The Laugh Factory Welcomes Andy Rooney

Big News from the Associated Press: Andy Rooney is not a bigot. As the AP notes, a commentary supposedly written by Rooney that includes "anti-minority statements" has been floating around the Internet. Rooney didn't write the commentary, and he doesn't like that it's been attributed to him. "I suppose it's not important, but I hate the fact that people think I've been writing these things," Rooney told the AP. "That's hurtful to me."

Fair enough. Here's the odd thing about the story, though: These fake Rooney commentaries have been around forever, and they've been known to be fake for almost as long. Witness this entry on Snopes, a site that debunks urban legends, which notes that the alleged Rooney commentary is false. Then there's this piece from April 10th in TV Week, in which Rooney complained about a false commentary on older women that has been emailed around. (He calls it "embarrassing" and "infuriating.") Most important, however, is this: A real Rooney commentary from the Oct. 23, 2005 edition of "60 Minutes." Here's Andy:

A lot of people have written to ask if I really wrote some things on the Internet that have my name on them. The answer, briefly, is no I didn't.

A saccharine collection of comments called 'ANDY ROONEY ON OLDER WOMEN' has had wide circulation. I was pleased by how many people wrote to say they didn't believe I wrote it.

There's a collection of racist and sexist remarks on the Internet under a picture of me with the caption 'ANDY ROONEY SAID ON 60 MINUTES.' If I could find the person who did write it using my name I would sue him.

Seeing as Rooney debunked these false commentaries over a year ago, in front of a nationally televised audience, it is curious that the AP felt that this was a worthwhile story today. Maybe what with Kramergate, as well as another race-related scandal, this one involving a different famous Andy, someone felt that the time was right to trot out this small piece of non-news. In any event: Andy Rooney, still not a bigot. Tell the kids.