A while back, consultant Jonathan Gruber referenced "the stupidity of the American voter" while defending Obamacare in congressional hearings. Gruber later apologized after the remarks generated backlash.
Shortly after the SAE scandal became national news, one of the fraternity members that had been caught on tape made a public apology while standing among black community leaders, in the process basically committing to 'spend the rest of his life' trying to make up for the error..
Kentucky basketball player Andrew Harrison apologized to Frank Kaminsky for the 'under his breath' comment he'd made that invoked a racial slur after a microphone caught it and it was discussed around the country. Harrison called it 'a poor choice of words' and said he respects Kaminsky.
And now you have ESPN reporter Britt McHenry, caught on tape absolutely berating a female towing company employee on a video that's been seen and talked about all over. Like others before her, McHenry has issued a very public apology and promised that isn't who she is and she'll never do it again.
These are four relatively recent examples of apologies from public figures. There are loads more.
So generally speaking, how seriously do you take these types of apologies?
Obviously most will say they go on a case by case basis, but these are all public figures that none of us knows personally. In such cases, do you most commonly find yourself thinking "damage control" and/or "never would have happened if they hadn't gotten caught" or do you accept these statements at face value?
Is it sincerity or self-interest?