Roger Ebert apologized -- kind of -- for anyone hurt by his tweet on Monday about the death of Jackass' Ryan Dunn. (Ebert tweeted Monday: "Friends don't let jackasses drink and drive," insinuating Dunn's fiery crash was a result of drunk driving.)
"I offer my sympathy to Ryan Dunn's family and friends, and to those of Zachary Hartwell, who also died in the crash," Ebert, 69, posted on his blog Tuesday. "I mean that sincerely. It is tragic to lose a loved one. I also regret that my tweet about the event was considered cruel. It was not intended as cruel. It was intended as true."
"I have no way of knowing if Ryan Dunn was drunk at the time of his death," Ebert added. "What I knew before posting my tweet was that not long before his death, he posted a photo on Tumblr showing himself drinking with two friends."
Dunn's Jackass pal, Bam Margera, was furious with the film critic. "I just lost my best friend, I have been crying hysterical for a full day," he tweeted. "And piece of s*** Roger Ebert has the gall to put in his 2 cents about a jackass drunk driving… F*** you!"
Ebert clarified what he meant by his "Friends don't let jackasses drink and drive comment."
"I meant exactly what I wrote," he said. "I wasn't calling Ryan Dunn a jackass. In Twitter shorthand, I was referring to his association with Jackass. I thought that was clear. I note that Bam Margera uses the word 'jackass' in the same way in his tweet."
Ebert went on to cite various reports of Dunn's history of driving too fast and even a possible past DUI. "I don't know what happened in this case, and I was probably too quick to tweet," he admitted. "That was unseemly. I do know that nobody has any business driving on a public highway at 110 mph, as some estimated -- or fast enough, anyway, to leave a highway and fly through 40 yards of trees before crashing. That is especially true if the driver has had three shots and three beers. Two people were killed. What if the car had crashed into another car?"