It was a week of craven apologies - and a sobering reminder at a bleak time of year just how apologetic we have become as a society.
It was down to Rupert Murdoch's Fox News over in America to provide a touch of genuine slapstick to enliven the desolate January gloom. A self-proclaimed expert on terrorism called Steven Emerson became famous for at least 15 minutes or so here in the UK with an outlandish claim that Birmingham was a Muslim-only city where non-Muslims "don't go in".
It wasn't quite up there with the Murdoch-owned Sunday Times' allegations back in the 1980s that Hitler's diaries had been found in an East German hayloft. They were quickly exposed as fake and Rupe brushed it off as simply being part of the "entertainment" business. Makes a change from having a few phone-hackers on the payroll, I suppose.
I don't suppose the world's most powerful media tycoon will have lost too much sleep over Mr Emerson's Muslim claims either. In an apology which would have made Uriah Heep blush, Fox's terrorism guru said he had made an "egregious" error.
"I have clearly made a terrible error for which I am deeply sorry," he said. "My comments about Birmingham were totally in error, and I am issuing an apology and correction on my website immediately for having made this comment about the beautiful city of Birmingham... (steady on Steve, I was walking along the streets of Small Heath only last week, and there were beggars on the pavement).
The Emerson affair had clearly warranted an apology, especially for those viewers who rely on Fox News for their daily enlightenment. And it at least provided a good local talking point to take our minds off the weather, the merits of undertaking "Dry January", the hideous roadworks currently plaguing that "beautiful" Birmingham landscape and other such diverting matters.
The Emerson howler will quickly be forgotten, a disposable knockabout tale entirely suitable to a disposable knockabout age, where self-inflicted righteous indignation is never far away, invariably stirred up by the UK's vast armies of self-appointed digital obsessives, deluded bloggers and anonymous pseudo-journos in dingy rooms staring at their screens and imagining they are Ben Bradlee or Carl Bernstein rather than Mr Bean or Frank Spencer.
And the digital generation do like their apologies, don't they? Not a day passes by when some poor, unwitting sap is not hauled over the coals by the Twitterati and their ilk, the self-serving consciences of a politically-correct generation.
Two such examples from the crazy world of football were dragged before the Court Of The Digital Masters Of The Universe only last week.
Gordon Taylor, head of the Professional Footballers Association, made an admittedly rather clumsy analogy by comparing the Ched Evans case to the Hillsborough tragedy. But what he said was fundamentally true, merely suggesting that legal rulings can sometimes be overturned.
Taylor told the BBC: "He wouldn't be the first person or persons to be found guilty and maintain their innocence and then been proven right. If we're talking about things in football we know what happened, what was alleged to have happened, at Hillsborough and it's now unravelling and we're finding it was very different to how it was portrayed at the time, indeed by the police at the time."
The hapless £1 million a year PFA figurehead soon found himself facing bucketloads of ordure from the incandescent digital tribes and their shrieking acolytes.
Professor Phil Scraton, one of the driving forces behind the process that led to the formation of the Hillsborough Independent Panel review and a new inquiry into the deaths of 96 men, women and children, was apoplectic with barely concealed rage.
Taylor had been dragged back into the public eye to mumble: "I would like to apologise unreservedly for linking the Hillsborough case with the situation involving Ched Evans.
"The last thing I intended to do was to upset anybody connected to the Hillsborough tragedy. I can only apologise."
It's a curious matter that all apologies have to be "unreserved" these days, substantially adding to the culprits' torment.
Taylor faced calls to resign after stating – albeit by using an ill-advised comparison – that the law could overturn its rulings, but Charlie Nicholas got it in the neck for simply being confused, as so many footballing pundits seem to be in any case.
The former Arsenal striker was forced to apologise on Sky Sports News after he admitted he couldn't tell the difference between Manchester City midfielders Fernandinho and Fernando because "they looked the same".
When Fernandinho netted an opener, presenter Jeff Stelling prompted Nicholas to describe the action, who said: "Goal! Is it Fernandinho or is it Fernando? They both look the same to me."
The Scot – and Stelling – later apologised for the comments on Sky Sports News following the usual outrage on anti-social media.
I was in the company of a highly respected Midland broadcast journalist the other day who has carved a successful career over several decades at his craft. "There's no free speech any more...everybody's so politically correct," he lamented.
PS. I apologise unreservedly if this column has upset Professor Scraton, Fernandinho, Fernando, Mr Bean or Frank Spencer. I blame my highly regrettable outburst on the weather, the terrible roadworks and Dry January.