George Clooney’s way with words is even better than his hair.
The Hollywood actor and silver fox has just publicly defended his future mother-in-law from slander in the tabloids. In a fierce open letter published by US Today, Clooney slammed The Daily Mail for printing what he claims are lies about his fiancee Amal Allumuddin’s mother.
Just as Clooney intended, most of the developed world has paused whatever they were doing to read this rather eloquent letter. Oh George, is there anything you can’t do?
Just yesterday, the Daily Mail ran a story claiming Amal’s mother did not approve of her daughter’s impending marriage to Clooney — and that she wanted her to marry someone in a Lebanese sect. They quoted an apparent ‘friend’ of Amal’s mother, who ‘said’ that she had been telling ‘half of Beirut’ that Amal could do better.
This was the headline:
But George Clooney will not stand by while bad coffee is made, Syrian warfare is ongoing, or the media is making things up about his fiancee’s family. So he swung into action to dispel every part of that headline. Clooney calls the offending story “completely fabricated,” “irresponsible” and “factually untrue”. All of which is entirely accurate, so well done George.
For a start, Amal’s mother does not belong to a Lebanese sect. She has not been to Beirut since the pair started dating (in March) or since they got engaged (in May). And she does not oppose the marriage in any way.
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.
Clooney, as he reminds the world, is the son of a journalist. He gets that tabloid media have a job to do and that sometimes (all the time) that means infringing his privacy and running vacuous stories about his fiancee’s choice of dress. But he will not stand for a lie that could spark religious discord and he will not stand for a lie that could endanger the people he loves.
Frankly, that’s impressive and necessary.
Clooney brought his fiery defence to a close with this: “The Daily Mail, more than any other organization that calls itself news, has proved time and time again that facts make no difference in the articles they make up. And when they put my family and my friends in harm’s way, they cross far beyond just a laughable tabloid and into the arena of inciting violence. They must be so very proud.”
George Clooney? Superbly well played.
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