November 5, 2011

Imagine starting something when you're 59 years old, and becoming a fixture — an icon — doing it for 30+ years.

Andy Rooney, dead at 92.



ADDED: Did you ever notice how nobody notices Joe Piscopo anymore?



That was from 1984, when it was considered hilariously obvious that Andy Rooney was too old and too boring and repetitious to be on TV anymore.

AND: Here's the late Phil Hartman doing Andy Rooney, back when people had the idea that Andy Rooney was racist and homophobic:



From the CBS News article at the first link:
Rooney was also mistakenly connected to racism when a politically charged essay highly insensitive to minorities was written in his style and passed off as his on the internet in 2003....

Many assumed he wrote the screed because Rooney's longtime habit of writing or speaking plainly on sensitive topics had left him open to attacks in the past by activist groups. The racist essay was one of the many false Rooney quotes and essays bouncing around the Internet. The racism charge angered and hurt Rooney deeply, especially because as a young soldier in the early 1940s, he got himself arrested in Florida for refusing to leave the seat he had chosen among blacks in the back of an Army bus.

At the height of the AIDS crisis, Rooney had his biggest run-in with a group and it had dire consequences. In February 1990, the gay magazine The Advocate interviewed him after he associated the human choices of drugs, tobacco and gay sex with death in a CBS News special, "A Year With Andy Rooney: 1989." The magazine printed racist remarks attributed to him from the interview, which he vehemently denied making. A torrent of negative publicity followed, after which then-CBS News President David Burke suspended him for three months. The outcry for his return was deafening. Burke reinstated him after only three weeks, saying Rooney was not a man "who holds prejudice in his heart and mind." The ratings for "60 Minutes," CBS' only top-10 hit that season, dropped while Rooney was off the air.
How loathsome is CBS?

29 comments:

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Imagine starting something when you're 59 years old, and becoming a fixture — an icon — doing it for 40 years.

Andy Rooney, dead at 92.


I imagine that thing we are doing is not math

Pogo said...

Don't you hate white chocolate?

Ann Althouse said...

Yeah, I know. I corrected it before you wrote that.

I'm 60 years old, and I'd like to think I've got 40 years before I'm 90.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

You know what I don't understand? People that ask questions for a living...its almost like they insist others do their thinking for them.

David said...

Ann, you do have 40 years to 90. Set your clock back every night, not just tonight.

Roger J. said...

Rooney--the world needs a few more curmudgeons.
RIP

ricpic said...

Cranky over trifles, a great racket if you can make it pay and he did.

David said...

Andy Rooney was a excellent war reporter--the real deal. I never quite warmed to him on 60 minutes. But the old coot must have had something going, because they kept putting him out there.

Rest in Peace, Andy. You saw enough war.

traditionalguy said...

Andy Rooney was a good traditionalist. We will need at least 30 days mourning while you Boomers keep the world thinking only the good thoughts.

Jeff Hall said...

"You know what I don't understand? People that ask questions for a living...its almost like they insist others do their thinking for them."

Yeah, why is that?

Curious George said...

Never a huge fan, but as a woodworker I understand his love for that desk. I work on a desk I built.

He did a piece in a woodworker magazine about his woodworking, but it really was more about the rough lumber he had. He was a lumber hoarder. IIRC he had a particularly nice 8/4 cherry board that he couldn't bring himself to use. He didn't think that anything man could make could better what God had made (my words, not his). Even the Walnut crotch flitch he used stayed in basically it's native form.

I suppose now with his death that will end. Hope whoever ends up with his lumber uses it wisely.

dreams said...

I never liked the son of bitch.

Psychedelic George said...

He did a piece many years ago about his first day in England, assigned to a bomber squadron.

He was going to bunk with the fliers. (Rooney was with Stars & Stripes.)

Someone took him to the barracks and said, "Take any bunk."

"But, but, there are clothes and stuff on all these beds," Rooney replied.

"Yeah," the guide said. "None of them are coming back."

All shot down.

dreams said...

Oh yeah, CBS is pretty damn loathsome.

edutcher said...

He could be as big a liar as the rest of the crowd at Black Rock, but he didn't deserve what The Advocate did to him.

Hopefully, it brought home, at least to him, how pernicious PC is and how easily it is for the Establishment Media to ruin lives and careers.

WV "hilit" Philadelphia DJ in the 50s and 60s.

AprilApple said...

How Loathsome is CBS? Let us count the ways.

traditionalguy said...

Andy was being Andy, and he shared the world view of a Traditionalist guy.

But it was amazing how grumbling all the time made him a success in life. Quite a trick, and one that I never mastered. Being positive creates a much better atmosphere around you( See, Herman Cain.)

exhelodrvr1 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
exhelodrvr1 said...

Wow! Publicly calling someone racist with no basis! Thank goodness that doesn't happen anymore.

G Joubert said...

He seemed to fancy himself another H. L. Mencken, an unvarnished iconoclast, and such people usually end up being accused of being racist or anti-semitic, or something else along those lines.

knox said...

I remember him grousing about coffee not being sold by the pound anymore. I'm with him on that.

Mike said...

Like many at CBS, and particularly at 60 Minutes, he had delusions of competence.

But he was good at being a cranky old coot.

rcocean said...

Rooney should have retired 20 years ago. He was a 2nd rate journalist who lucked into doing a tired comedy bit.

Of course, I stopped watching '60 minutes' about 15 years ago, so maybe he got better with age. I'm surprised the program is still on the air.

MadisonMan said...

Retirement is deadly.

kurt mueller said...

Ignorence is Bliss -- I wonder if you actually felt a sense of satisfaction or even pride in your snide comment about a simple arithmetic error? If so, I have purposely misspelled a word in this comment to fill your small dark world with a bit more light today. Let me have it!

ndspinelli said...

If there's an open casket I hope someone shaves those fucking eyebrows.

A greater man than Rooney is on his death bed. Joe Frazier lived in the shadow of Ali. He generously helped Ali when Ali was banned from boxing. He gave Ali the big fight when he came back. He beat Ali. Gave Ali a rematch and Ali called him a "Tom" and "gorilla." Joe was certainly flawed. But, he had a good heart. And there wasn't an ounce of quit in Joe. He just kept coming!

Carol_Herman said...

CBS is quite loathsome.

And, 60-Minutes was always a HIT PIECE against people. They'd even stage stuff. Where Mike Wallace "heard cut" ... but the cameras kept rolling. And, the tape that followed is what aired.

On the other hand, Andy Rooney NEVER did anything but state OBVIOUS truths.

I can remember when he pointed out that while the coffee IN the can no longer weighed a pound. But was 12 ounces. To fool people they packaged it in the pound's container.

That was Andy Rooney.

On a mostly mischievous show ... he held the voice of reason.

jeff said...

"I wonder if you actually felt a sense of satisfaction or even pride in your snide comment about a simple arithmetic error?"

Cant speak for Ignorance is Bliss, but I found it pretty funny. But I have a sense of humor. Perhaps someday someone will remove that stick out of your ass and you will get one also.

Peter Hoh said...

Apologies if this has been mentioned already, but 60 Minutes will have a segment about Rooney on Sunday's show.

I might watch the dang thing for the first time in years.