July 9, 2005
UPDATED: George Clooney Appearance
UPDATE Saturday 9th:
and George Clooney
Waiting to hear George Clooney speak to the ONE campaign activists Wednesday morning at the Roxy Art House in Edinburgh, the last thing I expected was to hear George Clooney give George Bush higher marks than Bill Clinton. On anything.
But he did.
First he noted that the President’s speech last Saturday night was a “step in the right direction.” And then he commented that the Bush administration is “ahead of schedule on AIDS funding.” But he went even further by drily remarking that this was “better than the last President.” That President would be Bill Clinton.
Clooney’s presentation was very controlled and carefully calibrated. He didn’t appear to be particularly enthused about his assignment, but he was clearly designated as the tip of the spear in the Bono/Geldof charm offensive in their campaign to engage the Bush Administration, and more broadly the Right as a movement, with their African anti-poverty agenda.
Clooney made this agenda fairly specific, talking about “building bridges” and mentioning his upcoming appearance on Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network by joking and saying that “my parents will laugh.” The kids in the audience loved it.
The Pat Robertson tactic is serious. Robertson’s grand-daughter was present with the CBN team and Clooney greeted her heartily with “How’s your grandfather?”
Clooney provided even more evidence of the strictly disciplined on-message Positive Approach the ONE campaign is pursuing. The assembled media at the gathering were denied any opportunity to ask questions. Instead Clooney easily fielded questions from the activists who asked uniformly bland questions.
Activist Question: “How do we get media attention for our issues?”
Clooney Answer: “Marry someone famous.”
Irritated, George Arney from the BBC pushed forward at the end, shoved a microphone in Clooney’s face and asked about global warming. Waving off the event organizer’s protests, Clooney answered evenly: “We’re trying not to polarize people; we’re trying to pick our fights.”
Then he added a comment that I found very interesting for its insight into the Bono/Geldof strategy: “We have to let them [the Bush Administration] be good guys.”
Here’s why I thought Clooney wasn’t too thrilled with this approach: he fiddled with his fingers through much of the presentation.
George Clooney Fidgets
What was it like being a few feet from George Clooney? A little underwhelming actually. I couldn’t help thinking of Dolly Parton’s remark that “it takes a lot of money to look this cheap.”
George Clooney’s Shoes
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Elected politics for Clooney? “Run for office? No. I’ve slept with too many women, I’ve done too many drugs, and I’ve been to too many parties.”
More at Clooney’s fan club
Much of the pressure to take such action came from the One campaign — a massive anti-poverty effort that brought together such diverse personalities as actor George Clooney and CBN’s Pat Robertson.
Clooney and Robertson appeared on a recent “Nightline” together.
“George is a tremendous humanitarian,” Robertson said.
“Obviously, it’s rather strange bedfellows,” Clooney commented.
GOP Bloggers say G8 rewarded terrorism
The Clooney Network has more pics
The MovieBlog has analysis at Clooney on CNN