AP's Nicole Evatt Covers For Oprah Winfrey's Dubious 'Apology'

Oprah Winfrey's attempt to inject race into a European shopping trip has blown up in her face. First, as summarized at Powerline, in response to a question as to whether she still experiences racism, Ms. Winfrey "told a tale about not being allowed to look at an expensive handbag in a boutique in Zurich because the sales lady assumed she wouldn’t be able to afford it."

The allegedly racist saleswoman didn't just sit there and take it (Update: nor has the store's owner), emphatically denying having ever said that, and laid out the entire encounter in quite believable detail, to the point where Ms. Winfrey felt compelled to go into damage control mode, delivering what TMZ has properly described as a "Passive Aggressive .. BS Apology":


"I think that incident in Switzerland was just an incident in Switzerland. I'm really sorry that it got blown up. I purposefully did not mention the name of the store. I'm sorry that I said it was Switzerland."

Problem is ... O's full of it. What did she think was going to happen when she went on national TV and cried racism? The media was just going to ignore that??

Ms. Winfrey didn't really "apologize" for anything except what others did with what she said.

Yesterday, Noel Sheppard at NewBusters asked a question: "[W]ill America's race-baiting media report the saleswoman's side of the story?"

Well, those who follow the establishment press's kid-glove treatment of politically correct celebrities pretty much knew the answer. At the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, the wire service's Nicole Evatt, confirmed that it's is an obsequious "No" (bolds and numbered taga are mine):

OPRAH 'SORRY' FOR SWITZERLAND'S FLAP

Oprah Winfrey says she's "sorry" about the media coverage [1] that emerged after she said she experienced racism during a trip to Switzerland.

"I think that incident in Switzerland was just an incident in Switzerland. I'm really sorry that it got blown up. I purposefully did not mention the name of the store. I'm sorry that I said it was Switzerland," Winfrey said Monday night at the Los Angeles premiere of "Lee Daniels' The Butler."

"I was just referencing it as an example of being in a place where people don't expect that you would be able to be there," [2] she continued.

In a recent interview with "Entertainment Tonight," Winfrey recalled a clerk at an upscale Zurich boutique refusing to show her a handbag. Winfrey said she was told she could not afford the $38,000 purse. [3]

"I'm in a store, and the person doesn't obviously know that I carry the black card, and so they make an assessment based upon the way I look and who I am," said Winfrey, who earned $77 million in the year ending in June, according to Forbes magazine.

"I didn't have anything that said, `I have money.' I wasn't wearing a diamond stud. I didn't have a pocketbook. I didn't wear Louboutin shoes. I didn't have anything," said Winfrey on the red carpet. "You should be able to go in a store looking like whatever you look like and say, `I'd like to see this.' That didn't happen." [4]

Swiss tourism officials and the boutique owner apologized for the incident last week, but Winfrey insists there's no need.

Damn right "there's no need." There's still a need for a legitimate apology from Ms. Winfrey, which apparently will never come.

Notes:

[1] -- She's not sorry about from all appearances making up a story about racism. She's not sorry about from all appearances falsely smearing a saleswoman who seems to have acquitted herself well. She's only sorry about the media coverage.

[2] -- Nice stereotyping, substance-free dodge. Which "people," Ms. Winfrey? Not the saleswoman you have from all appearances falsely smeared.

[3] -- Others may disagree, but I believe the saleswoman whom Ms. Winfrey has from all appearances smeared. Of course, the AP's Evatt didn't report the saleswoman's side of the story at all, so readers don't get to decide. The fact that the saleswoman would rather not give her name is really beside the point. The AP reporter still should have written that "A woman claiming to the be salesperson who waited on Ms. Winfrey told a Swiss newspaper ..." But noooo. That would puncture Ms. Winfrey's untouchability. We can't have that.

[4] -- What "didn't happen," from all appearances, is any kind of racist incident. But while we're on this statement, Ms. Winfrey seems to be telling us that she should be treated like a queen even if she shows up in a bathrobe and flip-flops looking like she just got out of bed, which is laughably absurd. Next thing you know, there will be a law against "customer profiling."

Bottom Line: Oprah Winfrey is not sorry about relaying what is from all appearances a false story about experiencing racism in Switzerland. She's only sorry that the apparent lie got widespread coverage.

But she can take comfort and solace in the knowing that Nicole Evatt quite disgracefully and quite predictably did not report the full story, and ended up making what was really "Passive Aggressive ... BS"  look sincere.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.