My somewhat bigoted mother got an email forward from an extended family member. This particular forward (which she called “great”) purports to have been penned by Andy Rooney. Things like

I like big cars, big boats, big motorcycles, big houses and big campfires.

I believe the money I make belongs to me and my family, not some governmental stooge with a bad comb-over who wants to give it away to crack addicts for squirting out babies.

I don’t think being a minority makes you a victim of anything except numbers. The only things I can think of that are truly discriminatory are things like the United Negro College Fund, Jet Magazine, Black Entertainment Television, and Miss Black America.

My father and grandfather shouldn’t have to die in vain so you can leave the countries you were born in to come over and disrespect ours. I think the police should have every right to shoot your sorry ass if you threaten them after they tell you to stop. If you can’t understand the word “freeze” or “stop” in English, see the above lines.

Urban Legends Reference Pages: Andy Rooney

I remember reading about it in late November. Parts of it were attributed to George Carlin in an earlier forward. “Andy Rooney didn’t write that,” I said. “It’s a hoax.”

Needless to say, she got angry. Why? I’m not sure, perhaps because without the big name attached to it, it’s just hateful invective disguised as honest patriotism. When I told her that Rooney had actually called the oft-attributed forward “detestable,” she seemed to get even angier, now that the commentator whom she had held up as a shining example of her worldview actually condemned it.

Nevermind the political differences involved here: those are in perpetuity. The lesson I hope she learned (but which she probably did not) is that e-mail forwards, regardless of what they espouse, are generally misleading, flat-out lies, or at least wrongly attributed.

For those of you who have never been to Snopes before, I highly recommend it, not only as an entertaining source for debunking old myths and stories, but a way to stay abreast of the latest scams, hoaxes, and fraudulent forwards.

§465 · December 14, 2004 · ·

6 Comments to “Andy Rooney isn’t a bigot”

  1. Jeff says:

    Everytime I hear about Andy Rooney, it’s someone complaining that he’s an liberal anti-Christian bigot.

    My parents don’t send me e-mail forwards, thankfully.

  2. ffanatic says:

    I never forward anything to anyone. Not worth my time.

  3. Andy says:

    Can’t say I disagree with all of it, although it is ignorant overall, especially parts of the 3rd graf.

    At any rate, the use of colloquialisms should have tipped her off that it wasn’t Andy Rooney. Anyway, what’s funny is that this particular extended family member sends the same e-mails about twice a year, or more. Furthermore, and I can’t verify this because I delete forwards as a general rule, the e-mail seems to be just a bit different every time. (e.g. I don’t recall the mention of Jet, BET, et al, in previous incarnations.) Not that I’m accusing her of doing the doctoring.

  4. Ben says:

    My mother’s general statement was “I hate [family member], but she sent this great email…” But such is the nature of email forwards: they’re far too easy to manipulate and change.

    Luckily, no one ever sends me chain letters. I think I’ve trained them not to. Plus, I don’t give my address out to just anyone…

  5. Lina says:

    I think I’m one of the few people who actually loves Andy Rooney. Seems like he’s the butt of a lot of jokes.

    And ugh, if your mother watched “60 Minutes” just once, she’d realize Rooney didn’t write that. Of course, if she watched “60 Minutes,” there are probably lots of things she’d realize. Maybe. Hopefully. :p

  6. Ben says:

    My mother watches Fox News, Liz. But you probably could have figured that out. She says they’re the only ones that report correctly, because (surprise!) all the other media outlets are commie liberal crap.

    It’s especially painful because she’s a smart woman, she really is. And the fact that she’s conservative doesn’t bother me so much as that she’s taken in by the faaar right crap slung by people like Bill O’Reilly or Ann Coulter (who’s article on the local paper yesterday accused the Democrats of being racist because they supposedly accused Clarence Thomas of being Scalia’s bitch and Rice of being incompetent.

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