A weekly commentary by CBS News Correspondent Andy Rooney:
It's always difficult to apologize for something you've said that's offended someone, because usually you don't think you have anything to apologize for.
If you do apologize, it's just as a courtesy, or because you think it's the smart thing to do for your own good. You know, the murderer apologizes in court to the victim's family hoping to get leniency from the judge -- something like that.
People are always saying they're sorry when they aren't sorry at all. This morning, getting off the elevator, a fellow getting on didn't wait for me to get off and bumped into me. Instinctively, I said "Sorry!" Well, I wasn't sorry. It was his fault and HE should have been sorry.
Two weeks ago, President Bush made some remarks that I commented on.
This is an enemy that thinks its harbors are safe, Bush said. But they won't be safe forever.
I pointed out that Afghanistan is landlocked. It doesn't have a harbor.
A lot of people were mad, a few liked it.
"If he really thought Bush meant seaports, Andy must think 'wildlife preserves' are breakfast jams." -- George Leonard.
"If you didn't know the meaning of Safe Harbor, you probably think that the Underground Railroad had tracks." - Dale Sweeney.
"Your commentary at the end of the 60 Minutes program would have been greatly improved had it come a few minutes later. By that, I mean shortly after the program ended." -- Howard Deane.
"You really annoyed me tonight." -- Peggy Hansen.
"I hope you trip on your fat blabbing mouth and break your neck." -- Connie Williams.
"Shame on you!" -- Kerry DeWitt.
"It is one thing to be wrong about something. It is another to insist you are right when reality suggests otherwise." Good letter. -- Ling Wong.
"Your comments didn't serve the country or your reputation for integrity of the spirit." -- William Grant.
"I am thankful that we are blessed to have an adult handling this situation and not the adolescent who occupied the White House for the past eight years." -- Sheila Ford.
And those are just some of the nicer letters. I was on the Don Imus radio show - which is televised - and he disagreed.
Imus: Now, Charles and I didn't agree with you on the second one, not that it makes any difference on what we agree with you about.
Rooney: The harbors thing, the harbors thing.
Rooney: Well, do you think he was speaking metaphorically?
The producer of 60 Minutes thought I was wrong. But he never refuses to let me make a fool of myself if I insist, and I insisted. Look: George W. Bush is your president and he's my president.
I feel bad about what I said, and I apologize for saying it.
Please don't harbor a grudge.
And next time I get off an elevator, I'll be more careful.
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