Translating Ryan Lochte's bullshit into English

Fake apology. Fauxpology. Unpology. Non-apology apology. It’s all bullshit and you’re an idiot if you play along.

I’ve spent decades in the corporate world, and way too much of that time has been dedicated to crafting artful PR bullshit. I’m not proud of the fact, but truth is I’m good at it. And when making the language behave unnaturally is your stock in trade, you get really, really good at spotting it when other people start force-feeding perfectly honest words into the sausage grinder.

Which brings us to the much-discussed Ryan Lochte “apology.” Which, by the way, was written for him by some weasel in his agent’s office. Said weasel understands the basics, but sadly has all the grace and nuance of a hyena on a Cialis bender.

Didn’t work, though. See the fat, middle-aged guy with an open sore on his mouth loitering by the edge of the dance floor? That’s Lochte. See all the sorority girls easing away from him? Those are his former sponsors.

Anyhow, here’s Lochte’s fauxpology. Have a look, then I’ll walk you line by line through what’s going on.

Ryan Lochte "apology"

I want to apologize for my behavior last weekend — for not being more careful and candid in how I described the events of that early morning and for my role in taking the focus away from the many athletes fulfilling their dreams of participating in the Olympics.

Right off the bat, he is not acknowledging that he actually did anything. His mistake was in how he described what happened. Pay attention to agency in this text – who [active voice] did something and what did they do. This is key to the whole dog and used-car-salesman show.

I waited to share these thoughts until it was confirmed that the legal situation was addressed and it was clear that my teammates would be arriving home safely.

“arriving home safely” = “beating the Sheriff out of Dodge.”

It’s traumatic to be out late with your friends in a foreign country — with a language barrier — and have a stranger point a gun at you and demand money to let you leave

Alert: Victim Card Being Played. It’s “traumatic.” He was traumatized. He was out late with his friends – you know, kinda like you are from time to time. So imagine that you and you’re BFFs are minding your own business, when out of nowhere…

What actually happened? For no reason he can fathom, because he doesn’t speak Portuguese, Lochte finds himself, if I might quote a great American, “staring straight down a .44.” If he spoke the language, he might have some idea of why they were upset. He had to be terrified. He probably has PTSD. Verily, he’s facing years of therapy before he’ll ever be able to so much as walk down to Starbucks after dark.

And if you want to slip a tad deeper into the implications, let’s ask ourselves: what kind of lawless thug doesn’t speak English? Hmmm?

but regardless of the behavior of anyone else that night

We can argue all we want about who did what, but let’s not lose sight of the fact that things happened to people, and there’s no point playing the blame game.

I should have been much more responsible in how I handled myself

Handled yourself in what? So far there has been zero reference to any actual events that might explain why we’re all so up in the air. He’s hanging with his buds and next thing they know some foreigner has a gun in their face demanding money.

But Lochte now understands that he should have done a better job explaining things.

and for that am sorry to my teammates, my fans, my fellow competitors, my sponsors, and the hosts of this great event.

Especially my sponsors. Please, please don’t dump me. I have no marketable skills and this is not going to look good on my résumé.

I am very proud to represent my country in Olympic competition and this was a situation that could and should have been avoided. I accept responsibility for my role in this happening and have learned some valuable lessons.

To show you how profoundly sincere I am I accept “my role” in vandalizing a business and pissing all over the place what happened, I’m going to spend several paragraphs pretending that video doesn’t exist.

There has already been too much said and too many valuable resources dedicated to what happened last weekend

Will everybody please quit talking about this?

so I hope we spend our time celebrating the great stories and performances of these Games and look ahead to celebrating future successes.

Wow – wasn’t Simone Biles awesome? And, hey LOOK, it’s Michael Phelps! And Usain Bolt! Riding an ELEPHANT! Let’s talk about them!

Jesus. This is like Charles Manson apologizing for not wearing a cleaner shirt.

Still, it ain’t like Lochte and his hired weasels – did I say “weasels”? Sorry, I meant “minks” – are the first to attempt shameless misdirection.

I just wish everyone were more critical about how they describe this silliness. Especially the media, who seem to have forgotten that it’s okay to call a spade a spade.

Next time a famous person fake apologizes, I don’t want to see a single fucking story using the word apology without quotation marks.

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