Rep. Barton Reconstructs His Previously Misconstrued Non-Apology

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I want to be absolutely clear that I think BP is responsible for this accident, should be held responsible and should in every way do everything possible to make good on the consequences that have resulted from this accident.  And if anything I said this morning has been misconstrued to the opposite effect I want to apologize for that misconstrued misconstruction.

               — Rep. Joe Barton of Texas (June 17, 2010)

In a hearing earlier that day, Barton had said "I apologize" to BP's CEO, claiming BP had been subject to a "shakedown."  It apparently then came to his attention that a person or persons unknown might or might not have misconstrued the words "I apologize" as an apology, a construction that (had it been made) would have given the words an effect opposite to that of his true meaning by suggesting they meant he thought BP was being treated unfairly.  The statement quoted above, which could be construed as an apology for the misconstruction of his statement by those unknown persons, came out of his mouth that afternoon.

In a later statement, Barton conceded that he had indeed intended to apologize personally to BP, retracted that apology, and personally apologized for having made it in the first place.

To date, no further re-apologies or corrected misconstructions have been forthcoming.

Link: CBS News