Whether it’s the National Post apologizing for a nasty ad, or the Globe and Mail placing a disclaimer on humour, there’s been more than one report datelined Land O' Gaffes in recent weeks. Did Kevin O’Leary call Chris Hedges a “nutbar” or a “nutcase?” Either slur breached CBC policy, according to an ombudsman review – a policy that doesn’t appear to be applied with equal force to the Hockey Night in Canada flagship. Such bombast-fuelled incidents might make one wonder about the role of the celebrity-journalist in public discourse.

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Although following a faux pas with a hair shirt remains admirable (like this apology for confusing Wikipedia with a reliable source), it’s worth noting that apologies, even when offered, are not always accepted by aggrieved citizens.

Patricia W. Elliott is a magazine journalist and assistant professor at the School of Journalism, University of Regina. You can visit her at patriciaelliott.ca.