CNN’s Brooke Baldwin this morning may have done the impossible: Deliver a mea culpa that the nation’s apology police cannot possibly puncture, dismantle, nitpick or otherwise trash.
The longtime afternoon anchor had quite a bit to regret. In an interview yesterday with Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) regarding the violence in Baltimore, Baldwin addressed the question of police training and readiness: “I was talking to a city councilman here last week who was saying, ‘Brooke, these people have to live in the communities. There’s no emotional, or there’s a lack of emotional investment,’ ” she said. “And a lot of these young people … and I love our nation’s veterans, but some of them are coming back from war, they don’t know the communities and they’re ready to do battle.”
Sweeping, tendentious nonsense. Baldwin offered no evidence to support her case that somehow battle-scarred veterans from recent wars were responsible for any of the policing problems in the country’s big cities, let alone in Baltimore. People on the Internet let her know of their disapproval. Baldwin’s first response was a bit weak:
That defense doesn’t work at CNN, which sells itself as a purveyor of straight-up journalism around the clock. So what if some hack “vocalized” a concern to Baldwin? Isn’t it her job to filter that concern, fact-check it and pat it down before “re-vocalizing” it?
Given some more time to think about it all, Baldwin this morning came around. Early this morning, she tweeted:
On CNN’s “New Day” program Baldwin said:
I made a mistake yesterday. We were in the middle of live TV, I was talking to a member of Congress, and I was recounting a story, a conversation I had had recently just referring to police. And I absolutely misspoke, I inartfully chose my words 100 percent and I just wish speaking to all of you this morning: I wholeheartedly retract what I said. And I’ve thought tremendously about this, and to our nation’s veterans, to you — this is just who I want to speak with this morning — I have the utmost respect for our men and women in uniform. And I wanted you to know that this morning, so to all of you, I owe a tremendous apology. I am truly sorry.
That checks off all the boxes: Tone of contrition? Yes. Unconditional expression of regret? Yes. Absence of excuses and citations of extenuating circumstances? Yes. Even more critical is that Baldwin took to the CNN airwaves to transmit this full-throated mea culpa — a flash of integrity that a certain colleague of hers should take note of.