HomeArticleMother Jones Writer Shows What Happens When You Apologize To A Manipulator

Mother Jones Writer Shows What Happens When You Apologize To A Manipulator

Have you ever noticed how rare sincere apologies are in politics? I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. Normal people apologize to each other every day, for accidentally interrupting someone or standing in their way, for being inconsiderate or forgetful, for being unable to satisfy a customer’s needs; it’s just a part of life we take for granted at work and at home. But in the highest levels of the most powerful governments on earth, where thousands of human lives can be snuffed out by a single unwise decision and ecosystems and economies destroyed on a whim, apologies are almost unheard of. You only ever see them when a leader is cornered in a complete political checkmate with no other options available to them.

This is because the highest levels of the most powerful governments in the world are dominated by highly manipulative people. If you serve truth, humanity and the world, you are almost certainly delightful to be around and you will almost certainly never have a career in federal politics. The system is set up to serve a ruling class of plutocrats and their lackeys, so the way to get to the top of the political ladder is in the exact opposite direction of serving the weak and defenseless and being truthful and compassionate. To win elections you first need to win the blessing of the ruling class, and the way to do that is by kissing the right asses while regurgitating the right sound bytes whenever the cameras are rolling.

This is why all the top career politicians all seem so fake; the Hillary Clintons, Ted Cruzes and Nancy Pelosis didn’t get to where they’re at by serving truth and justice, they got there by manipulating and deceiving in the service of the powerful. They are not interested in honesty and sincerity, they are interested in getting up another rung on the ladder.

Anyone who has ever had a close relationship with someone who is highly manipulative has probably noticed how they never apologize for anything if they can avoid it, but if you apologize to a manipulator for something they will never, ever let you forget it and will bring it up any time you step out of line. For normal, empathetic people, apologies are a way to improve relations with each other and avoid hurting one another in the future; they’re a way of saying “I understand that I did a thing that hurt you, and I’ll try really hard not to do it again in the future.” Narcissists, sociopaths, psychopaths and other chronic manipulators don’t see them that way, since they don’t care if they hurt other people and only care about getting what they want. For a manipulator, an apology is a weapon to use against the person making it, which is why you never see them making apologies of their own.

Comedian and activist Jimmy Dore published a sincere, heartfelt apology today to Mother Jones senior reporter Shane Bauer and comedian/progressive media personality Francesca Fiorentini for some Twitter drama, because that’s what normal human beings do when they regret a transgression they feel they’ve made against someone else. Fiorentini responded to Dore’s apology the way normal human beings do, tweeting, “Thanks for this Jimmy. I hope we can begin to patch things up.” Bauer responded to Dore’s apology by tweeting a six-part rant calling for Dore’s termination from The Young Turks and smearing him with a litany of other accusations which have nothing to do with Bauer.

One of these folks is not like the others.

Bauer is one of the most virulent proponents of pro-regime change narratives against the Syrian government, aggressively smearing and attacking anyone who questions official allegations leveled by the US-centralized empire against Iraq’s next-door neighbor. Earlier this year he called on blogging outlet Medium to ban me from its platform for my opposition to regime change interventionism in Syria, tweeting after the deplatforming of a few right-wing writers that “If @Medium is serious about cracking down on conspiracy theorists, it needs to go beyond the alt-right and reign in the garbage published on Syria by people like @caitoz.”

Following widespread public criticism from the left, Bauer then deleted his tweet without retraction and, you guessed it, without apology.

I certainly don’t fault Dore for responding to Bauer the way a normal human being responds to other normal human beings. But Shane Bauer, like other war propagandists, is not a normal human being. Deliberately manipulating people in the service of warfare and imperialism is not a normal thing to do, and it’s not something a healthy empathic person would ever think to do.

In a healthy world, which I firmly believe we are capable of creating, the psychological manipulation of others will be regarded as a perverse intrusion into personal sovereignty and rejected with the same ferocity you’d reject a stranger attempting to insert things into your body. Psychologically manipulating people is unhealthy and immoral, and manipulating them to advance the interests of war profiteers and secretive intelligence/defense agencies is pure evil.

Jimmy Dore did us all a favor by attempting to relate to Shane Bauer like a normal human being, because one of the best ways to get a manipulator to show you what he’s made of is to apologize to him and watch what happens. Learn to spot the manipulators.


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Latest comments

  • very good caitlin, but why didn’t you counter the CIA asset’s smear that “dores says CIA invented the term ‘conspiracy theory'”?

    is this document false maybe?


  • When will we hear more podcasts from you? I enjoy listening to you while I’m driving. The most recent podcast is #85 from months ago. I’d appreciate hearing your observations, research, and music once again.

  • The gentleman doth protest too much, methinks.

  • It all goes back to 911. We all know the official story is absurd, but we just sit and stare. Learned helplessness.

  • In the grand scheme of things, this whole exchange makes Jimmy look even better to clear-thinking, rational people. His apology is well written and concise, and honest while Bauer’s sniping response just makes him out to be a petty hater with an agenda. It would not surprise me at all to find him on some shadow payroll, but he really should explain his hard-on for war with Syria. He’s a useful tool for very system Jimmy and you are fighting and needs to be exposed as such at every turn.

    Thanks again, Caitlin, for being here to reason these things more clearly than everyone. ‘Don’t apologize to psychopaths’ is a good rule to live by. Not getting into twitter feuds with them is another.

  • One hundred fifteen years after L. Frank Baum ran two editorials in the newspaper he published in Aberdeen SD, two of his descendants apologized. The editorials called for the ethnic cleansing of Native Americans, who Baum said were an inferior group. Those descendants, according to a report by Charles Ray on National Public Radio (August 17, 2006), said they were sorry for hurt their ancestor had caused to the Sioux Nation,. The first of those editorials ran nine days before the Wounded Knee Massacre and the other, with no note of sympathy, five days after that event. The much-belated apology is evidence that conscience does evolve but it evolves slowly. I favor incrementalism on the basis that evolution into empathy happens one individual at a time, and I would submit that great patience is a plan better than violent revolution as a course toward a better world.

  • Good for Jimmy Dore! As for the Young Turks, we’ll leave that for another time.

  • If you read the quotes by Bauer, you almost have to laugh. On the one hand, Bauer (who himself clearly has a right-wing agenda) accuses Jimmy Dore of being an Alex Jones of the left, but on another he states: “He should apologize to the family of Seth Rich for perpetuating the right-wing conspiracy theory that Rich was murdered for leaking DNC emails, rather than Russia? ” Bauer is clearly a psychopath, because it bothers him not at all to live on either side of the fence, as suits his, then, current rant.
    Here’s how I know, 100%, that you, Caity, are not a psychopath. I can agree with you 98% of the time, though we do have some differences. Yet, when I voice those differences, I still remain on your emailing list.

  • Thank you so much for explaining why psychopaths and manipulators don‘t apologise… because they see apologies as a weakness to be exploited… I never had seen this clearly enough. Thank you

  • Hardly anyone ever makes genuine, sincere apologies. Hell, few people even know what ingredients go into one. 1) Acknowledgement of the specific nature of the hurt caused. 2) Sincere regret that one was responsible for causing that hurt. 3) A promise to never repeat the harmful behavior. 4) A sincere plea for forgiveness.

    When was the last time you ever got an apology that in any way resembles that?

    Matthew is very helpful here. He says that forgiveness is not required in the absence of true contrition. But in the presence of true contrition, forgiveness is a Christian imperative and may not be denied.

    Just something to think about.

  • A very good read Caitlin, thank you. Regarding the prevalance of psychopaths in positions of power there’s a good article by David Schwartz, published some time ago in Common Dreams. Well worth a read and a bit of an eye-opener.


    You’re doing excellent and important work, please keep it up!

  • “Jimmy believes the very term “conspiracy theorist” was invented by the CIA to silence people like him.”

    Jimmy is correct in his beliefs. The term was indeed created by the cia to disparage any questioning of the official JFK lies.

    “Anyone who has ever had a close relationship with someone who is highly manipulative has probably noticed how they never apologize for anything if they can avoid it, but if you apologize to a manipulator for something they will never, ever let you forget it and will bring it up any time you step out of line.”

    Men know such relationships as marriage and such manipulators as wives. ; )

  • Comment removed for posting moronic medieval superstitions about Jewish people. Don’t be an antisemitic douche on my page.
    – Caitlin

  • Yet another example of what truth-tellers are up against. Very distressing.

  • Shane is another propagandist that perpetuates the utter BS that Russia hacked the DNC. Mother Jones is the crappy megaphone that the likes of Shane Bauer can use to shout down dissenting opinions to his war mongering agenda.

    Both Bauer and Mother Jones are beneath contempt

  • Emulating the leader usually gets you to the top. Here’s a former leader of the free world telling the then-youth of America what to say when they become president and they’ve committed war crimes and outright murder supposedly on behalf of all Americans:
    “I’ll never apologize for the United States of America …..EVER! I don’t care what the facts are. I will lead her. I will do my level best …… to stand up for freedom and democracy around the world by keeping the United States of America strong …. and by keeping our eyes wide open .. as we welcome change in the world, but keeping our eyes wide open.”
    Did you have the intestinal fortitude to watch the leader of the free world Trump’s performance at the UN? It was every bit as disgusting as anything any former liar and murderer in chief has ever said in public. What’s the NEXT great president going to say?!
    This is the kind of bullshit “might makes right” gangsterism that has backed up the US dollar ever since Nixon closed the gold window. Because the US economy would have collapsed without perpetual war and the economically-necessary military-industrial-complex to fight it, a replacement for gold had to to be found and a few desperate years later one was — the petro-dollar. It is very important to understand its origin,
    because it and the ensuing “Carter Doctrine” a few years later
    explain most of the US’s horrible, bipartisan, illegal military behavior in Latin America and more recently in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Somalia.
    American citizens have to somehow wake up to what their government truly is, but that will be extremely difficult because of MSM warmongers who only care about climbing that ladder to fame and fortune. The disgusting situation in 2018 US is very similar to that of 1930s Germany, or London in Orwell’s “1984”. American citizens have been taught the Big Lie from Day 1 that theirs is the greatest nation on planet earth, but the truth is that America is the greatest threat to world peace that has ever existed. History has proven that Hiroshima and Nagasaki were just the beginning of a rampage that has lasted over 70 years.
    Mark Twain once said “How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and hard it is to undo that work again!” The people of the US of A are absolute proof that what Twain said is true.

  • My wife rarely apologises, I don’t know why that is. And your right about psychopaths in positions of power.

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