By now everyone not living under a rock knows that Andy Rooney died Friday, November 4, 2011, from complications following minor surgery. Rooney had announced on Oct. 2, 2011, in his 1,097th essay for 60 Minutes that he would no longer appear regularly. His essays struck a chord in viewers by pointing out life’s unspoken truths or more often complaining about its subtle lies, earning him the “curmudgeon” status. He said during his final 60 Minutes broadcast, “I wish I could do this forever. I can’t, though.”
As my mother always told me, do not speak ill of the dead because they can’t defend themselves. So I will limit all of my citations to when he was living.
On CNN’s Larry King Live, June 5, 2002, Rooney said, “There is just no question that I, among others, have a liberal bias. I mean, I’m consistently liberal in my opinions. And I think some of the, I think Dan [Rather] is transparently liberal. Now, he may not like to hear me say that. I always agree with him, too, but I think he should be more careful.”
Rooney, on MSNBC’s Imus in the Morning on June 22, 2006, said, “My problem with Dan was always that you knew where he stood politically. And the fact that he stood on my side didn’t have anything to do with it.”
Rooney wasn’t a Republican in the late 1970s. “Ronald Reagan was the only movie star ever elected President,” Rooney noted before snidely remarking: “A lot of people thought he was better in the movies than in the White House.” Bill Clinton, however, “might have gone down in history as one of the best Presidents we ever had if it hadn’t been for that one unfortunate incident that I don’t want to talk about in case there are children watching.”
On 60 Minutes, November 14, 2010, about Obama’s performance, Rooney said, “The [Gallup] survey said that only 44 percent of us approve of President Obama’s performance. Well, I surveyed nine of my friends, and eight of them said they liked Obama but didn’t trust Gallup polls. As far as I’m concerned, Obama’s doing the best job he knows how, and it’s good enough for me.”