George Clooney is cooler than you. He's cooler than all of us. There are really no two ways about that.
He may be the last true movie star our culture has produced. If you're a woman, there's a good chance you get weak in the knees at the very sight of him and if you're a man you probably bow before his lifetime of getting more impressive ass than the common-area couch at a Delta Gamma house. He's politically active, but not so much that it's obnoxious, meaning that he makes his views known but he's smart enough to exercise restraint because he understands that as one of the Hollywood elite any attempt at political grandstanding could be a detriment rather than a benefit to his cause or candidate. It's for this reason that when he does talk about something serious, people tend to listen.
What Clooney also has the stature to do is shame those who've earned it. Back in 2007, he confronted a member of the paparazzi who had almost hit him and his girlfriend as they were riding on a motorcycle, all so that the photographer could get a picture. The whole thing was caught on video, with Clooney sternly but non-belligerently dressing-down the person who'd almost run him off the road a moment before. He actually got an obsequious apology from the photographer by the end of it all.
Now he's taken on the Daily Mail. Yesterday, USA Todaypublished a statement by Clooney eviscerating a recent story in the British tabloid which claimed that the mother of his fiancée, Amal Alamuddin, didn't approve of her daughter's upcoming marriage to him. The reason: religious grounds.
Here's some of what Clooney had to say:
I seldom respond to tabloids, unless it involves someone else and their safety or well being. The Daily Mail has printed a completely fabricated story about my fiancée's mother opposing our marriage for religious reasons. It says Amal's mother has been telling "half of Beirut" that she's against the wedding. It says they joke about traditions in the Druze religion that end up with the death of the bride.
Let me repeat that: the death of the bride.
First of all, none of the story is factually true. Amal's mother is not Druze. She has not been to Beirut since Amal and I have been dating, and she is in no way against the marriage — but none of that is the issue. I'm, of course, used to the Daily Mail making up stories — they do it several times a week — and I don't care. If they fabricate stories of Amal being pregnant, or that the marriage will take place on the set of Downton Abbey, or that I'm running for office, or any number of idiotic stories that they sit at their computers and invent, I don't care.
But this lie involves larger issues. The irresponsibility, in this day and age, to exploit religious differences where none exist, is at the very least negligent and more appropriately dangerous. We have family members all over the world, and the idea that someone would inflame any part of that world for the sole reason of selling papers should be criminal.
Well, not only has the Daily Mail taken down the story -- in response to Clooney's public shaming it's issued a full apology for ever running it in the first place.
The MailOnline story was not a fabrication but supplied in good faith by a reputable and trusted freelance journalist. She based her story on conversations with a long standing contact who has strong connections with senior members of the Lebanese community in the U.K. and the Druze in Beirut. We only became aware of Mr. Clooney's concerns this morning and have launched a full investigation. However, we accept Mr. Clooney's assurance that the story is inaccurate and we apologize to him, Miss Amal Alamuddin and her mother, Baria, for any distress caused.
The Mail says it intends to reach out personally to Clooney and give him the chance to set the record straight.
I think it's safe to say he already has.