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Kanye and Serena and Joe, oh my! What a lot of sorry folk.

September 14, 2009 | 12:38 pm

Serena Among the famously rude moments of the last week -- and there were a lot of them, weren't there? -- probably only one speaker is really sorry.

Not that Serena Williams necessarily is feeling pain for the line referee to whom she reportedly said some truly, um, over-the-line things about the possibility that a tennis ball would find its way down the woman's gullet via Williams' hand. Though treated as a physical threat -- and to some extent it was -- the outburst sounded more like the tantrum of a woman who feels her stardom elevates her above the rank of mere tennis officials. Make a call against me, the message went, and you will feel how powerful I am and how I can destroy the lives of mere mortals.

Williams notably was without apology after the kerfuffle, though she apologized today. Of course she's sorry. Her loudmouthed queen-bee moment lost her the match and ten thousand bucks in fines.

Kanyepic There are no such consequences for Kanye West after he jumped on stage during the MTV Video Music Awards during Taylor Swift's acceptance speech to announce that really Beyonce's video was way superior. Because of course everything considers West the definitive arbiter in such matters, right? West is all about apologizing today, which gives him yet another day of the publicity he probably wanted in the first place.

And then, of course, there's Rep. Joe Wilson, from whom Democrats can never hear enough apologies for his "You lie!" outburst during President Obama's speech. The South Carolina congressman's apology was insincere, Democratic legislators insist, delivered only at the behest of Republican leaders, and therefore he should have to apologize on the House floor or face censure. Why, because his apology will be so much more sincere if it is forced by Democratic politicians rather than Republican?

Duvall We would include former Assemblyman Michael Duvall, who resigned and issued an apology after his inadvertently public comments about sexual exploits, but even he doesn't seem quite clear about what he was sorry for. The day after, he said that even though he had made the comments for which he was sorry, it didn't actually mean he kissed (and supposedly spanked) and told.

Apologies, consequences, whatever, the proof of remorse is in future actions. Will any of these people act differently after their apologies, sincere or not? In at least one case, sure. Duvall will absolutely be checking to see whether the microphone is on.

Photos: Serena Williams. Credit Timothy A. Clancy / AFP / Getty Images. Kanye West. Credit: Noel Vasquez / Getty Images. Michael Duvall. Credit: Hector Amezcua / Associated Press.

-- Karin Klein


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