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New York Gov. Cuomo is the Textbook Example of How Not to Apologize

From Lisa Leopold, writing for The Conversation…

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s two apologies for alleged sexual misconduct are straight out of a master class in how not to say you’re sorry.

The governor, who had become something of a celebrity during his nationally broadcast press conferences early in the coronavirus pandemic, is now embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal involving six female accusers. This comes amid the disclosure that Cuomo’s administration intentionally underreported the number of nursing home residents in New York who died of COVID-19.

After first issuing just a statement on Feb. 28 that failed to calm the furor about the sexual harassment allegations, he held a press conference three days later in which he publicly apologized for making potentially offensive comments but denied allegations about inappropriate touching.

Both “apologies” were widely panned and left victimsCuomo’s critics and even some of his supporters unsatisfied. The Democratic leader of the state Senate called on him to resign.

As an English language studies professor who has analyzed the language of public apologies, I believe Cuomo’s efforts can provide some value at least: They demonstrate perfectly what you shouldn’t do when you want to show a loved one, a colleague or your constituents that you’re sorry for something you did wrong.
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