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Quotes / Backhanded Apology

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If I'm pressed against the wall, I'll resort to a weasel apology. A weasel apology is just like a real apology, but without taking any of the blame. For example, I might say to the person who is mad about my treatment of clowns, "I'm sorry that you feel that way." It's true, I'm genuinely sorry that anyone feels like a frickin' nut. Notice that I'm not apologizing for what I did, I'm only expressing my heartfelt sympathy for nuts. Yet it looks like an apology if you read it quickly, especially if you're expecting a real apology. Feel free to borrow this method.
Scott Adams, Dilbert and the Way of the Weasel

Brian: Hey, Stewie.
Stewie: What do you want?
Brian: I just wanna talk to you about everything that happened. Um, you know, you were the only person who believed in me when I was down. This all happened so fast, and I lost sight of who I was. I mean, you know, sure, you were in a little over your head, but...
Stewie: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. I was in over my head?
Brian: Yeah, but, Stewie, this isn't about all the things you did wrong. It's about me apologizing.
Stewie: Okay, then apologize.
Brian: I just did.
Stewie: No, you didn't. You just said, "It's about me apologizing". That's not actually apologizing.
Brian: All right, Stewie, I'm sorry that I made you uncomfortable and put you in a situation that you clearly couldn't handle.
Stewie: Okay, okay, there it is again. What the hell? Stop with that!
Briah: Y... You're right. You're right. This is, this is about healing. This... This is not about how many things you messed up along the way. It's about how badly I reacted to them. So, I'm sorry about how badly I reacted to your many errors.
Stewie: That's as good as it's gonna get, isn't it?
Brian: Pretty much.
Stewie: You can't write.
Family Guy, "Brian Writes a Bestseller"

I apologize to those I called intellectually dishonest. It is clear by reading your accusations that there's no intellectual component

Calling three of my colleagues, or a number of my colleagues, 'bastards' was absolutely unforgivable. My only excuse is that it was true.

What better way of looking like a big man than by saying you're sorry? You don't actually have to be sorry, or admit you did anything wrong, or stop arguing or insulting people. As long as you use the word "sorry" it's clearly an apology, and anyone who complains that you haven't stopped doing what you're apologizing for, and haven't even admitted it, is a bad person who can't let things go.
Cracked, "The 11 Most Common (and sad) Internet Argument Techniques" #9: The Passive-Aggressive Apology

Like the NBA, we welcome the Chinese censors into our homes and into our hearts. We too love money more than freedom and democracy. Xi doesn't look like Winnie the Pooh at all. Tune into our 300th episode this Wednesday at 10! Long live the great Communist Party of China. May the autumn's sorghum harvest be bountiful. We good now China?
— "Official apology to China" from Trey Parker and Matt Stone


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