Actor Mark Wahlberg set the Internets aflame with the following comments that appeared in the February issue of Men’s Journal:
On being scheduled to be on one of the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center
“If I was on that plane with my kids, it wouldn’t have went down like it did. There would have been a lot of blood in that first-class cabin and then me saying, ‘OK, we’re going to land somewhere safely, don’t worry.’”
I was in New York when the towers fell, and I recall thinking, “This never would have happened if an underwear model had been on board.”
If Osama bin Laden had had access to the flight register and had seen Wahlberg’s name, he would have called the whole thing off. His top lieutenants might have respectfully questioned the decision and bin Laden would have calmly — though secretly making every effort not to wet himself — inserted into his cave’s VCR a battered, 10-year-old VHS tape.
“See,” he would’ve said, his voice trembling slightly, “this is when he went by the name ‘Marky Mark’ and traveled with a covert ops group known as ‘The Funky Bunch.'”
“Merciful Allah! Why did we ever doubt you! Of course, we cannot proceed. Though, we are curious — is the woman singing during the chorus also a member of this ‘Funky Bunch’?”
“That is uncertain. Our intelligence can neither confirm nor deny. I would put nothing past the Americans, though. Still, he speaks to our shame — we are not ‘in it to win it,’ so we must ‘get the hell out.'”
Osama bin Laden and his men would have then turned themselves over to Wahlberg’s Funky Bunch agents — at the time stationed in Pakistan — and all the nations of the world (black, white, red, brown) would have thrown Wahlberg a parade.
Or at least that’s how it probably went in one of the 50 dreams he’s had “about what he would have done to fight the airborne terrorists.”
This is one of those misguided statements that elicit a “Carefully Crafted Celebrity Apology.” Wahlberg’s came in short order:
“To speculate about such a situation is ridiculous to begin with, and to suggest I would have done anything differently than the passengers on that plane was irresponsible. I deeply apologize to the families of the victims that my answer came off as insensitive, it was certainly not my intention.”
See? All better. It wasn’t Wahlberg’s intent to imply that the men and women on those hijacked planes were spineless cowards who didn’t love their families as much as he does.
If it seems as if the “Carefully Crafted Celebrity Apology” was written by someone other than the actual celebrity, someone with a more advanced formal education who specializes in public relations, you are probably not mistaken. Generally, the Carefully Crafted Celebrity Apology is preceded by the Panicked Phone Call to a publicist, who usually exclaims, “He/She said what?”