[bit.listserv.gaynet] Rooney Tunes


This morning's New York Times has a long article about Andy Rooney being
suspended for three months from CBS news for alleged anti-black and
anti-gay remarks.

The Times quotes him as saying "Many of the ills which kill us are
self-induced. Too much alcohol, too much food, drugs, homosexual
unions, cigarettes. They're all known to lead quite often to premature
death." This was on a December CBS special called "The Year with Andy
Rooney." In a letter to the Advocate, a gay paper in Los Angeles,
Rooney in a half-hearted attempt to apologize stated, "AIDS is a
largely preventable disease, and I expressed the opinion that there is
a growing public resentment about being taxed to pay for the health
care of people suffering from self-inflicted diseases."

Mayor Dinkins of New York City made some interesting remarks. "In my
mind, Mr. Rooney's unwillingness to disavow his anti-gay remarks
taints the credibility of his denial of racist comments about
African-Americans. I find it difficult to believe that an individual
who is apparently willing to embrace prejudice toward one group would
not be capable of making prejudicial comments about another. Before he
is reinstated, CBS News ought to be certain it will not be embarrassed
by Mr. Rooney in the future."

As a gay man with advanced HIV disease, all I can say is that Rooney
sounds like a bigot to me. I surely didn't know what caused AIDS years
ago when I caught the virus. Now that I'm ill, I knock myself out
taking care of myself. Rooney is prejudiced and Dinkins is right to
label prejudice for what it is!