December 15, 2024

Anachronisms, Pt. 1: Andy Rooney

Written by your guest blogger Brian:


Dear God, I love Andy Rooney. He is our National Curmudgeon. His names is proceeded by the descriptor “cantankerous” so often that you’d think it was an official title. I love Andy Rooney because every week at the end of 60 Minutes he gets to complain about whatever he feels like. Sometimes it’s something important like the war that gets Andy riled up. More often than not, however, it’s something trivial like junk mail or office supplies. Andy has something to say about everything.

It might be hard for some people to understand my love for Rooney (maybe not for those who already know of my Carol Channing obsession). What could a queer 22-year-old have in common with a cranky 80-year-old television “journalist?” It’s simple: we’re both Luddites at heart, and we’re always ready to rain on somebody’s parade.

More Rooney after the jump...

For instance, while the rest of you techno-blog-o-geeks compile lists of the hot new Lucite-coated goodies you wish for beneath your tree, Andy went on network television recently with a list of things he didn’t want for Christmas. How contrary! He peruses a catalog (oh, how Andy loves to talk about things he gets in the mail) commenting on the advertised goods he hopes he doesn’t receive:

Here's a new digital camera I don't want from I don't want a new digital camera, because Keith gave me a digital camera last Christmas, and I haven't learned how to work that one yet. They're making a lot of new, improved, more complicated things before I've learned how to work the one I already have.

You could save $100 on a digital cable TV in another ad. I'll tell you what. I have an idea of what you could give me. Buy the digital cable TV for someone else and give me the $100 you saved.

Here's a $49.94 chair. Looks OK but it says, "assembly required." Please don't give me anything I have to put together.

And the list goes on… I feel Andy’s pain. My television screen is 13 inches (my computer screen is bigger), and I won’t be receiving anything digital from anytime soon. I don’t want a bigger TV or the latest gizmo (OK, I probably wouldn’t turn down a digital camera). I refuse to be caught up in the rush of anything, and I think that rampant consumerism has turned the United States into a moronic wasteland. Andy agrees with me!

Andy also thinks that optimistic people are dumb. He raises a trademark bird’s nest eyebrow at anyone that appears to be too chipper. Here’s his take on answering machines (apparently “voicemail” is a term that confuses him):

Did you ever hear one of these corny, positive messages on someone's answering machine? " Hi , it's a great day and I'm out enjoying it right now. I hope you are too. The thought for the day is: "Share the love." Beep. "Uh, yeah...this is the VD clinic calling....Speaking of being positive, your test results are back. Stop sharing the love.

Ha Ha, he said, “VD clinic.”

Finally, I like Andy Rooney because he makes people upset. CBS News received record viewer response when Rooney called Passion of the Christ auteur Mel Gibson a “Wacko” , and criticized the Iraq war last year. A letter Andy received from one Col. Ralph DiLullo, a disgruntled viewer went something like this--

Andy Rooney: You are a vicious, malignant dwarf! Today you're an ugly little toad - A Liberal, Commie, Pinko Weasel. Go To Hell.

Andy repayed the compliment by reading the Colonel’s letter over the air. He wears the fact that people hate him as a badge of courage.

In my opinion, this culture needs more Andy Rooneys. If the erstwhile election didn’t convince you that the majority of American’s are self-absorbed nincompoops, Andy will let you know in no uncertain terms the depths of America's stupidity. In a culture that values youth and changes at an exponential rate, cantankerous decrepitude is the greatest rebellion. Viva Rooney! will surely be the slogan of the coming anti-revolution.


PS-you can get your daily Rooney fix here, on the CBS News website.

Posted by at December 15, 2024 02:20 AM

Well, there WAS this:

The iconoclast got into trouble after declaring that the idea of two men having sex together seemed "repugnant." Gays demanded his removal from "60 Minutes." A gay newspaper, "The Advocate," asked him for an interview. He granted it -- and was shocked when they quoted him as being not only homophobic but racist. He supposedly said, "I've believed all along that most people are born with equal intelligence, but blacks have watered down their genes because the less intelligent ones are the ones that have the most children....they drop out of school early, do drugs and get pregnant."

No tape recorder verified the remarks, but the story had its desired effect. Rooney's anti-gay comments hadn't been deemed strong enough to get him kicked off the air but the anti-black remark stirred up a storm. CBS immediately suspended Rooney. But to the surprise of many, both Rooney's fans and foes were outraged by CBS's knee-jerk reaction. A 50 cent-a-call hotline 900 number on NBC's "Inside Edition" showed 129,000 calls supporting Rooney, only 8,000 against. Celebrities (including the revered CBS newsman Walter Cronkite) spoke out for Rooney, and as the front page controversy raged, newspapers editorialized in his favor. The New York Post declared, "What evidence is there that Andy Rooney actually made the remarks attributed to him...there's no question The Advoctate had a motive for trying to destroy Rooney's career...Why would CBS choose to believe an inexperienced reporter for a magazine manifestly determined to "get" Rooney in the absence of a tape of the controversial interview, and in the face of Rooney's denials..." Other interview subjects came forward declaring that this particular Advocate writer "twisted" their words in misquotes.

Faced with overwhelming disapproval, and a sharp dip in the ratings for "60 Minutes," CBS returned Rooney to the program, his 90-day suspension lasting only 22 days.

from EncycloComedia

Posted by: Bartleby at December 15, 2024 07:55 PM

Well, if the Advocate doesn't like him, he must be doing something right. I, too, find the idea of two men having sex togeher repugnant. Repugnant and dirty and sweaty and feral and... uhhrrm.

Seiously, though. I did not know this. New shit has come to light.

Posted by: Brian at December 16, 2024 12:48 AM

to paraphrase Woody Allen: is two men having sex together repugnant? It is if they're doing it right.

Posted by: glen (deposed guest blogger) at December 16, 2024 09:28 AM