Then, Kevin Rudd made headlines by publicly conceding his government needs to ‘lift its game’, taking full responsibility for its recent lacklustre performance and vowing to improve it.

His quote “We are taking a whacking in the polls now, I’m sure we’ll take an even bigger whacking in the period ahead and the bottom line is I think we deserve it…” was repeated across news bulletins like a broken record and caused quite a stir.

Julia Gillard told the 7:30 Report, Australians weren’t used to seeing such honesty from a politician, but for many it sounded all too familiar – political déjà vu.

While some were seemingly stunned by K-Rudd’s whack-attack other weren’t so. Queenslanders remember the shock that followed when former Queensland Premier Peter Beattie faced a press conference to take personal responsibility for the state’s failed healthcare system, apologise and vow to rectify it in his next term.

Likewise, for sports fans, it wasn’t hard to predict Tiger’s next move – a few months in hiding and a public apology. Ditto coked-up Kate and countless others. We’ve seen it all before.

Beattie’s infamous speech saw his government re-elected and while only time will tell for Tiger, both highlight the power a very significant media tool – the art of apology.

There was a time in politics and public life when sorry seemed to be the hardest word. Mistakes were inevitable. Now, it seems to be one word we hear all too often. Are we at risk of seeing sorry become a get out of jail free card? Can a simple press conference and public apology fix anything? Will we soon be a society that stops taking ‘sorry’ seriously and starts treating it suspiciously?

15 Years of Fame