George Clooney: ‘It’s just fun to slap those bad guys every once in a while’


Just FYI, I would much rather cover THIS STORY at Variety which is the Queen’s Guard covering the Game of Thrones theme music. But this is what we get. George Clooney taking a victory lap because he likes to “slap those bad guys.” Seriously. I guess it’s smart – George picked a fight with The Daily Mail and instead of letting the controversy slip away, George is declaring victory and dancing a jig about it. George gave an interview to Variety, apparently conducted over the phone while he’s in Como, planning his wedding. George is SO weird these days, right? He literally just called Variety to talk about his fight with the Daily Mail.

“It’s just fun to slap those bad guys every once in a while, knock ‘em around,” George Clooney told Variety Friday about triumphing in his spat with British tabloid the Daily Mail… Clooney, the son of newsman Nick Clooney, has held journalism in high regard (as seen in his film “Good Night, and Good Luck”). So while he says he understands that some tabloids have always made things up, he is concerned about bigger issues than the Daily Mail’s lies about himself or even his family.

Speaking by phone from Lake Como in Italy, Clooney said “I would sit with my friends and we’d just go, ‘So they just sat at a computer and just went, “OK, this is what I’m gonna say today.” I mean, literally, because you just go ‘There isn’t literally an element of truth in this.’ You just laugh, and let it go. I’m used to it after all these years. But the thing that bothers me is how much the Daily Mail is now bleeding into American press and becoming a source for some pretty legitimate newspapers. So that’s the thing that worries me.”

“Those are really bad guys and they do tend to tee off on everybody,” said Clooney. “It’s fun when you can go, ‘Well, this one, I know I have all the facts right.’ Usually the argument is: ‘Hey, we’re not gonna tell you our source,’ and, ‘Prove it.’ And when they actually do it themselves it’s so great. You go, ‘OK, well you obviously just screwed this (up), so I think I can get you now.”

The actor-activist said he’s learned that he has to choose his battles, whether it’s choosing which atrocities in East Africa to spotlight or which lies out of London to object to. “That’s why you pick your fights at a tabloid. Every day they write things that aren’t true, but every once in a while they write something that is actually dangerous to your family, and it’s probably not true. And that’s the one you pick.”

Of his engagement to activist-lawyer-author Amal Alamuddin, Clooney quipped “I’m marrying up.”

[From Variety]

Sigh… as I said before, George had every right to bash the Daily Mail. He had every right to set the record straight. He had every right to file a lawsuit (but he didn’t). But I don’t understand why he’s still talking about this. It sort of feels like George is trying to strengthen his political/journalistic/intellectual credibility – with top human rights barrister Amal Alamuddin at his side, naturally – but at the end of the day, it’s kind of bad media management. Maybe I’m alone in thinking that.

By the way, I hope everybody saw Amal’s graduation photo – go here to see it. I’m not going to make fun of her for that stupid wig. I will make fun of Britain for still making barristers wear those stupid wigs though. I realize it’s “tradition” but enough already.


Photos courtesy of WENN.

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85 Responses to “George Clooney: ‘It’s just fun to slap those bad guys every once in a while’”

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  1. NewWester says:

    George should not gloat too much about winning this battle. I would bet money the Daily Mail and a few other tabloids are digging for more dirt or have some big story to publish close to the time he and Amul get married.

  2. marjalane says:

    Personally, I don’t think Clooney’s doing a thing to enhance his future “public image” in regards to politics or whatever. He was a lot more interesting when he kept his sh*t locked down. Now he just seems kind of strange and obnoxious.

  3. Snazzy says:

    I do love me some George but this is just getting annoying …

  4. Mia4S says:

    He’s getting annoying, but, he makes a good point about the Daily Fail bleeding into the Anerican press as a legit source. That’s awful. Just because it looks like a “real paper” doesn’t make it any less garbage.

    • Sixer says:

      If it is bleeding as a legit source, I agree. It’s bad enough we have the Fail; you Americans shouldn’t have to have it, too. And I do think it was a worthwhile one for George to get het up over. Made-up celebrity gossip is one thing; made-up celebrity gossip that is intended to mould into an unpleasantly hate-driven political agenda and spread distrust and suspicion is quite another.

      But here, George just sounds like a sanctimonious, up-his-own-orifice twerp. I hope he shuts up now. He could have retired from the fray occupying the moral high ground if he’d just left it where it was.

      • TG says:

        Hey I blame you guys on Celebitchy for my interest in The Daily Mail. I never went to that site but lots of folks on here always mention it so I started checking it out. I only look at the sidebar of celeb pics though. I don’t actually read it. The Daily Mail is good for getting lots of pics of celebs and at different views and angles and photos that regular tabloids won’t or don’t publish. I do laugh that the DM manages to find the worst most bizarre crime stories coming out of America. Where so they dig up these stories.

    • The Original G says:

      Unfortunately, he’s using this good point to be defensive about the idea that his mother in law might not totally approve of him.

  5. TheRealMaya says:

    Either George is going run for a seat in the parliament or he is going through a midlife crisis.

    PS: Amal really has gorgeous hair and I would love to know her secret.

    • Jem says:

      Running for office OR midlife crisis? Actually its likely both…

    • Sue says:

      Amal’s secret for gorgeous hair – be born into a family with gorgeous hair. It’s in the genes.

    • Faye says:

      I have a lot of Middle Eastern friends with hair just like that – long, dark, shiny, think, gorgeous. Maybe it’s a regional thing, in part. I am jealous! Takes a lot of smoke and mirrors to get mine looking anywhere near as good.

    • Ingrid says:

      Very typical hair among Indian & Pakistani women. MiddleEastern Arabs usually have wavy or curly hair. Amal seems to treat it a lot with products to relax it because it’s course; has highlights. Doesn’t seem naturally straight. Especially her photo at school showed curly hair.
      If any consolation to you, when I worked on Dubai, Arabs were in awe of my natural flaxen red hair. Not thick, but long and reflects light so shines. They thought it was like a silk veil; yet it’s very typical in North Eastern Europe & US. No one remarks much there.
      So you see, we always want what isn’t common.
      Amal’s hair reminds me of Amy Winehouse’s bouffant wigs.

  6. Belinda says:

    Daily Mail deserves all the bad press it can get and I dont care who or how its done. And yes, people (stupidos??) have began referring to it as a legitimate source. Like, “I wonder if there are more fatalities in Gaza. Let me check Daily Mail website”

  7. Lucy2 says:

    He’s right about this sort of false journalism bleeding into the mainstream, and that they deserve to be called on it when they blatantly make things.
    I do find calling another outlet to discuss this a little weird though.

  8. Mea Culpa says:

    I was a big Clooney fan back in his ER days. I never thought he was the greatest actor but I liked him – in interviews he always came across as very funny, down to earth and self deprecating. He seemed pretty down to earth and self aware and didn’t really appear to buy into a lot of the Hollywood BS.

    Now? He annoys me so much. He has become so cocky that he is unbearable to listen to most of the time. Smugness just seems to ooze from him. He always seems to be trying to pass himself off as some kind of intellectual heavy weight now too; he’s smart enough but not that smart and he’s not very articulate either. I mean calling up a magazine to gloat about beating the rag that is the Daily Mail? Seriously? It’s the British equivalent of the National Enquirer for god’s sake. It’s not like he has brought the New York Times to its knees.

    I guess it was easy to be a normal guy when you’ve just got your big break on television after years of struggling. Now that he is “Hollywood royalty” he has turned into an ass.

  9. Kiddo says:

    Kudos to Kaiser for photo-editing the smuggest pic of George imaginable.

  10. Faye says:

    Is anyone else surprised that he talks like a teenage Valley Girl. “We just went . . .we’re gonna” – multiple times. I’m surprised someone involved with all those causes isn’t a little more articulate.

    I know he was within his rights to tell of the DM, but the more he talks about this, the less I think of him. Remember when he used to be more aloof, more mysterious? It suited him better. With all these “People”-planted stories and his rants against the DM, he’s kind of heading into Tom Cruise territory. “I’m marrying up!” Good for you. Can’t you just get married quietly and ride off into the sunset, equally quietly?

    • frisbeejada says:

      He probably thinks it makes him sound cool – celebrities of a certain age seem to have the idea that speaking like a teenage air head will make them sound young ( Madonna’s another twerp that does this) – in reality it just makes him sound thick – when he really isn’t. He knows his business and he knows exactly how to stay in the public eye – is he morphing into the ageing, annoying male Madonna – who will do or say anything to be ‘relevant’?

  11. Panache says:

    Is it possible that he was talking to Variety about something else, i.e. an actual film, and they just excerpted this part of the conversation whilst the actual (more wide-ranging) interview will be released later? Because it would be really strange if he just spoke to Variety, a trade magazine, about his fight with a “newspaper” (for lack of a better term, the DM doesn’t actually feature news…). But then again, he has been behaving rather, eh, unusual of late.

  12. The Original G says:

    Well…. then just get twitter already, right.

    BTW, he’s looking ancient.

  13. Guest says:

    Clooney is a hypocrite of massive proportions. I work in entertainment PR and Clooney is one of the worst for staging PR shots and his fiance is proving to be just as bad while Amal’s so-called journalist mother, Baria, is possibly worse than both of them. For example:

    There are pictures of Amal out to lunch with Daily Mail reporters since this ‘engagement’ and a photographer who Tweeted that he got a call to photograph Amal with the information of where she would be and at what time (doubt it was the only one, since there have been too many pap stroll of Amal to count in the past few months). There have also been numerous Daily Mail pieces that go on and on and on about Amal’s mother’s resemblance to Elizabeth Taylor since this engagement — and three guesses as to whose journalist mother planted those stories.

    So, if Clooney wants to go after tabloid sources he needs to look at his own family-to-be.

    And that doesn’t even get into how Clooney, himself, has had an over the top circus-like PR rollout of this engagement complete with constant staged photos, including a cover spread on People Magazine with professional lighting of the ring and paps that managed to hound him on a remote safari.

    So, there are sometimes victims of an intrusive press but Clooney most definitely is not one of them and neither are his exposure hungry bride and possibly even more exposure thirsty mother in law to be. And it is doubtful he doesn’t know that since that is probably a large part of what is in it for all of them out of this whole ‘marriage’.

    And what Clooney is counting on is people not being informed about this and saying, “Poor George”, while he milks it for exposure over and over and over and over again with faux outrage. Well, he’s not poor. And he’s definitely not a victim of the media, he’s a manipulator of it.

    • Christin says:

      Interesting. I recall those very complimentary stories about the two women.

    • don't kill me i'm french says:

      Some persons here yet noted about how his engagement and all this love story looks a RP stunt.How HER office confirmed the engagement.How she was photographed every day.How People mag seemed well-informed.How he constantly is in the gossip since 3 months . How Amal ‘s style is better since their engagement and how she’s skinner also.

    • siri says:

      He might not be stupid, but he’s not smart enough to play the press- but I believe he thinks he can, being the son of a journalist. He really seems to be too full of himself to understand they won’t ever play by HIS rules. But that is what he likes the most- control about his carefully crafted image. Unfortunately, he went over the top with this engagement thing, and I also think there are quite a few people in his/her environment who simply love to leak some details. I also agree about her/her mother- they simply LOVE the attention. But also they cannot control what later comes out of some ‘careful leaking’. I think you observed very well- neither Clooney, nor Amal or her family, are victims. And what I really dislike is, how they managed to make his former girlfriends look like ‘underachievers’ by putting Amal on a throne professionally. The only truthful sounding sentence in his whole blabla is: “I’m marrying up.” But exactly that might be a problem later on.

      • abby says:

        Yes, the “marrying up” thing – even as a quip – really bugged me because we know how much has been made of how Amal is more “worthy” of George compared to his previous girlfriends.
        Hey, I never followed his previous ladies much but from the little I knew, a few of them were independent, self-supporting before George entered their lives. ok. they weren’t “activist-international barristers” but hey, it’s not like they were living in their parents’ basement for free. And that’s not a knock against Amal, I gather her living arrangement is more cultural than anything but seriously, why degrade the previous ladies?
        And for the record, George chose who he wanted. it isn’t as though Sarah Larson and the wrestler held a gun to his head. As Tina F. and Amy P. so aptly noted, the only thing stopping George from being with an age-appropriate, so called “worthy” woman was George himself. So if we are to conclude, at least according to the media, that George was previously with a few “lesser” women, then who really is at fault for that?
        Please. Those ladies were exactly what George wanted at the time. Now, I don’t know what Clooney is cooking up with Amal but he clearly thinks he needs someone of her pedigree to achieve it.
        Maybe it’s love, imagine that.
        But the cynic in me isn’t buying it.

      • Jen2 says:

        @abby. The whole thing with making Amal “his level” has irritated me from the beginning. He chose the women he dated, wined and dined them and showed them off to his friends. They did not hold him hostage, HE made the choice. And now to indirectly berate them by elevating this new one is so offensive, but no one calls him on it. He just gets op eds in USA today or an interview in Variety to stroke his ego even more. And I agree that the DM was doing a bang up job of telling the world how smart, stylish and basically wonderful Amal is with the near daily pap walkabouts. Why were they the ones his crazy Aunt spoke to with photos and all of the family event–who arranged and approved that.

        The pap who happened into the restaurant to take the perfectly lit photo of the ring was cringeworthy, and the oh so romantic close-ups of them on safari (Oy vey!!)–but again, no one questioned George or the obvious set ups. The entertainment press laps it all up and gives him exactly what he wants and his head just seems to get bigger. I have liked George and respected him, but this engagement dance has been a bit too much for me.

    • Faye says:

      I believe this 100%. I wonder what her game is, though. Why this publicity? How does it serve her career?

    • frisbeejada says:

      ‘Clooney is a hypocrite of massive proportions’ yes you nailed it that’s exactly what he is…

    • Madi says:

      Do you have a link as to what photographs you are referring to that you say are Daily Mail journalists? I have only seen her photographed having lunch with friends once where she was wearing the pink dress. If that is the photographs you are referring to they are not Daily Mail journalists but Doughty Street barristers one being Sam Jacobs.

  14. Sandy says:

    I have never been a George Clooney fan and there was always plenty to criticize insofar as his personal life and it’s very controlled dissemination to the press. However, I think his greatest public appeal was his mystery. With all the hype about Amal, and the publicity blitz they’ve engaged in, as well as the very public fight with the Daily Mail, the mystery is gone. He seems old and cranky. I hope he’s in love, because he seems to be giving up an awful lot to be with this woman.

  15. Francis says:

    Did anyone see the story of Simon Cowell, going off because someone is saying they had info he’s gay?
    For some reason story made me think of George boy. :)

  16. cody says:

    George really lives in a bubble and the more isolated he gets the more full of himself he becomes.

  17. Hissyfit says:

    Let it go grampa. Let it go.

  18. MinnFinn says:

    This quote makes me wonder — “…but every once in a while they write something that is actually dangerous to your family, and it’s probably not true. And that’s the one you pick.”

    The intriguing bit is “…and it’s probably not true.” – Slip of the tongue are scripted? I can’t decide.

  19. Kenny Boy says:

    It’s his right to correct slanderous stories and all, but I could do without the crowing and the self-righteous tone.

  20. MinnFinn says:

    Another thing that intrigues me that I can’t decide is how much plastic surgery Amal has had done. For sure nose, probably boobs and maybe chin implant. Thoughts?

  21. Miss M says:

    As my boss would say : he has too much time on his hands.
    Go do something useful, George!
    He wants to be taken seriously, but the more he talks the longer he proves to be a joke. Basically, he’ s been a joke for the past 3 months or so…

  22. abby says:

    hmm, on the one hand, George has a point about tabloid journalism bleeding into mainstream journalism. But this is hardly new or surprising. The Daily Mail is not the only outlet guilty of that. I hope George is prepared to call out other outlets.

    On the other hand, this is yet another example of George being rather juvenile. The thing with Fabio and the pictures, the alcohol-fueled argument with the Obama detractor that led to numerous op-eds about who was more drunk and who was the greater a$$hole. Now calling out the Daily Mail to defend Amal’s family’s honor or whatever (which I agree was important) but the smugness of it all. Ok George, you won the argument and public support – let it go now. Either sue the DM or be quiet. But dragging this out and going on and on about it?

    My goodness, can you imagine when George and Amal have an argument? And that’s not if but when, because at some point they will disagree about something. And considering her much touted education and professional background, it’s only a matter of time.
    Unless of course, she’s signing on to be a Stepford wife and their prenup demands that she “smile and agree with George about everything.”
    Seriously though, George does not strike me as someone who can hold a strong point of view, and appreciate the equally strong but opposite point of view of their partner, and find a compromise to live peacefully. Even if that compromise is to agree to disagree.

    Anyway, whatever is going on with George – political ambitions, mid-life crisis or whatnot – this PR game has gotten tiresome. Just marry your woman and hush. Return to the low profile that we have come to expect from you outside award season, please.

  23. Racer says:

    The DM also ran a story about him marrying Amal simply for political aspirations. Why is he not diving on a sword to prove that theory false.

    There is not enough money or fame that would tempt me to shackle myself to a man like him indefinitely. I can just imagine the epic self serving rants he propbably embraces on a daily basis. Seriously George, STFU.

  24. eliza says:

    Let there be no mistake, this artful publicity hound LOVES these mini scandals to keep himself relevant. He tries too hard to be “above it all”.

  25. vava says:

    I like George and I think it’s great he’s going after tabloids that lie about him. He’s free to talk about it as much as he wants, IMO. People have a choice whether or not they want to read it.

  26. aqua says:

    Well,hopefully soon after the wedding they will both ride off into the sunset together.Not to be seen or heard from again. Wishful thinking perhaps?

  27. itsnotthatserious says:

    Oh George shut up already. Whatever celebrity that I have disliked have always been embraced by the public that I wondered how I am one of few people that see through their bullsh.t. I have always seen his smug, self serving pr famewhore that he is but the gossip blogs and the media in general made him out to be this Cary Grant incarnate, but like the saying goes “you can fool some of the people some of the time, you can even fool some people all the time but you can’t fool all the people all the time.”

    People are finally starting to see who he is.

  28. Sara says:

    He’s really become unbearable.

  29. Dari says:

    All a smoke screen so the press won’t publish the stories on her family. He had to be held up at that recent dinner in Como, only one place dared to publish the pictures, so all a smoke screen for his increased drinking while in this relationship.

  30. aqua says:

    While I agree with the comments above about his choosing to be with all of his previous girlfriends and the constant bashing of them in the media and on line have been overkill, and yes they are every bit deserving of a commitment.I have a bit of a different take on his “Marrying Up” comment. I don’t think it’s in reference to the other women, but maybe he’s talking about himself,a compliment to his fiancee.He may not be comparing his fiancee to the other woman he has chosen not to marry.He could simply be saying that she Amal is better than he is.

    • siri says:

      Sure, it’s not a reference to previous girlfriends, it’s all about him, as usual:-) But, did you ever hear anyone talk about his/her upcoming marriage like this? If you want to make a compliment to your partner, you could simply say: ‘I’m gonna marry a person that’s so much better than me.”, or anything in that area. This comment, however, sounds pretty class conscious, and unemotional to me.

  31. Gypsy says:

    Way to go George, let them know that when they lie there are people who will punch back.
    I like that kind of bravery, forget about career and friendly articles, one shouldn’t suffer liars, and let the world know they are liars.

    I too hate liars so, George is my hero.

  32. pwal says:

    The problem is that the press has tossed George’s salad for so long that he hasn’t mastered the drop mic and exit stage left yet. Plus, he honestly doesn’t know to talk about himself in his usual Clooney way anymore, since that Fey/Poehler slam. He can’t handle seeing himself in the reflection of the public’s side-eying eyes.

  33. SamiHami says:

    Of course he’s marrying up. He makes his living playing pretend and reciting words that other people have written for him. She’s highly educated and speaks three languages. Frankly, I don’t get what she sees in him. Yeah, he’s a pretty boy but that’s not enough to sustain a relationship.

  34. Forthelasttime says:

    “And I’d go… And we’d go… And they’d go…” Jeeze… Listen to yourself Clooney! You sound like a 9 year old! Shut it!