Rooney: Newspapers Are Great!

But What's This About Fried Turkey?

A weekly commentary by CBS News correspondent Andy Rooney.


Newspapers are better than they used to be. Editors are better, reporters are better.

People don't have a high regard for anyone in the news business ,but I do. Most of them are more interested in their work than in the money and you can't say that about people in many businesses.

The Burlington Free Press has a story about shooting deer with a bow and arrow. Hunting deer with a rifle is one thing but shooting at anything with a bow and arrow is barbaric. Imagine all the places you could hit a deer with an arrow and not kill it.

The Atlanta Journal had a story before Thanksgiving about deep frying a turkey. Why in the world would anyone deep fry a turkey? We have a 23- or 25-pound turkey. How much oil would it take to cover a 25-pound turkey? Five gallons? It would probably be better with butter, too. I can imagine Martha Stewart deep frying a turkey in five gallons of melted butter.

The President of Emory University is resigning. The story says how good he was - he made Emory bigger. I don't know why colleges are so determined to get bigger. They keep asking their alumni to give so they can put up more buildings. Some day I'd like to get a letter from my college saying they've decided to get smaller and don't need any more money.

There are two terrible stories you see about twice a year.

One is about the oil tanker from Liberia or the Bahamas that's broken in two spilling 100,000 barrels of oil, and ruining the beaches and killing all the birds and fish. The other story is about some disease brought in from a foreign country that's killing trees.

The Asbury Park Press has a story about a woman who put masks on her twin 14-year old daughters and sent them in to rob a bank. She must be a wonderful mom. I wonder what her husband does for a living?

A woman who inherited a lot of the money from the Eli Lilly pharmaceutical company has given $100 million of it to a poetry magazine. I haven't understood poetry since they changed the rules so it doesn't have to rhyme anymore. They call it free verse. Robert Frost said "Writing free verse is like playing tennis with the net down."

I'm happy for Poetry magazine but maybe this woman should have thought about giving the money back to some of the people who paid too much for Eli Lilly's products in the first place.

The Cavalier is the newspaper of the University of Virginia. Here's an article by a student about good writing that's badly written. I cringe when I think of all the bad writing I did for my college newspaper.

I read the sports pages first and the important stories later - I mean, if I have time.

Someone named Dusty Baker just signed a contract for $14 million to manage the Chicago Cubs. How much difference would it make if the manager of a baseball team stayed home one day? You know, it's like the conductor of a symphony orchestra. The musicians would keep playing whether someone was up there waving his arms at them or not.

I'd like to have a newspaper edited just for me. It would only have stories in it that I wanted to read.
  • David Kohn

Comments