Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word

“What I got to do to make you want me?
What I got to do to be heard?
What do I say when its all over?
Sorry seems to be the hardest word

It’s sad, so sad
It’s a sad, sad situation
And it’s getting more and more absurd
It’s so sad so sad
Why can’t we talk it over?
Oh it seems to me
Sorry seems to be the hardest word.”

-Elton John

I can only conclude that The Rocket Man is a crisis communications counselor between gigs. Because any crisis jockey will verify that sorry is without question THE hardest word.

“What have I gotta do to be heard?” Well, just say it like you mean it.

But the most eloquent men and women in the world can’t seem to get the word out of their mouths. Pride. Arrogance. Obstinance. Cowardice. Self-delusion. Whatever the reason, they just can’t say it, until it’s too late.

Or sometimes they say it, and it’s clear they don’t mean it.

In the wake of the President’s erasure of Scooter Libby’s perjury sentence, White House Communications Director Tony Snow finally said the word this week. But he reminded us of another crisis communications lesson: Words matter, but so does tone.

A review of the tape shows that Mr. Snow did say the word “sorry,” but his body language said something much more like “sorry I can’t Abu Ghraib your sorry ass for bringing it up.”

And it’s getting more and more absurd.

– Loveland