But is an insincere apology enough?
Take an analogy. Think if Bill English had a brain explosion and while being interviewed on radio about fiscal costings offered his opinion that if (say Annette King or Helen Clark) was the last woman on earth, the species would probably die from extinction.
It would be the lead item on TV news that night. Feminist groups up and down the country would condemn him, and Labour MPs would be battling for who could condemn him in the most strident terms.At an absolute minimum he would be censured by his party leader, if not demoted/sacked.
For this is not some anon troll on a blog saying nasty things about an MP. It’s not even a blog author. It’s the top ranked Labour MP after the Leader and Deputy.
And the comments were not in a pub to a mate. They were not even in the cut and thrust of debate in Parliament. They were offered up unsolicited on live radio.
So will Goff censure Cunliffe? Will a single female (or male) Labour MP or candidate say the comments were unacceptable? Or will they just pretend it didn’t happen, like they tried to with the Tinkerbell comments?