Didja ever wonder about Andy Rooney…?

Didja ever wonder about Andy Rooney…?

: I have never understood why and how Andy Rooney got the best job on TV: Here, Andy, say anything you want to a huge audience and don’t worry about whether you actually have anything to say.

His blather last night on Bush, Iraq, and the U.N. is as fine a specimen of warm Jell-O as you’ll ever find:

You might not think so from listening to me, but I like to be liked. Not only that, I like my country to be liked around the world and it isn’t.

Well, Andy, if you want me to like you, I suggest you start by retiring. And you want America to be liked? Well, gee, that’s a pretty hard standard on which to run your foreign policy. In fact, it’s neither a rational nor an intelligent standard. It’s emotional. You want the world to like us? You want us to appoint Sally Field as secretary of state?

I wish President Bush would try to make this country less hated. He could do it if he set his mind to it.

To begin with, we should change our attitude toward the United Nations. There has to be some power in the world superior to our own – for our own sake.

You want there to be some power superior to our own? Well, try being really, really nice and pretty soon, Osama bin Laden will be a power superior to ours.

The U.N. as a superior power? Pardon me, I have to stop typing now; my palms are sweating at the thought and I’m afraid I’ll short out the laptop. I’m not a U.N. paranoid; I believe the U.N., properly run, has a role in the world to help mediate disputes. But as superior power? No, thank you. That’s a frightening prospect. That’s the EU-ification of the world.

Iraq isn’t our problem. It’s the world’s problem.

When the president spoke at the United Nations, he came off as arrogant and it made all of us seem arrogant. We are a little arrogant, of course, and we ought to watch that.

Oh, so you want us to be nice and humble? Move to Canada, Andy.

The United States can’t force its ideas on the whole world.

Such as, oh, democracy? Human rights? Economic opportunity? Freedom of speech? Freedom of worship? Right, wouldn’t want to let all that spread.

We have great military power and a store of nuclear and biological weapons that would send us running to the U.N. for help if any other country had as many.

The trouble with our weapons is they don’t work against one terrorist with a jar of anthrax or a religious nut with a truckload of dynamite. We’re wasting our money on weapons we can’t use.

Seems to me that our weapons and armed forces did a pretty darned good job getting rid of the Taliban and Saddam Hussein. Oh, but that’s right, you’d prefer to kill them with kindness.

It doesn’t matter what I think, but I think like millions of Americans and they do matter.

Hello, Mrs. Franz. It’s Jeff Jarvis. Yes, it has been ages since fifth grade. But I wonder if you could help me diagram a sentence I just read. You were always so good at that. And it makes no sense to me…

I was opposed to going into Iraq without the approval of the U.N. Things went well at first and I decided I was wrong and apologized.

Now I want to apologize again. I want to apologize for apologizing.

Whew. Can you instead just apologize for taking up air and airwaves?

We should not have attacked Iraq without the OK of the United Nations. It wasn’t all President Bush’s fault. U.N. delegates were infuriating – sitting on their hands.

It’s an ineffective, namby-pamby organization. The French and the Germans were against attacking Iraq because they do a lot of business there.

Andy, ferchrissakes, make up your mind. You want to hand over power for the world to an “ineffective, namby-pamby organization” that sits “on their hands”? Why?

The president made the mistake though of deciding to attack anyway and now we have to live with that mistake. We’re living with it and too many of our guys are dying with it.

As opposed to innocent Iraqis dying?

I hope we remain the strongest country in the world but it isn’t a sure thing that we’ll always be what we are today.

Look what’s happened to Great Britain, France, and Germany. They aren’t what they were. Things change in the world. It could happen to us – may be happening.

It happened to the great Greek and Roman civilizations. They didn’t disappear because there was anything wrong with the ideals on which those civilizations were based. They disappeared because there got to be fewer and fewer Greeks and Romans who believed in those ideals, and they were taken over by people who didn’t believe in them at all.

We’ve got some people who don’t believe in our American ideals — so watch out.

Some people? Like who? Like a guy who wants to hand over power to the U.N.? Like a guy who thinks that helping others realize our freedoms is a bad thing? Like a guy who’d rather sit on his hands than defend the rights of innocent victims of a tyrant?

No, Andy, it’s not the Greeks, Romans, French, British, Germans, and Americans who are threatened with extinction. It’s old fart idiot TV blatherers like you.

: I just noticed the Google-like ad on the side of Rooney’s page at 60 Minutes:

War Essays and Term Paper

Instant access to 100,000 essays

Come search for free!

Aha! So that’s where he finds his “commentaries.”

: I just dug out a column I wrote when I edited Entertainment Weekly. On March 16, 1990 — during the time when Rooney was suspended from 60 Minutes for saying offensive Limbaugh/Jimmy-the-Greek-like things about gays and blacks — I wrote this:

In all the fuss and muss about Andy Rooney, I’ve heard no one reveal the real reason he should have been taken off the air–and left off… He’s a twit….

If CBS wanted a real humorist for 60 Minutes, they should have hired one–say, Dave Barry. Or, if he’s not available, I”d volunteer to make big bucks contemplating the shape of a paper clip or the sound of a burp or the smell of a rose.

But CBS shouldn’t be filling these visible and valuable few minutes each week with harmless “humor.” Instead, to paraphrase Cronkite’s misplaced words about Rooney, the close of 60 Minutes should be filled with independent thought and courageous social criticism. CBS should have guts enough to give us opinions that are worth our time and consideration. To give us anything less–to give us back Andy Rooney — is to insult our intelligence.

Thirteen years and no change there.

: Ryan gives us Andy according to Beavis and Butt-Head.

: Update: Jackie is highlighting all your comments.