David Almasi (202) 507-6398 x106
or e-mail [email protected]
For Release: February 14, 2003
The National Center for Public Policy Research received today via FedEx a handwritten apology dated February 13 from Mr. Frank Fountain, Senior Vice President for Government Affairs of the DaimlerChrysler Corporation.
In January, Mr. Fountain told reporter Marc Morano from CNSNews.com that conservative critics of Jesse Jackson "are conservatives; they have a rather myopic view of the world." The National Center's president, Amy Ridenour, issued a statement asking DaimlerChrysler for an apology, as did Peter Flaherty of the National Legal and Policy Center and numerous other conservative individuals.
Stories about the incident appeared on CNSNews.com, in the Washington Times, on the Fox News Channel's "O'Reilly Factor" and elsewhere.
In response to Mr. Fountain's letter, Ridenour said: "I accept Mr. Fountain's apology. What's more, I am very impressed by its sincerity. Mr. Fountain's letter is no pro forma statement dictated to an assistant or delegated to a public relations professional. It is a reflective, two-page, handwritten letter that expresses full regrets without equivocations and expresses thoughtful respect not only for conservatives, but also for all Americans and for the ideals of our great country. I wholeheartedly compliment Mr. Fountain and DaimlerChrysler for sending this letter to the conservative community."
The text of the letter follows:
"Dear Mrs. Ridenour,
This letter is to express my deepest regret for a comment that I made during a January interview with CNSNews.com senior staff writer in New York.
My choice of words was unfortunate, but there was no intention to negatively characterize conservatives. Any such characterization was unfair and unintended. I apologize to anyone who may have been offended by my remarks. And it is my hope that this experience can ultimately have a positive outcome for all those affected.
One of the things I have cherished about our country is that Americans are bound by an innate ability to look past labels and stereotypes and appreciate the unique qualities and values of each individual. This is a major source of strength for our democracy and economy, and it is a source of hope for those who live in this great country. But, as you know, nothing is automatic. We preserve our strongest beliefs through vigilance fueled by our desire to live up to the highest notions of America's values. I am therefore committed to sustaining an open dialogue with the conservative community. I look forward to the opportunity of gaining a greater appreciation of the issues that we may share.
The National Center for Public Policy
Research is a conservative, free market think-tank established
in 1982 and located on Capitol Hill. For more information, please
visit http://www.nationalcenter.org or contact David Almasi at
(202) 507-6398 x106.
To see the actual letter, click here for page one and here for page two.
The CNSNews story of February 14 by Marc Marano, "Daimler-Chrysler Official Apologizes for Conservative Slur," is available at http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewCulture.asp?Page=\\Culture\\archive\\200302\\CUL20030214f.html