this president. It is different because there are no rules.
I got the remnants of my day job to get back to, so I’m just going to touch on the most clueless bit of attempted contrarian justification for this bit of garbage, this, coming from Jonathan Chait:
I don’t think the joke hinges upon black people liking watermelon. I think the joke is about the Secret Service’s security failures. Obama himself is not even the subject of the joke — his perspective is that of, or close to, the reader’s. The point of the joke is that White House security is so lax that a random person could wander into the president’s living quarters undetected and take a bath, and regard this as so casual he could chat about a commonplace topic as toothpaste.
Glad that’s clear.
Black people liking watermelon is certainly not the main comic premise of the cartoon
Well, that’s alright then, dear, isn’t it?
and was probably not intended as a secondary premise, either.
And you know this, how? Because you’ve peered deeply into Holbart’s eyes? You’ve seen into his soul? You know him to be a good man?
The cartoonist, Jerry Holbert, explained that he came up with watermelon because he was thinking of his kids’ Colgate watermelon-flavor toothpaste.
My kids. Yeah. That’s it!
Possibly he made a subconscious connection between a black president and watermelon.
Because, of course that’s what anyone would do when contemplating the first African American president.
But it seems very doubtful this was his intent.
Two things: 1 — when an experienced reporter falls back on “seems” you know they got nuthin. They’re telling you what the wish to be true, not what they know, or necessarily even think is likely.
and 2: Chait should know better, but has tangled himself up around race before, so may not: racism, like sexism, or anti-Semitism or any form of bigotry and dehumanization of the other, is not about what is in someone’s heart. It’s not a question of essence, of identity, of who someone is. It’s all about what one does and says. Action in the world defines both the sin and the good deed.
In this world, as opposed into that swelling in Chait’s spotless mind’s eye, Holbert used one of the oldest caricturers with which slave-holders benefiting from stolen lives and labor sought to limn African Americans as simple, lazy and unoppressed by their oppression. It’s an explicitly racist trope, and everyone who’s reached the age of reason (Holbert is my age to the year) knows it.
Holbert may be certain that he has not one prejudiced bone in his body, but what he or Chait thinks about intent or the “real” import of this cartoon is utterly irrelevant.
The cartoon speaks for itself, and its creator, and its defenders…to the shame I fear they will not feel.
J. M. W. Turner “Slave-ship” 1840
If the cartoonist does not wear a hood he is not racist and you are being too sensitive. Or so I was told.
Chait’s befuddlement appears to be classic unexamined white privilege. How he can seem to know what someone else’s intent is is part of it.
But the main thing is this: We’re calling out folks for the impact of their actions, not their intent. I think it’s likely that the cartoonist isn’t overtly racist and that his kids use watermelon toothpaste.
In which case, Mr. cartoonist, own your ignorant whiteness, apologise, move on, and try and not be a clueless dolt in the future. The Chait mansplaining just extends the awkward white privilege ickiness.
It’s so funny watching these idiots draw Obama with a bone through his nose or eating fried chicken and watermelon and then being all ‘what, racist? lil ol me? I just happen to like chicken is all’.
wait, not ‘funny’. what’s the word? oh yeah, tedious.
The above being said, the editors of the Herald op-ed page are more problematic. And that another paper changed the flavor to raspberry tends to indicate that some editors have a bit more finely tuned ear for racist impact, whatever the artist’s intent.
Why, or why, couldn’t Holbert’s kids have been using the Colgate® Dora the Explorer™ toothpaste, or the Colgate® Spongebob Squarepants™ toothpaste?
I’m actually (almost) willing to believe that the cartoonist didn’t quite get why he found “watermelon” to be funnier than “raspberry,” because so much of this is free-floating bullshit wandering around in the unconscious that it will occasionally pop out from time to time without a specific intent.
HOWEVER, when that happens, the correct apology is I am so sorry — I didn’t make that association when I drew it, but now that you’ve drawn my attention to it, I can see it, too. Not blather about how it’s his kids’ flavor of toothpaste so it must have been a totally innocent mistake that mean people are reading too much into.
Because we’re all immersed in a racist and sexist society, everyone’s subconscious will occasionally fart something up from the depths that you barely knew was there. Own it and apologize for it.
When someone engages in blatantly racist actions and speech, they actually are revealing what is in their heart. Just because someone is a racist does not mean that they are snarling beasts, at least not in all circumstances. I’m sure there were many members of the Gestapo who were perfectly lovely people towards their friends and family. This does not mean they were not racists.
Trying too hard. WAY too hard. But Chait has a history of not wanting to look at his privilege.
I believe the cartoonist was born in 1958, so his bullshit does not fly with me. I was born the same year and I know what the association of watermelon with black people is down to my bones. This isn’t even a dog whistle. It’s a full blown siren.
@chrome agnomen: this
Europe is experiencing a growth in anti-Semitism. One comment I read was that they don’t even try to hide it anymore. That is what is happening here., There is no decency.
@beltane: Maybe, but the point is that I don’t have any way of really knowing what’s in anyones heart — often even my own!* All I can know, and all I care about, is what someone does. When they do racist shit…that’s racist, and they are acting in a racist way. What they are when no-one’s looking? I don’t give a hoot.
*that’s the whole “unconscious” thing, mine and everyone else’s.
@Tom Levenson: All I know is if we don’t question it or call it out, it will continue.
I don’t know if you saw my earlier comment, but the local Atlanta CBS station, had a comment from Kessler on the Secret Service. I assume the national nightly news will also. There will not be consequences unless we demand them. I did write to my local news station already. His racist comments were not mentioned.
” It’s a full blown siren. ”
I agree. And the sirens have to go. Good start is to remember who does this and name it. So from now on whenever Boston Herald comes up, I can say “Oh yeah, that is the racist paper in Boston, right?”
The racism and bigotry has to to. And the stereotypes have to go too. We grew watermelon from time to time on the farm when I was a kid, and it, a long with all the other knick-knacks that go with racist stereotypes deserve better.
Chait is prone to white-splaining and very-serious-person-splaining from time to time. Some areas of his mind are in denial, or he has some kind of US VSP Stockholm Syndrome, or areas of his brain are overly simple. Not sure which.
@schrodinger’s cat: I get that you’re angry at cleek, but that’s not a fair reading of the comment at all. I agree with you re Kessler, that his “article” was both terrible and racially-biased, and disagree with cleek’s assessment that it was terrible but not necessarily racist, but cleek was in no way saying that the only way someone is a racist is if he’s in the Klan.
Sorry, Tom! We’ve been reliably informed in previous threads that there are a few white people walking around who are miraculously unacquainted with this trope! Until we have absolutely everyone on board, let’s agree that it would be grossly unfair and unkind to white people to assume the watermelon-black people association is racist.
Re the change to raspberry, Holbert himself says the syndicate asked him to change it to raspberry (presumably explaining why) and he declined. He has less than no defense.
@Tom Levenson: There is a tendency for so-called liberal members of the American media to “pal around” with some pretty awful right-wing blowhards because these people are pleasant enough at social events and are seen as nice guys. That’s all well and good. However, it’s infuriating when people like Chait cannot make the distinction between someone who is pleasant in the private sphere while being an odious blight on humanity in the public sphere. They seem to treat the whole world like its one big cocktail party.
Tom, I’m just starting to get the idea you got a Turner thing.
We’re lucky here, with many to vew, and it seems a show every year, and now Tate Margate. I assume you know about Mike Leigh’s new film? The Gilbert and Sullivan one a few years ago I really liked, this should be good.
Maybe he is telling the truth about the kids’ toothpaste – and maybe, like Colbert, he doesn’t see race and so was unaware the President is black, and that’s why he didn’t know it would be offensive.
@JPL: Glad you called. I never, ever watch tv news. If I hear Kessler was on Boston air, I’ll call and write. As you say, naming and shaming is the minimum required.
If the guy in the tub had made a comment about the baseball playoffs or it being harder to get on a plane then the joke about the secret service would have worked. But really in 2014 and 6 years into the Obama presidency a cartoonist on a major metropolitan newspaper doesn’t under stand the watermelon image?
That’s pretty damning.
And, I mean, crap. ” Black people liking watermelon is certainly not the main comic premise of the cartoon. ”
You have to be white and very carefully and selectively obtuse to get a job that allows you say something so butt stupid and obviously wrong, and still keep your job.
@CASLondon: Oh yes indeed I have a Turner thing. I am still killing myself for missing the exhibit that came to Salem this year — much craziness and somehow never made it up. The “Slave Ship” is of course a local favorite — I go see it almost monthly. The Yale Museum of British Art has a good set, and, being half English, I get over to family stuff in London at least once a year, and devote a fair amount of time to museums and, always, Turner viewing.
Okay, yeah, if the syndicate tried to save him from himself and he refused, then it’s all back on him.
When people who know better disavow all knowledge that their racist behavior is racist, they are really engaging in a kind of passive-aggressive mockery of those people who find racism to be offensive and appalling. It’s a twofer-the dehumanization of minorities coupled with a good laugh at liberals. Screw them.
FWIW, I have kids who use kid toothpaste, and I have NEVER seen watermelon flavor. Everything I’ve seen is bubble gum or blue raspberry (whatever the fuck that is). So I am skeptical of the dude’s claim.
@Tom Levenson: I am looking forward to Mike Leigh’s Turner biopic later this winter.
It’s real. But it’s a kids toothpaste. Even if you were an intruder in the President’s bathtub while the President was brushing his teeth, it would be a dumb question to ask whether the President has ever tried a kids toothpaste.
@geg6: Yep, this cartoonist is 58 years old, and apparently he has kids young enough to be using kiddie-flavored toothpastes. How old is his wife, 35? It still smells like a “black people loves watermelon, haw, haw!” joke to me, and his attempt to pawn it off on kids toothpaste when his kids are probably in their twenties is weak sauce.
You people. It was a product placement, he thought a bucket of KFC would be too obvious.
@beltane: I can understand that. And being overly nice, or indirect and careful with buddies in the media like Pat Buchanan (when he was on the air) may be necessary if you want to get on the air too and have a voice.
But why extend that kind of ‘professional courtesy’ to some editorial cartoonist, and turn ‘careful and indirect’ into something close to a sad and transparently obtuse ignorant and implausible excuse?
Maybe servile excuse mongering is a gesture liberals and moderates have to make in order to signal their recognition of social power relations in the pack, sort of like a dog looking down at the ground and putting its tail down between its legs. In other words, Chait needs to eat a big plate of shit in public periodically or he may be less tolerated in the future.
Oh, good catch.
@Baud: Then again we have a two-fer here. The watermelon/African-American trope AND Obama is nothing but a ‘boy’ using kids toothpaste, another racist image from years gone by but still popular in the wingnut swamp
Holbert’s reference to the call from his syndicate here. The context, unsurprisingly, is the Boston Herald trying to cover its own ass.
@StringOnAStick: 56, please. (I know this arithmetic very well indeed.) But the point stands.
So if your racism is subconscious, you’re not responsible for it? I’m sure Paula Deen would agree.
Holbert and his editors are fucked pieces of human garbage. I certainly hope they don’t that statement offensive because of course that is not my intent.
Wasn’t there a cartoon in like 2008 of watermelons groeing on the White House lawn? Any sentient being who doesn’t “get” the reference is lying.
But boy howdy (as Rachel would say) has he ever got the clicks now. Never heard of him before.
One can’t help but notice that a criticism of the Secret Service once again got the attention magically turned back onto Obama instead of the incompetence of the Secret Service. Funny how that works.
@pat: Yes there was but it wasn’t meant to be racist either.(insert jokes and loud laughter here).
@Shortstop: damn it, sorry! I’m on a super crowded El train and have to jump off and run into a meeting — it was in the Herald this morning if anyone wants to check it out:
Sounds like the perfect job for Michelle Malkin – checking the Holbert kids’ medicine cabinet.
Gin & Tonic
@Jebediah, RBG: Maybe he is telling the truth about the kids’ toothpaste
Sorry, but he’s 56 years old. How old are his kids? I’d bet a beer they’re older than, say, 12.
Gin & Tonic
@Suzanne: See here.
@geg6: Agree completely. The cartoonist is claiming a level of ignorance that just isn’t credible. I could go on and on about this, but it’s not worth the trouble. Your (and my and everyone’s) initial reaction was obvious and correct.
@Gin & Tonic:
Luckily for me, the age of his children is not central to my point.
Still, I’d say the odds are that you are right, and they are probably too old for kid toothpaste.
Absolutely true, and to believe the whole thing was innocent, the editors would also have to have that same level of ignorance. Astronomically unlikely.
It makes no difference, but out of curiosity I googled. Watermelon toothpaste does exist. A person could buy some. I am sure there are some natural ingredients for the flavor, ‘natural’ in the sense that they are from earth and not some other planet.
@Jebediah, RBG: The cartoon was innocent in the same way those European soccer fans who throw bananas at black players are innocent.
Reminds me of that orange county republican group that printed food stamps with pics watermelon and fried chicken on them, and then claimed they just thought those were foods Obama might like to eat.
I know that in some ways I am kind of a Pollyanna, but goddamn I just cannot understand shit like that. How does it bring more joy or satisfaction to one’s life to behave in such an unbelievably shitty way, in public no less?
@Tom Levenson: Have you read what Mark Twain said about Slave Ship?
@Gin & Tonic:
You might lose that bet. I’m 40+ years older than my younger child, and I know at least two other parents with a greater age differential than mine. And, although my wife will be celebrating her 29th birthday in a few weeks, she’s celebrated it more than 25 times.
Some of us started later than others.
Of course, Holbert’s bullshit excuse is … bullshit.
(Appypollyloggies for the self-referential whatever.)
who be playing dumb by half. worked before so why not sayeth the dog whistlers. what better way to play all sides of the fencey dog turd park
Gin & Tonic
@SFAW: I might lose it, sure, but the first third or so of my working life was in statistics, and I still say it’s a safe bet. Spending more time on this question already than it’s worth, mean age of mother at first birth in the US is around 25, and husbands 15 or more years older than wives are about 2.5 percent of the population. Making all sorts of simplifying assumptions, sure, but the chances of a 56-yo man having a child aged, say, 10, are small.
@Baud: Screw that. If he’s gonna go Colgate, go for the money shot:
Maybe if someone fell off the turnip truck last week they could be innocent. Racist tropery changes over time.
I’m born late 60s in the midwest. If Holbert is my age or older, and grew up in the US, it’s implausible that he’s unaware of the place of watermelon in racist iconography.
@Baud: In addition to being appalled by his racism and unconvinced by his lying, I am now thoroughly grossed out.
Watermelon toothpaste?! Hurl.
I will bet my eye teeth that the people defending this have no idea what flavors kids toothpaste come in.
Actually, Trident has watermelon flavored gum and it’s not half bad. Nice change from the usual spearmint and cinnamon.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
The problem is it’s a cartoon; the nature of the medium means everything in the image has to have meaning. The inclusion of “watermelon flavored” isn’t accidental.
I was thinking the artist was saying the intruder is a racists, since the intruder is the one talking about watermellon and Obama is reacting negatively to the comment, but the fact that the artists is defending himself by claiming NOT racists means, it was racists to begin with.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
It’s the only text in the image, that means by defult the viewers attention will be fixed on it. Do you seriously think an artist is going sit there, stare at an image for hours and an include things by “accident”? This isn’t just one sentence in a thousand word article.
@maya: I have a rash around my mouth that is maybe caused by fluoride, or flavorings, or SLS. So I have had to switch to hippie shit toothpaste that costs like $7 per tube and tastes like ass. I am currently using vanilla as it is the only one I’ve found that doesn’t make me pray for death.
Mike in NC
Boston Herald was lunatic fringe 40 years ago. Can only imaging how much worse it is now.
@Enhanced Voting Techniques: If the ‘main comic premise of the cartoon’ was actually the SS falling down on the job, it wouldn’t have needed any text at all, would it?
@Gin & Tonic:
Glad you found someone willing to pay you for your work in statistics.
@Mike in NC:
The rest of them have almost caught up to the Herald. I don’t think the Herald has any plans to go full-on World Nut Daily, but I been wrong before.
No, that’s wrong. He drew a new panel, but only after someone with a brain at the syndicate read the original (which ran in the Herald) and asked Holbert what the fuck he was thinking.
Full explanation of the raspberry substitution here.
Wow, his explanation is even more lame than I thought:
How the hell old is his son’s girlfriend? Is he dating pre-schoolers?
Frankly, I’m now suspecting that he thought he could “slyly” slip a racial reference in and is surprised that everyone else on Earth was able to hear the dogwhistle.
@Enhanced Voting Techniques:
Whereas I don’t think Kessler’s inanity conveyed racism — blindly accusing public officials of incompetence has been a partisan sport since before Homer — I do agree that this cartoon(ist) is … ridiculous. The cartoonist may have thought only the right people would notice his little “joke” — but that’s a ridiculous thought; or he may have thought that the rest of us would either miss his “joke” or give him the benefit of the doubt — scarcely less ridiculous. I suppose there is an infinitesimal possibility that he did not know what he was doing — but if so, the mistake was a big one and sufficient reason to fire him or never look at his “work” again.
To borrow from Al Ducharme. Does Jonathan Chaits’ head cave in when he takes a shit?
@Gin & Tonic:
Without making “all sorts of simplifying assumptions,” one finds that approximately 25 percent of first-time fathers are 40-years-old or older.
And frankly, your statistical analysis is borderline half-assed.
Or, to put it less vulgarly: when Bill Gates walks into a bar, the average wealth makes everyone millionaires. The median wealth, not so much. And the sigma?
“Simplifying assumptions” probably get used as often to curve-fit however one wants the data to come out, as to explain things to persons who don’t understand the field.
@Tom Levenson: Glad you linked to Pierce’s article; I thought it was excellent. I think it was that piece in which a commentor said Hobart was featured at Townhall, which I believe is a rabid Right Wing site.
Addendum to #75:
And, of course, stats of the nature you mentioned are a lot more useful if the population follows a Gaussian distribution. Do they, for first-time fatherhood? I don’t know, and I’m probably not going to try to find out.
Anyway, the overarching point here is that: just because you think you know statistics, it doesn’t mean you have any special insight into whether Holbert has younger children. Although I guess you (G&T) could look through his kitchen window to see if he has granite countertops.
Gin & Tonic
@SFAW: I have no such insight, true. And this horse is deader than Jimmy Hoffa. But you still haven’t proved I owe you a beer.
@Gin & Tonic:
Yeah, and you haven’t proved that you don’t. Big deal.
On the other hand, I’m also not the one that made the (potentially bullshit) claim that Holbert didn’t/doesn’t have a youngish child. Nice attempt at a redirect.
It’s perfectly believable that one individual was ignorant of the watermelon connection. Far less believable that all the editors, etc. who reviewed it for publication were.
In case nobody else has pointed it out, it looks like the toothpaste is now raspberry flavored.
Gin & Tonic
@SFAW: All I said was: How old are his kids? I’d bet a beer they’re older than, say, 12.
I’ll still bet the beer. That’s not making any claims, bullshit or otherwise.
Only the syndicated version, not the original.
@Gin & Tonic:
ive never seen or heard or watermelon toothpaste. has that ever been a thing?
even when i was teeny tiny kid at the dentist and they used those strong toothpastes, there was bubblegum flavor and grape flavor i believe. though neither tasted at all like their names.
“I didnt think it was racist!”
-And thats a lot of Macaca!
Gin & Tonic
@SFAW: You seem to have a lot invested in proving me wrong. Fine. You’re right, I’m wrong, I owe you a beer.
Glad I didn’t bet my house.
A: Holbert has a young child at home
B: Holbert found watermelon-flavored toothpaste in a drawer at home
C: Holbert used “watermelon” simply because some toothpaste brought it to mind
A is neither a necessary condition for B nor is it sufficient.
Nor does B prove C.
Thus even if one knew the current ages of his (two) kids, it would not really prove anything.
Just for the fun of it, I Googled “toothpaste flavors” to see if Watermelon existed in the real world. Buzzfeed has “20 unusual toothpaste flavors.” Nope. Lots of flavors, including Blueberry, Pine, Honey, even Scotch, but no Watermelon/
Found another list from The Awl. Still no Waterrmelon flavor. Doesn’t mean the flavor doesn’t exist, but it does mean that if it does exists, it’s a very strange and unusual flavor.
@Rich Gardner: Well, here’s the search you should have run.
How is PRAWN faring these days?
So looking back through Holbert’s past cartoons we find a whole lot of Obamacare will bankrupt you stuff and a cartoon something about scandals that has a star trek theme for the sole reason that he can then title it “star trek, into darkness.” Not a racist bone in his body.
Unless a white person has bombed a church in Birmingham, I give them the benefit of the doubt on racism accusations.
Gin & Tonic
@Rich Gardner: Here you go.
my mother was born in south Carolina in 1918 . her father was a corn/cotton/tobacco/peanut farmer. ( I just insanely bought 30 pounds of “green” peanuts to boil…)
eating watermelon, spitting the seeds at my cousins (and they, of course, at me)…
given my mother’s older brother’s kinky hair, cousins kinky hair, my mother lamenting her big ass (having a “booty” was déclassé in the stepford wife/white toast years, nor would she be one to “shake it”) having it pointed out where a relative of ours was “lynched by the coloreds” every time we drove from Michigan to visit our relatives,
I have no doubt there is a major “Thomas Jefferson and the servants” thread running thru my honkie family.
what’s become clear to me is, and it has been the focus of Balloon Juice” since it’s inception…john cole (a convert to democracy!), anne laurie, tim.f.,et al is
HOW DOES ONE DEFEAT DENIAL?
As bcw said, Google Jerry Holbert’s cartoon images and it’s pretty clear where he’s coming down. Hint: “Past histories of cleaning up financial scandals” features Mitt Romney as “Brawny” and Obama as “Scrawny.” Or the one titled “Coming Campaign Commercials” with Obama as “Obambo 2012” and Donald Trump commenting that filming was done in Kenya. Or the Hulk 2010, with a GOP elephant as The Hulk, and a voter exclaiming in disbelief over Democrats winning in the election. The Hulk says, “The angrier he gets, the bigger I get.” Paints a pretty clear picture to me.
@Cervantes: A pretty good summary.
Exactly. And yet, some here felt it important to state that, because the “statistics” indicate he probably doesn’t have young children his purported “justification” was bullshit. As opposed to just saying that his “justification” was straight-up bullshit. Without all the extraneous, granite-counters crap.
And, in case it wasn’t clear, 25 percent 40 or older means 75 percent younger than 40, so it’s 3-to-1 likelihood against him being an older father. But, as the saying goes, saying that it’s a 1-in-10,000 chance (or whatever) that you’ll get struck by lightning doesn’t mean shit if you’re the one who gets hit.
@Gin & Tonic:
@Cervantes: Oh, okay. So Colgate manufactures the stuff.
PRAWN? Yeah, the actual group is more or less broken up these days, though I like to keep up the website by listing upcoming events and adding in my daily comments. Website gets a fair number of hits, 50 to 100 a day.
Heh. It doesn’t seem to be his intent.
It’s a shame the syndication folks didn’t call him up – whoops, they did. And golly gee, he forgot to phone the Herald.
See, I could see myself making that mistake, maybe. Not *today*, but when I was younger and less aware. But if someone had said “racist” and “watermelon” in the same sentence, I’d have gone all canonized ichthyoid – er, I’d have gone “HOLY CARP” and realized I’d really stepped in it, and called the Herald. Because I didn’t *make* the watermelon joke, but I sure as hell *knew* it.
I really would like to be sympathetic, but I can’t see it. I’ve seen a few real apologies – my favorite included something to the effect of “I know you’re angry, and you should be; I know you don’t trust me, and I’ll try to earn your trust back.” – and I don’t think this was one of them.
Paul in KY
@Baud: Boy, is that ever damning. Wonder if his bosses were in on it by then & told him to decline to change it.
Paul in KY
@jl: You might need him to do caricatures at your kid’s birthday/mitzvah.
@Rich Gardner: Plus I like your recipes, too.