This is one of those phrases that you hear, or read, and you can never quite remember who said it. I had a list of names in my mind that I thought were responsible for "never apologize, never explain" - they included Disraeli, Napoleon, and the Duke of Wellington. I'm not the only one who thought of this in connection with Mr. Woods, and there's been some web discussion, which led me to Google the phrase.
Apparently nobody knows where it really came from. What seems to be the authoritative research was done on a site called Ask Metafilter - I've found multiple links to it and of course, here's another one. One source, according to Metafilter, is:
... the screenplay for the 1949 film She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, written by Frank S. Nugent and Laurence Stallings. The line is spoken by John Wayne and the exact quote reads, "Never apologize and never explain--it's a sign of weakness."Evidently I had the wrong Duke. The Ask Metafilter site has a series of posts about the phrase, and a lot of interesting back story, but apparently none of the people I had it associated with ever said it. So much for my erudition; John Wayne, indeed. I've never even seen She Wore a Yellow Ribbon. If you read the whole thread, though, the screenwriters copped the line from someone - but no one is quite sure from whom.
But back to the Tiger. On December 1, the day before it all came out about the girlfriend and the voicemail message and the sheaf of emails (can emails be in a sheaf?), somebody on a local forum I follow posted the following link to the Wanda Sykes show - and Wanda summed it all up, and it's even funnier considering what came to light the next day:
Poor Tiger. I wonder how he likes the taste of crow.