Monday, January 07, 2008

Word Magic on 60 Minutes

I rarely watch 60 minutes because when I do, I almost invariably hear or see something so patently glib or glossy that I nearly explode. Last night, the TV ended up there for the last 10 minutes of the show, so I turned on the sound for Andy Rooney. He sometimes makes amusing comments amid his laconic meanderings. What I heard literally made my jaw drop.

He said, and I believe this fairly summarizes his words: "Jefferson" and "Roosevelt" were obviously presidential names, but what kind of a name is "Barak Obama" or "Mike Huckabee"?

Even if played as humorous, this amounts to a shameful glorification of Word Magic at its worst. Knowing that a goodly percent of his audience won't get his humor, I find it amazing that CBS allowed him to blather on like that. I hope they get a boatload of emails and letters, but I wonder if anyone else even noticed how stupid it sounds to say, in effect, "Washington and Lincoln had names that sounded presidential, but who would name an airport or a high school after somebody named 'Mitt Romney'?"

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