When scholars refer to an "Apology" they are not referring to someone saying, "I am sorry." Rather they are referring to a text that acts as a defense or explanation of someone's life or actions. Radio Times, a local radio show on WHYY, hosted a debate between John Estey and Monica Yant Kinney (MYK) last night. John Estey is the Board Chair of the Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA) and MYK is a reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and a vocal critic of the DRPA. Estey delivered an amazing, thorough and insightful apology for state-sanctioned authorities, those strange quasi-governmental agencies that run our transit systems and build our bridges.
What is most interesting about this debate is MYK's consistent attempt to attack the DRPA institution, and how often it missed the mark. I counted only three instances where I found her criticisms right on the money. More often they displayed a lack of understanding of how these institutions work and why they do what they do.
No wonder our government has such a hard time explaining itself to the public, when the media itself does not understand what the imperatives of our institutions are. What they react to is a press that insists on anthropomorphizing our institutions and insisting they act like people not agencies.
This was one of the most riveting debates I have heard in some time and urge you all to listen.