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Andy Rooney on the 2010 Census

By Ed O'Keefe


Andy Rooney, the famed "60 Minutes" curmudgeon/essayist/closer, added his voice to the confusion and criticism of the 2010 Census on Sunday night.

He seemed most interested and concerned about how American households will determine who serves as "Person 1" and "Person 2" on the census questionnaires.

"I suppose they think the man will put himself down as person number one," Rooney says in the video clip above. "Can you imagine what happens to the guy who puts himself down as person number one? He comes down to breakfast in the morning and his wife says, 'Good morning Person Number One. Can Person Number Two get Person Number One a cup of coffee?'"

It almost makes you want to watch repeats of "America's Funniest Home Videos" instead, doesn't it?

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 1, 2010; 10:00 AM ET
Categories:  Census  
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Comments

Andy Rooney is just being his contradictory self with those comments, as he must do on some topic every week. They aren't worth serious discussion. He of course has ignored that the census bureau must deal with households that are headed by two men or two women, not the usual male husband and female wife. I suspect he never thought of it.

Posted by: eggemoggin | March 1, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Andy must have run out of thoughts to waste expensive air time with that bit of trivia.

Posted by: LKauf81509 | March 1, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

This is what Andy Rooney does. We should be used to it by now. Andy Rooney is Andy Rooney and ever shall be. Remember the comment as to why blacks are superior basketball players? Got him in a world of trouble, but he survived.

Posted by: Kansas28 | March 1, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I am sure Andy still uses terms like "buggery."

Posted by: socaloralpleazer | March 1, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

And how is this different from filing taxes jointly? I'm the taxpayer, and my husband is the spouse, because I'm the one preparing the forms. If I do the census, you can bet I'll be Person #1.

Posted by: EinDC | March 1, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

I found Rooney's remarks amusing. Others apparently did not, but Rooney made only one real point. The critics seem to have missed it: he objected to the intrusiveness of government demands for information from us, and to the redundancy of these demands. Those both seem like valid objections to me. The rest of Rooney's essay was levity.

Posted by: Iconoblaster | March 1, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

I am sure that more women will be 'Person Number One'. Because women fill this stuff out, men don't.

Posted by: rjga13 | March 1, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

The only question I will answer is "How many people live at this address?". The rest of the things asked are none of the Federal Governments business.

Posted by: rwikert | March 1, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

"Andy Rooney is just being his contradictory self with those comments, as he must do on some topic every week. They aren't worth serious discussion. He of course has ignored that the census bureau must deal with households that are headed by two men or two women, not the usual male husband and female wife. I suspect he never thought of it."

And what of the myriad households comprised of a man in a latex raincoat and his much loved (and loving) chicken?

I suspect he never thought of them, either!

In his defense, he is getting old :D

Posted by: deadmanwalking | March 1, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

And, how will 'Person number 3', Person number 4', 'Person number 5", etc.,etc., be figured?

Posted by: markypolo | March 1, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Andy's unspoken question of what in the heck is the federal government going to do with all this information? Like Andy, I am not worried about any nefarious intent. I simply do not believe that the federal government has the means or the capabilities to do anything of value with the answers. In the meantime, billions will be spent to process the answers and yet nothing will ever be learned.

Posted by: djpiehl11 | March 1, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

The only requirement for the census is how many are in the household. other than that that's how my census will be returned

Posted by: mandinka2 | March 1, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

A little paranoia sure goes a long way these days.

Whatever could the big, bad government want with all that information?

In fact, this is the shortest census in U.S. history containing only 10 questions. Why so much invective about this particular one? After all, the US census has been happening every ten years since 1790 to determine populations, federal funding allocations, and the number of Representatives in congress.

Oh, I get it. Obama is going to use it to have us all put into indoctrination camps.

Thanks, Andy, for once again feeding the anti-government fervor. We know where you stand.


Posted by: RKwatcher | March 2, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

"I agree with Andy's unspoken question ... I simply do not believe that the federal government has the means or the capabilities to do anything of value with the answers. In the meantime, billions will be spent to process the answers and yet nothing will ever be learned."

djpiehl11, the next time someone from your area wants to accomplish something that is larger than local resources can afford, they will be using Census data to back up their request for resources. To say that nothing will be learned is simply mistaken. 10 questions cover basic demographic data, like age and ethnic background. Birthdate instead of age is requested because some cultures begin counting age at 1, not 0.

Yes, billions are being spent. Those dollars are going towards the wages of the unemployed who are hired on a temporary basis to complete a specific task. It is a welcome break for some from their unemployment that ends when they finish their task.

If Mr. Rooney had continued reading after the telephone question, he would have been able to see why it is requested: to clarify answers (or illegible handwriting).
...

"The only requirement for the census is how many are in the household. other than that that's how my census will be returned"

mandinka2, An enumerator will be by to assist you with filling out your form.

Posted by: Matthew408 | March 4, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

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