Old Wives' Tales
Radio & TV
Toxin du jour
Claim: Commentator Andy Rooney delivered a "the French have not earned the right to protest against the U.S." piece on TV's 60 Minutes.
Example: [Collected on the Internet, 2003]
Origins: Yes, the piece quoted above was delivered by Andy Rooney, the curmudgeonly commentator who closed every Sunday broadcast of television's 60 Minutes news magazine with a (typically sardonic) essay about some aspect of everyday life in our society that he finds irritating. On the
(For the record, Rooney briefly served as an artilleryman during
The transcript quoted above doesn't indicate the visual cues that accompanied Andy Rooney's essay on television; the following is a fuller version:
MORLEY SAFER: Tonight Andy reacts to the way France has reacted to President Bush's determination to once and for all put the kibosh on Saddam Hussein.On 4 November 2011, Andy Rooney passed away at the age of 92.
ANDY ROONEY: You can't beat the French when it comes to food, fashion, wine or perfume, but they lost their license to have an opinion on world affairs years ago. They may even be selling stuff to Iraq and don't want to hurt business. The French are simply not reliable partners in a world where the good people in it ought to be working together.
Americans may come off as international jerks sometimes, but we're usually trying to do the right thing. The French lost World
(Vintage newsreel footage; modern footage of schoolhouse)
ROONEY: (Voiceover) Along with the British, we got into the war and had about 150,000 guys killed getting their country back for them. We fought all across France, and the Germans finally surrendered in a French schoolhouse. You'd think that school building in Reims would be a great tourist attraction, but it isn't.
The French seem embarrassed by it. They don't want to call attention to the fact that we freed them from German occupation. I heard Steven Spielberg say the French wouldn't even let him film the
(Footage of cemetery)
ROONEY: (Voiceover) They want people to forget the price we paid getting their country back for them.
Americans have a right to protest going to war with Iraq; the French do not. They owe us the independence they flaunt in our face at the UN.
(Vintage newsreel footage)
ROONEY: (Voiceover) I went into Paris with American troops the day we liberated it,
When we go to Paris every couple of years now, I rent a car.
(Footage of Rooney driving in Paris)
ROONEY: (Voiceover) I drive around the Place de la Concorde, and when some French driver blows his horn for me to get out of his way, I just smile.
I say to myself, 'Go ahead, Pierre. Be my guest. I know something about this very place you'll never know.' The French have not earned their right to oppose President Bush's plans to attack Iraq. On the other hand, I have.
Last updated: 5 November 2011
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