Tom Hanks: Let me go ahead and specifically apologize to Bill O'Reilly too

Man, he’s really owning up to old transgressions that really weren’t his fault. What’s next? An apology for “Bosom Buddies”?

Don’t even mention “Larry Crowne,” though. There aren’t enough synonyms for “remorse” in English to fully make amends.

“I used Bill O’Reilly as the punch line of an uncomfortable joke that was hardly funny and [was] unfair,” Hanks emailed The Daily Caller.

“I have no reason to think Mr. O’Reilly would have found both the reason for the joke nor my use of it funny in any way,” said Hanks, whose blackface skit surfaced in a video posted by TheDC on Monday…

“I accept his apology — everybody makes mistakes,” O’Reilly told TheDC. “I don’t think that Hanks had anything [in mind] other than trying to get a wise-guy line off. … I don’t hold it against him.”…

When asked about his attributing the “hideously offensive” routine to O’Reilly, Hanks responded that “I regret the cheap shot.”

Like I said last night, Hanks is far enough down the insensitivity spectrum on this incident that there are two arguments against him. One is the standard tu quoque that a conservative in the same position wouldn’t be forgiven. Which is true enough; there’s no way around that, although it’s an indictment of the left generally, not Hanks personally. The more personal indictment is guilt by association, the idea that maybe Hanks’s passivity vis-a-vis blackface guy is due to some secret racist attitude he harbors. I don’t buy that. Apart from the O’Reilly line in the clip, which looked like his attempt to play the whole awkward thing off, he seemed to deal with it mainly by avoiding the guy and going on with the show. He would have been within his rights to call him out but the “let me just ignore the embarrassing idiot in my midst” response is a human reaction. Not the most righteous one, granted, but not proof of ill intent either, which is the ultimate question.

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