I would be remised not to say something about the late Andy Rooney, especially with this month’s theme being ‘truth’; because no matter what you think Rooney spoke truth as he saw it.
Tag phrases are often associated with news personnel such as “Have you ever wondered why ___________?”, words spoken during Rooney’s commentary on the ’60 Minutes’ CBS news program from 1978 – October 2011. One of the commentaries he asked, “Have you ever wondered why there is cotton in over the counter medicine bottles?” Or most recently before retiring trying to figure out whether the new larger fast food ketchup containers are better. There were also more serious situations mainly during the Oklahoma City bombing as well as discussing events of September 11, 2001. He spoke heatedly about the hatefulness of people who would place a bomb under a daycare center and subsequently purposely fly an airplane into buildings.
It is hard to remember now that there have been some controversial statements regarding homosexuals or racial issues in relation to Native Americans and Hispanic athletes made by Rooney. What is lost is that during the 1940’s he was arrested for riding in the back of a public bus in protest to the laws of the time. Yes that is correct the law prohibited non-blacks from riding in the back of a bus as well as blacks from riding in the front of the bus. In addition, he indicated his pride in living in a country where a black man was elected as President on his merit and the fact that he was the better candidate.
For me Rooney, was someone who looked like a disheveled professor that spouted opinions on various subject matter. He did it with such ease and dry humor you forgot that he was a dedicated news professional. Above all you can say that Rooney spoke his truth, the things he thought and often that we the viewer thought he said. Even though he retired in October of this year, it always seemed that he might drop in from time to time and sprout some wisdom. He was very much the cherry on top of the Sunday evening news program ’60 minutes’ and sent us into the workweek with a laugh and something on which to ponder. Thank you Andy Rooney for always speaking your truth.