Jeremy's Weblog

I recently graduated from Harvard Law School. This is my weblog. It tries to be funny. E-mail me if you like it. For an index of what's lurking in the archives, sorted by category, click here.

Sunday, December 01, 2002

I was just watching 60 Minutes (yes, I'm really 75 years old...) and literally cringed at something Andy Rooney said during his commentary at the end. He was talking about newspapers -- and I'm not really sure what his point was -- he had about a dozen newspapers spread across his desk and he had a couple of comments about each one. "Here in the Asbury Park Press was an article about a woman who dressed up her twin daughters in costume and sent them to rob a bank... I wonder what her husband does for a living." And one of the last ones he had was a college newspaper from the University of Virginia -- the headline and byline were called out on the screen -- "Taking a Stand for Good Writing" by Jeffrey Eisenberg. And I thought to myself, "wow, what a lucky kid, his college newspaper article's on national television.

And Andy Rooney said: "And here in the Daily Cavalier, a newspaper at the University of Virginia, a student wrote an article all about good writing. And it's written badly."

And I literally cringed. Regardless of whether the article's good or not -- I found it on the web here but I haven't read it yet, so I have no idea if it's good or not -- what right does Andy Rooney have to embarass a college student on TV like that? He's not a professional journalist, and even if the article sucks, so does most of what's in any college paper. I really, genuinely feel bad for the writer. I mean, millions of people watch 60 Minutes. It just doesn't feel right to me. Maybe it just hits close to home because of my law school newspaper column -- I certainly wouldn't want Andy Rooney telling the world I write badly, whether or not it's true. I have to wonder if I'm overreacting, or if this is really going to turn into a story. I'll check the UVA newspaper tomorrow and the next day to see if there's any mention...

Edited to add: The article's from January 2002. The rest of the articles Rooney talked about were about recent events -- the oil tanker spill near Spain, John Kerry's exploratory committee for President -- so why would he pick this UVA article from 11 months ago? The last article this guy wrote, incidentally -- but I imagine that's just a coincidence. I'm baffled. At the very least, the fact that the article's so old means that Andy Rooney's careless to include it. But I wonder if there's more than that? I'm a little baffled. And, yes, I know this isn't worth the time I've spent thinking about it...