The phrase explains nothing but is used to excuse virtually every human failure. A nurse neglects a dementia patient, “She is only human”, a soldier abuses an insurgent, “He is only human”, a banker fiddles the Libor rates, a priest abuses a child etc. . . all are “only human”.
Everyone should aspire to better standards no matter what field they work in and not succumb to such pathetic and worthless excuses.
Is Mr McTernan guilty of lazy journalism? “Well, he is only human.”