There are apologies, and there are Washington apologies — the types of mea culpas where someone seems more sorry that they got caught saying something than actually, you know, saying it to begin with.

That much goes for Mid-Atlantic AAA’s spokesman John Townsend, who today apologized for calling Greater Greater Washington founder David Alpert “developmentally retarded” and comparing him to a member of the Ku Klux Klan. In a brief statement, the car and driver advocacy organization stated:

The remarks attributed to John Townsend reported in the City Paper article are inappropriate, and in no way representative of AAA Mid-Atlantic’s views. Mr. Townsend apologizes for comments attributed to him that were offensive.

It was never Mr. Townsend’s intention to be insulting and agrees that there is absolutely no place in the public discourse for personal attacks.

That said, Mr. Townsend believes that many of the statements were presented out of context and mischaracterize the discussion.

We put in a call to the national AAA office for comment, but haven’t gotten anything back yet, so we’ll have to take this as the organization’s official apology. If so, it’s lame. How, exactly, would context change the following statements attributed to Townsend? We’ll take a guess. (The italicized parts are from the City Paper article.)

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Martin Austermuhle blogs at DCist . The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.