No News Is Good News

Andy Rooney Examines Local News For Signs Of Fear

A weekly commentary by CBS News Correspondent Andy Rooney:


Everyone in government, from the President on down, is advising us not to worry.

President Bush says, "a terrorism alert is not a signal to stop your life."

Apparently, it's working, too.

I got about 50 newspapers from all across the country and people don't seem worried - a lot of normal stuff is going on.

In New Jersey, the Ridgewood Symphony Orchestra will begin its 62nd season.

In Maine, at the Boothbay Country Club, you can play golf all day for $25 and you get the cart free.

There's lots of advice in the newspapers. People are apparently working on their homes: “A Fresh Coat of Paint Can Make Your House Look Like New.”

It isn't painting that's hard. It's scraping the old stuff off before you start painting.

Another headline:”Helpful Tips To Keep Children Very Busy on Rainy Days.”

It always seems as if the person giving advice like this probably never had any kids.

"Yarn Is Needed For the Knitting Group at the Senior Center on Center Street."

There are a lot of stories about unlikely characters in trouble. People complain that there's too much violence and bad news on television and in the newspapers. They complain but they can't get enough of it.

Viewers don't understand; it's usually only news if it's bad.

“Local Priest Indicted on Sex Charges:” Well, it wouldn't have been a story if the priest had just been hearing confessions.

“No Decision Yet in Rabbi Case:” The rabbi's accused of killing his wife. This is something rabbis don't do. It's different, negative. That's why it's a story.

In Chicago, a mailman was caught stealing checks.

Well, most of us would give the key to our houses to our mailman, so the story interests us.

People are still getting their pianos tuned.

Firemen answered 16 calls in Norwalk, Conn., last Wednesday. They didn't have time to worry about anything else.

In East Rutherford, N.J., there's a place where you can go and wash your dog for $20. They provide all the soap and stuff, and the proceeds go to a place that takes care of homeless Doberman Pinschers.

You wouldn't worry about anthrax, smallpox or nuclear bombs if you had homeless Doberman Pinschers to worry about.

There are quite a few dog problems in the papers. Three Rottweilers attacked someone's pigs. The police came and all the pigs had to be shot.

Paula Prouty writes a cooking column. She says November is the month that the sandwich is honored. I didn't know that.

So, that's the way it is, news of America. To tell you the truth, I don't think we're as scared as we ought to be.



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  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

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