Oscar-winner George Clooney may make politically provocative films like "Syriana." But he doesn't write politically provocative blogs.
So imagine his ire when Arianna Huffington used some of his recent answers to political questions in a way that makes it look as if he wrote one for her Huffington Post blog site.
"He doesn't object to the quotes," says Stan Rosenfield, Clooney's rep. "He said those things and those are his views. Arianna asked for permission to use the quotes and he gave it to her. What he didn't give permission for was the use of his quotes without source attributions to make it appear that he wrote a blog for her site. Which he did not. When he saw the posting Monday, we called and asked her to make the change, to simply attribute the quotes and make it clear that he did not write a blog. But she refused. And it's now Wednesday."
Rather than keep waiting, Clooney got pro-active and issued this statement:
"Miss Huffington's blog is purposefully misleading and I have asked her to clarify the facts. I stand by my statements but I did not write this blog. With my permission Miss Huffington compiled it from interviews with Larry King and The Guardian. What she most certainly did not get my permission to do is to combine only my answers in a blog that misleads the reader into thinking that I wrote this piece. These are not my writings - they are answers to questions and there is a huge difference."
In the pulled-from-interviews quotes, Clooney criticizes the Democrats' failure to speak out about the Iraq invasion out of fear of being criticized for being unpatriotic.
And the "Good Night, and Good Luck" writer/director/star also invokes Edward R. Murrow: “When you hear Murrow say, ‘We mustn’t confuse dissent with disloyalty’ ... it’s like he’s commenting on today’s headlines.”
Or today's blogs.
I think it's misleading, because in my mind, George sat down and wrote a piece for the Huffington Post. She has cleared it up and I think George needs to talk to his publicist, but really, does it warrant this much fuss? I thought this was worth posting because there seems to be a continuing blur between entertainment and news. There is nothing wrong with actors having politcal views and a blog is the most approriate means to air those views, but news agencies picked this up and ran with it, making it appear as if Clooney was picking a public fight with his party. Yes, big difference.
On George Clooney's Blog - Huffington's response.
I AM A CELEBRITY, BY GEORGE CLOONEY
I am a celebrity. And I make no apologies for it. Hell, I'm proud of it.
In fact, I'm the son of a celebrity. As such, I'm part of a long line of Hollywood celebrities who confuse pretending to be somebody else on film with the assumption that anyone gives a shit about my opinion.
I'm a celebrity.
I have political ideas that are often found in high school juniors. Terms like "question authority" and "truth to power" speak to my soul--almost as much as the last Mariah Carey album. I'm a celebrity--and not just any celebrity, but a Hollywood celebrity. That means I've raised hypocritical behavior to spiritual dimensions. I fly all over the world--while blaming the current administration for global warming and high energy prices. I consider it my patriotic DUTY to criticize my government--I just can't quite bring myself to live here, preferring a lakeside estate in the socialist Paradise of modern Europe. I'm a celebrity.
Too many people run away from the label. They whisper it like you'd whisper "I'm a Nazi." Or "I'm a liberal." Like it's dirty word. But turn away from saying "I'm a celebrity" and it's like you're turning away from saying that Iraq was better off under Saddam Hussein, that America does more harm than good in this world, and that Communism wasn't really a bad thing. It's not like it killed anybody.
This is an incredibly polarized time to be a celebrity. But I find that,more and more, celebrities like me are trying to find things we can agree on.
And not just on how you shouldn't come in strippers.
Though, that is a good one.
For me, one of the things we absolutely need to agree on is the idea that we're all allowed to question authority. Why? Well, it makes me look good and feel good. Ever since my first starring role in Facts of Life, I have always fancied myself a rebel. And coming here, to the Huffington Post, to criticize the government -- well, if you believe that's not a courageous example of questioning authority - well then you sir are not a celebrity.
We also have to agree that it's not unpatriotic to be in love with yourself.
That's one of the things that drew me to making a film about Murrow. He reminds me of a great leader - and one that has been an inspiration to me,and probably an inspiration to others. I am refering of course, to myself.Make a movie that's critical of McCarthy? Well friends, that would take courage. Well, friends, I am full of it.
When you hear Murrow say, "We mustn't confuse dissent with disloyalty" and
"We can't defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home," it's like he's
commenting on today's headlines.
You know, as long as he reads the right headlines, which means the headlines in the New York Times or the Los Angeles Times. That helps us overlook the fact that Murrow was actually wrong about
everything--as wrong as Walter Duranty was when he was a New York Times correspondent covering up Stalin's genocide in Ukraine, or as wrong as Walter Cronkite was when he got scared in Vietnam,
misreported Tet and pronounced the war as "unwinnable" as a result.
What matters is what our friends think now.
Yes, it's true, there were many Communists in the US, and there were plenty in Hollywood. In fact, before Hitler broke the pact with Stalin, we celebrities were pacifists demonstrating against the war
while Nazis rounded up Jews. And it's also true that in the 20th century, 80 million people died because of Communism. We celebrities opposed anti-communism for the same reasons we opposed anti-Nazism. It feels good!
I left that part out of the movie.
By the way, my next movie is about banning DDT! DDT hurt some birds! But thanks to celebrities like me, DDT was banned and now millions of the poorest, weakest people in the world die every year. That takes real courage on their part!