Andy Rooney’s solution to all the world’s problems

Andy Rooney’s solution to all the world’s problems

: Andy Rooney — for whom I have little tolerance; even two minutes is too many — says of CBS News tonight: “I don’t feel real good about it these days.”

The cause of his agita is the Rathergate snafu. The cure, in Rooney’s view, is this:

Turn our Evening News With Dan Rather into a one-hour broadcast seven nights a week. Provide it as a public service in exchange for the license that CBS has to make hundreds of millions of dollars from the entertainment shows that Les Moonves puts on.

The American public gets most of its news from television, and it doesn’t get enough. The Evening News is 20 minutes long — nowhere near long enough to tell Americans what’s going on in their own country, let alone anywhere else.

Oh, man, that’s the exact wrong way to go. More Dan Rather? No thanks. More formulaic network news? Uh-uh.

That’s what I would expect Andy Rooney’s solution to be. And that’s not the right solution.

If network news is going to survive, it has to break away from its old formulas and old star system, it has to be open to new definitions of TV news.

Rooney goes on, unfortunately:

One of the reasons America is hated around the world is because we’re ignorant of everyone else’s problems, and that’s partly our fault. Television provides too little foreign news.

So, send a bunch of CBS reporters to other countries, too, so we give viewers an idea of what’s happening somewhere other than here. If CBS News was on the air every night for an hour, it might make people forget this mistake.

Oh, man. So Andy says we’re hated around the world because we don’t watch enough CBS News. That’s so stupid it’s offensive, so offensive it’s just stupid.

Yes, it’s time to reform CBS News. And the first thing I would do is get rid of Andy Rooney.