New York Times not sorry for cloning corporate apology-tracking blog SorryWatch


1 Like

When will @beschizza apologize for to Aaron Sorkin for confusing him with Andrew Ross Sorkin? And which blog will analyze said apology the best?

Creative Remixin’, Corporatist Version 1.4. Luuurv how the Times refuses to go quietly.

I hereby apologize unhesitatingly for confusing Aaron and Andew Sorkin in the headline, which has been corrected! This was not done accidentally on purpose.

1 Like

Apologies mean never having to say you’re sorry. Wait, what?

1 Like

I don’t buy it. The world is scattered with companies that couldn’t compete when someone else entered the market. SorryWatch doesn’t have an exclusive right to this particular niche. They don’t seem to understand competition: “… the fact that we were there first, and the fact that their new venture could damage our old one.” It doesn’t work that way. They need to create better content and outperform ApologyWatch. If they can’t they will go the way of the dodo.

1 Like

Who else wants to bet that this one will end up setting the world on fire to about the same extent as the similarly imitative ‘Just like wikileaks, except we’ll probably tell on you’ venture they set up some time back?

For the record, both of these are predated by the “Apologies of the Week” on Harry Shearer’s “Le Show” - “a copyrighted feature of this broadcast” since 2008:

Just sayin’.

1 Like

he called out Mr. Sorkin on this weeks show as well -> [@41:10]


I can never tell if Shearer is joking or serious when he says various segments are “a copyrighted feature” of his broadcast. But he’s persistent about it and seems serious when he calls people out for copying his ideas, so I guess that’s my answer.

SorryWatch does not claim to have an exclusive right to this particular niche:

(But suing? Us? Pssh. We’re not talking legality. We’re talking morality.)

And they do understand competition:

Sumac and I get that we live in a free enterprise system. (GO CAPITALISM WHOO.) We do not claim to own apologies — we’ve always given props to Harry Shearer, who reads apologies on the air on his radio show, and to Retraction Watch, a blog that focuses on science journal retractions and is so awesome I was forced to write about it in Beastie Boys lyrics.

They’re making a moral – not legal! – case that NYT should acknowledge their existence (just as they acknowledged the existence of other media outlets that likewise discuss corporate apologies). Since corporate apologies are themselves not mandated by law but prompted by moral concerns this seems relevant to the mission of both blogs. An NYT blog on corporate apologies would be pretty hard to take seriously if NYT cannot abide by basic moral principles. And of course, your “the weak are meat and the strong do eat” routine ignores the fact that NYT has a rather large legal team on retainer and if it came to any kind of legal proceedings could simply bury SorryWatch in legal costs – even if SorryWatch had a better case. All of this is perfectly legal as SorryWatch acknowledges right along – SorryWatch is arguing that NYT’s actions here aren’t moral which is a somewhat different thing than legal.

One might argue that you don’t understand competition as SorryWatch is absolutely legally entitled to make a stink out of this and thus raise their own profile as a result of the ensuing “controversy”. Some might call that savvy marketing of the sort that could help SorryWatch outperform ApologyWatch. In other words, you almost seem to be criticizing SorryWatch for taking your own advice.


OK … now do it in a walk and talk.

I still don’t buy it. Of course it isn’t a legal issue, unless SorryWatch was claiming trademark infringement (and I think they might have a good case if they wanted to assert a trademark and argue that ApologizeWatch dilutes their mark).

But as far as competition goes, a new competitor doesn’t have a moral obligation to credit, or even acknowledge, a competitor. I didn’t see anyone giving Facebook a hard time because they didn’t apologize to Myspace. Even Engadget, which basically jumped into the exact same blogging niche as Gizmodo, had nothing to apologize for.

But I do agree with your point about SorryWatch using this to get some attention for themselves. They certainly have that right. Lots of people get attention for trivial things, and SorryWatch shouldn’t be any different.

I read Sorkin’s ApologyWatch piece on Tim Armstrong’s blunder over health care costs and 401(k) contributions. Sorkin quoted Armstrong out of context in a way that hid what was wrong with Armstrong’s apology. Then he vouched for Armstrong’s sincerity. He buried the basis for discussing the quality of the apology and then gave his own unsupported judgment.

I don’t think @snarly and @sumac need to worry about this competition. They understand what they’re doing, they’re much better writers than the Times people are, and they’re funny.

1 Like

He also mentioned that CBC suspended podcasting during the Olympics due to rights restrictions (and apologized for it). WTF?

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.