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Why hasn’t Paula Deen apologized?

Since the long-simmering revelations about Paula Deen's history of casual, clueless racism broke earlier this week -- her admission that "Yes, of course" she'd used racial epithets and cast African-American wait staff to represent "a certain era in America" for a wedding -- the public response has ranged from outrage to mockery to disgusted lack of surprise to inevitable, trollish justifications.  Everyone, it seems, has a strong opinion about Paula Deen's past behavior. Everyone but Deen, that is. The cholesterol-loving chef and Food Network star has been remarkably circumspect in the past few days – at precisely the moment the Georgia native should have been speaking out. And it's her rigid retreat that's added an extra and entirely unnecessary layer of ugliness to the debacle.

On Friday morning, Deen was scheduled to appear on "The Today Show," but at the last minute, Matt Lauer announced, "We just found out she's a no-show." He added that everything had seemed a go when he'd spoken to her Thursday, but now her representative had simply said she was "exhausted."

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