Night, Night , <i>Nightline</i>?

Andy Rooney Knows Who Watches What Show

A weekly commentary by CBS News Correspondent Andy Rooney:


The papers have been full of it this week. David Letterman may leave CBS and replace Ted Koppel and “Nightline” at ABC.

ABC is worried because surveys show that while about as many people watch Koppel as watch Letterman, Letterman's audience is younger and that's what advertisers want.

We're sympathetic because surveys show that young people don't watch 60 Minutes either.

I've taken my own, unofficial survey:

The average IQ of the people who watch "Nightline" and "60 Minutes" is 34 points higher than the people who don't watch.

My survey also indicates that the people who watch David Letterman and Jay Leno stay up two hours and nine minutes later than people who go to bed at a reasonable hour.

The reason they stay up late is, 37 percent of them don't get up and go to work in the morning because they don't have jobs. They don't have money to buy the stuff in the commercials, either.

The people who stay up late to watch Ted Koppel don't have to get up early because they're the bosses and they can come to work any damn time they feel like it.

David Letterman's show is on at 11:30 but he tapes it at 5:30 in the afternoon. The reason is simple. Letterman is smarter than 94 percent of his audience and at 11:30 at night, he's home watching “Nightline.”

If CBS loses David Letterman, maybe they could replace him with Congressional hearings. The best thing on television recently has been those Enron hearings.

Jeffrey Skilling, former head of Enron was a witness. If someone says they don't remember, you can't argue with him.

Skilling: "In my recollection.. All of my recollection is.. my only recollection of it.. my recollection that.. vaguely recollect going to Joe and saying.. don't recall that specifically...don't recall that.. my recollection.. don't recall that exact date.. I do specifically recall.. I just recall my."

Skilling knows we don't like accountants, too, so he kept saying he wasn't one.

Skilling: "Quite frankly...I will state right now that I am not an accountant...to be quite frank...I am not an accountant...quite frankly...again I'm not an accountant...quite frankly...I'm not an accountant...quite frankly, I don't know...I'm not an accountant."

I never believe anyone is being frank who keeps saying "frankly."

Skilling may be innocent but it seems wrong that a shoplifter who steals a $10 scarf can go to prison when the president of a bank can steal $10 million with a bookkeeping trick and never get locked up.

And one last statistic in my survey: the average age of prisoners in the United States is 33, so they don't watch 60 Minutes either.

CBS
  • David Kohn

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