To be short and simple: if you want to improve ratings among younger viewers (I'm a 28 year-old female), I recommend booting Andy Rooney. Week after week his segment has given viewers nothing more than an old man's ungrateful complaint about his privileged place in life. Opinions are fine and welcome even if I disagree with them, but Rooney doesn't even bother to be thoughtful beyond his own self interests. Such condescension is a shameful way to end what is an otherwise neutral and enlightening news program.
Between you and me, I bluffed a little on the "enlightening" part. Ed Bradley was the best thing they had going there and poof! No more. I slightly regret using the word "old" in there too. Anyway, I just received this response:
Thank you for taking the time to write. I assure you I will be sharing your comments with Mr. Rooney and the 60 MINUTES staff.
Funny thing is I just wrote another e-mail to them regarding this episode (be sure to watch the video to see what I'm talking about):
I've written 60 minutes about my personal distaste for Andy Rooney before (along the lines of his condescending tone and his thanklessness), but just thought I'd give a more concrete example of why I find it hard to take him seriously: this past Sunday Andy addressed sportswriters' columns and how he couldn't figure out what sport they were writing about anymore. All the while he's talking about this, the first article is posted for the viewers to see while he points out the article's faults. Of course what he didn't consider was the heading in bold print which specified "N.H.L." Seems pretty clear to me that we're talking about the National Hockey League and I've never watched a game. Unfortunately Andy's mistake doesn't reflect well on the editing staff either.
I don't know why I do it. I'm afraid I'm part of that Howard Stern phenomenon where I fit into that percentage of viewers who watch because I hate the show (particularly Andy Rooney's part). I don't have that same inclination with Bill O'Reilly...I hate the guy and I genuinely don't want him on the TV for longer than 0.000000000000000001 seconds. In fact, I find it hard to work out in a gym where someone turns him on, let alone Fox News.
Andy Rooney has been classified as a humorist, which I find the most shocking part. I understand condescension and ridicule in a comedy act because the comedy comes from the fact that the act is about condescension, ridicule, racism, or whatever the act is. But Andy isn't acting. There's nothing tongue-in-cheek about the "junk" he receives from viewers. He genuinely doesn't like receiving it and doesn't understand the humor of some of the gifts, themselves.