During last night’s edition of The Daily Show, Jon Stewart essentially put President Obama in one of two categories as it relates to the unfolding IRS scandal: Nixon or Magoo.
Under that comparison, Browns owner Jimmy Haslam has opted for Magoo when it comes to the allegedly widespread customer fraud that occurred on his watch at Pilot Flying J, the family-founded truck-stop company Haslam runs.
At a trucking-company seminar in Indianapolis, Haslam said he had no knowledge of any inappropriate conduct. In so doing, he nudged any truck-stop company employees who were involved in the scandal even closer to the undercarriage of the bus.
“Absolutely not. I will say absolutely not,” Haslam said, via the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “I was not aware of any of this.”
Haslam also expressed yet another apology, which makes it increasingly harder to argue that nothing bad or illegal happened.
“I apologize for the actions of our people,” Haslam said. “And I want to look everyone in the eye and say we’ll do everything we can to make things right.”
“Unfortunately, there were some things that happened a couple of levels below me,” Haslam conceded during an interview after his presentation. “It’s a blip. It may be a substantial blip.”
That’s a far different song from the one Haslam sang exactly one month ago today, when he brushed the situation off as involving “a very insignificant number of customers.”
“In no way, shape or form does it affect my ownership of the Browns,” Haslam reiterated on Thursday. It’s hard not to wonder whether Haslam will be singing a far different song in one month, two months, or more — especially if the employees he’s blaming for the behavior eventually try to pin it on Haslam.