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Falwell Apologizes for Calling Bishop Tutu 'a Phony'

August 23, 1985|Associated Press

NEW YORK — The Rev. Jerry Falwell, who came under fire from anti-apartheid activists with a comment that South African Bishop Desmond Tutu was "a phony," today apologized if the Nobel Peace Prize winner took it to mean that Falwell was impugning him "as a person or minister."

Falwell made the remarks during taping for Cable News Network's "Evans and Novak" show, to be shown this weekend.

Asked what he would say to Tutu if he had the chance, Falwell said:

"I'm saying that if the word phony to you, as communicated to you, meant that I was impugning you as a person or minister, I apologize. I was impugning the fact that you, sir, do not speak for the South Africans any more than I speak for all Americans."

In another excerpt, he said, "It was an unfortunate choice of words. The word phony I should not have used. I should have used the word that he was incorrect or wrong, and I have since apologized."

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