Sure, he's backpedaling now. They always do.
The 3rd Quarter Dick Cheney Award for Corporate Malevolence goes to Randy Bernard, CEO of Indy Car -- which suffered a catastrophic crash this weekend, causing the death of driver Dan Wheldon.
In June of this year, Mr. Bernard was quoted in an interview as saying that his "change to restarts would mean more 'carnage and wrecks,' adding that 'danger will be an important element of the sport.'"
Well, Mr. Bernard, you've now got your carnage.
Of course, Mr. Bernard is the picture of contrition today.
On Monday, when confronted with this heartless quote from June, he replied "I'm sorry if my comments are interpreted this way . . . Danger has been an inherent part of the sport since 1909. I don't know if what I said was taken out of context or I misspoke, but if you know me, you know where my loyalties lie, and I'm very respectful to the drivers and the sport."
If that quote does not display Mr. Bernard at his most heartless, his follow up remarks on Monday about it proves him to be utterly without conscience: "I'm sorry if my comments are interpreted this way."
Interpreted this way?
That remark was pretty black-and-white. Pretty unambiguous.
I'm sure Mr. Bernard's minions must bear with his moral and intellectual relativism, but the general public does not.
I, for one, did not interpret Mr. Bernard's promise that there would be more carnage and wrecks in this Indy Car season. I read those remarks as he said them. In English. Unexpurgated. With no lawyer or public relations spin doctor at my side.
Mr. Bernard continued in his Monday contrition: "Danger has been an inherent part of the sport since 1909."
Yeah, danger has been an inherent part of the sport.
My charge and contention is that Mr. Bernard heightened that danger; accentuated that danger by packing more cars into each competition and having racers using side-by-side restarts.
Like the owners of the Deep Water Horizon oil platform or the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia, Mr. Bernard is yet another dreary, greedy CEO who is completely willing to put the lives of his underlings at risk to produce more profits.
There is no misinterpretation.