“You know what really bothers me? It’s those people who write in and say, ‘Andy, I love your website, but isn’t it supposed to be about evolution? What’s with all the other stuff—the cats and the atheism?’
Well, to those people I say this: If you don’t like the place, there are plenty of other websites around, and many of them never mention Jesus or kittehs. This is America, you know, and you can not only vote, but you can vote with your feet. If you don’t like Cheerios, there’s a box of Raisin Bran nearby.
After all, I never told Don Hewitt how to run 60 Minutes.
And another thing. I’ve learned that there are people out there who run blogs but do it anonymously. Anonymously—get it? That means that they hide their identity from readers. Now when I first heard this I was astounded. After all, I’ve been a journalist for nearly seven decades, and the first thing you learn is that you stand behind your work—you take responsibility for what you say. And I’ve done that all my life, starting with my pieces in Stars and Stripes. I wasn’t ‘G.I. Joe,’ or ‘Writer X’—I was Andy Rooney.
Now you may not like what I say, but at least you know who to complain about when you don’t. As far as I can see, there’s only one reason for people to hide themselves like this. Fear. They’re afraid of what might happen to them if people knew who they were. It might hurt their chances of getting grants, or respect from their colleagues, or—that great sinecure of academics—tenure.
Here at CBS we have a word for people like this: cowards. Grow a backbone, for crying out loud! If you want to mouth off day after day, but do it while hiding behind a pseudonym, fine. But don’t expect me to mention your site, and don’t reference it in your comments. Okay?
Now who is this Lady Gaga, anyway?”