Earlier this week, Melissa Harris-Perry made thoughtless and hurtful remarks about Mitt Romney’s adopted African-American grandson. Today, she apologized for her comments. Unlike most of the faux-pologies made by media figures (“mistakes were made”), this one is thoughtful and truly does seem to come from the heart.

We live in a culture that so relentlessly applauds over-weening self-confidence that plenty of people, especially powerful people, have a hard time admitting, or even seeing, when they’ve been wrong. Sadly, there is little reward for reflection and self-scrutiny, and most media types live in a bubble. That’s why many “apologies” by public figures sound so tone-deaf and fake.

But Melissa Harris-Perry’s remorse seems genuine. Have a listen.

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Kathleen Geier is a writer and public policy researcher who lives in Chicago. She blogs at Inequality Matters. Find her on Twitter: @Kathy_Gee