The Most Uncomfortable Moments of Paula Deen's 'Today' Interview
At long last, Paula Deen made her appearance on the Today show, and boy, it kind of couldn't have gone worse. It was difficult not to cringe all the way through the 13-and-a-half-minute-long interview featuring the former Food Network personality, who has faced scandal since a deposition revealed she had previously used the n-word. So you don't have to, here's a list of reasons why Deen's defense was so uncomfortable.
1) The Transferring of Blame
It's like my parents always told me: If you're saying "I'm sorry" and follow it with "but...," then it doesn't really count as an apology. Being sorry for something is accepting accountability, and as "heartbroken" as Deen is, she's also throwing blame at anyone and anything but herself. Among the people and things she blamed for the scandal: the era she grew up in, the dissenting response from strangers, the "evil" person behind her downfall, the continued use of the n-word amongst African-American youth, etc. At the end of the day, no one made her say the derogatory term, and we'd definitely respect her more if she just took responsibility for it. Didn't they teach you that in pre-school, Paula?
2) The Fake Sincerity
Deen's constant struggle for words and the rambling, preachy nature of her anecdotes gave the impression that she was completely bullshitting us. (Not good for a lady trying to win our hearts back so she can fill them with cholesterol.) Also, her "my father told me" story seemed so fake that it hurt to hear it. He said you're allowed to break his rules, and thus disrespect him, but you can never act like you're better than someone? I sense a plot problem here.
3) The Tears
Deen's waterworks were... uncomfortable. She's a woman who is losing a lot and has a lot more to lose, and her messy emotions somehow didn't gain support, but a distant sort of pity. It's not that I think she isn't sorry — I just didn't get the impression she was sorry for the right reasons.
4) "I've Had To Hold Friends In My Arms While They Sobbed Because Of What's Being Said About Me"
Dude. I've had casually racist friends and casually not-racist friends, and you know what my reaction would be if someone called them racist? Not sobbing. Because her friends know she either is or isn't totally prejudiced, and I'm sure they believe whatever they believe wholeheartedly.
5) The Popeye Quote
"I is what I is." Seriously, Paula?
6) Matt Lauer's Bitchiness
I'll say it: Matt Lauer was a total dick. Sure, Deen is not necessarily a celebrity to admire these days, but it was easy to get the impression that the Today anchor was punishing the star for ditching the show last week. The moment she said she was "heartbroken" and he responds "for your brands?" was the only time I actually sympathized for Deen, so if Lauer's goal was to be such an ass that he made the celebrity chef, then a job well done, I guess.