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Andy Rooney, Joan Didion, and the Aging Cultural Critic

Increasingly, Rooney's ire was directed at a nation of people who looked less and less like him.


Andy Rooney, who for 30 years capped CBS news magazine 60 Minutes with his sweeping commentary on everything from his inability to understand Usher to his perplexing number of shoes, died this weekend at age 92. He never stopped critiquing the world around him. As a new generation of cultural commentators reflects on Rooney's legacy, let's remember to avoid following his example.

"People have often told me I said the things they are thinking themselves. I probably haven't said anything here that you didn't already know, or have already thought," Rooney said in his final 60 Minutes segment on October 2. "That's what a writer does," he continued. "There aren't too many original thoughts in the world. A writer's job is to tell the truth."

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