The senator squandered an opportunity to do good, and offered a master class in what not to do when accused of sexual misconduct.
There was something missing from Al Franken’s speech on Thursday.
Sen. Franken (D-MN) was resigning after multiple women reported that he had groped or otherwise sexually harassed them. He had apologized before, saying in a news conference just a few days ago, “I know that I’ve let a lot of people down.” Surely the speech announcing his resignation was a chance for him to show contrition before the Senate, the country, and, perhaps most importantly, the women who had risked public shaming to report their experiences with him.
But Franken did not take that chance. He did not apologize. Instead, he gave advice on running for office, focused on his own struggles rather than those of survivors, and seemed to take back the apologies he had already offered. In his speech, Franken squandered an opportunity to do good, and instead offered a master class in what not to do when accused of sexual misconduct.
Earlier this week, sociologist David Karp explained to Vox his five-point checklist for helpful public apologies: Specifically acknowledge the harm done, admit your role in it, express remorse, explain which behaviors you’ll stop in the future, and share your plan for making amends. Franken’s statement on Thursday failed on the very first step.
Franken said that in responding to women’s reports of his behavior, he “wanted to be respectful” of the broader conversation around harassment and men’s abuses of power. That decision, he said, may have given “some people the false impression that I was admitting to doing things that, in fact, I haven’t done. Some of the allegations against Read More Here