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Rooney draws ire of ‘Passion’ fans

‘60 Minutes’ star called Gibson, Robertson ‘wackos’
/ Source: The Associated Press

Andy Rooney set the phone and e-mail lines at CBS buzzing over his commentary — in which he said God was speaking through him — calling Mel Gibson and the Rev. Pat Robertson “wackos.”

CBS said Monday it received its heaviest audience response to a “60 Minutes” report since Rooney’s commentaries on the Iraq war last spring.

The network wouldn’t specify how many calls or e-mails were received. “60 Minutes” spokesman Kevin Tedesco said it was “several times the normal feedback.”

On Sunday’s broadcast, Rooney commented on Robertson’s January statement that he believes God has told him that President Bush would be re-elected in a “blowout” in November.

Rooney said God had spoken to him, saying, “I wish you’d tell your viewers that both Pat Robertson and Mel Gibson strike me as wackos.”

“They’re crazy as bedbugs, another earthly expression,” Rooney said, quoting God. “I created bedbugs. I tell you, they’re no crazier than people.”

Rooney showed clips of Gibson talking to ABC’s Diane Sawyer about Gibson’s film “The Passion of the Christ.”

Robertson didn’t seem too upset about the commentary on Monday.

“Mel Gibson has, without a doubt, created the finest motion picture on the life of Christ of all time,” he said. “I am very happy to be linked by Andy Rooney to a talented genius of the order of Mel Gibson.”