Log in

I forgot my password

Latest topics
» The Serious Side
Today at 15:06 by annemarie

» Surbicon wrap party Friday night....4.12.16
Today at 08:11 by Sevens

» December 2016 Chit Chat
Today at 01:06 by Donnamarie

» George to visit Yerevan April 2017 for Aurora Prize 2.12.16
Sat Dec 03 2016, 03:12 by melbert

» Clooney's baby?
Fri Dec 02 2016, 16:51 by amaretti

» November 2016 Chit Chat
Wed Nov 30 2016, 15:49 by ladybugcngc

» Amal in Texas this afternoon 15.11.16
Tue Nov 29 2016, 21:35 by carolhathaway

» George and the stylist from Esquire UK article January 2014
Tue Nov 29 2016, 17:42 by Joanna

» Happy Thanksgiving!!!
Sun Nov 27 2016, 03:58 by ladybugcngc

Our latest tweets
Free Webmaster ToolsSubmit Express

Newsweek interivew: A 21st-Century Statesman

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Newsweek interivew: A 21st-Century Statesman

Post by laetval on Sun Feb 20 2011, 15:41

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]



[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

20 Feb 2011

In the age of Twitter-shortened attention spans, fame is an increasingly powerful weapon of diplomacy. How George Clooney is helping to bring change—and a hefty dose of hope—to Sudan.

As Hollywood scrambles through the final days of jockeying for Oscars, George Clooney’s attention is far away—9,000 miles away, to be exact. The veteran Academy Awards campaigner plans to walk the red carpet and crack open an envelope at Sunday’s ceremonies, but he has no movie in contention. A different drama is on his mind.

In January, Clooney was back in South Sudan, directing his star power toward helping its people peacefully achieve independence from the northern government of Khartoum after two decades of civil war. With five years’ involvement in Sudan, Clooney has begun to define a new role for himself: 21st-century celebrity statesman.



It’s an ambitious avocation: Clooney has been leveraging his celebrity to get people to care about something more important than celebrity. South Sudan’s January referendum for independence was quickly followed by uprisings that toppled North African and Arab dictatorships, with power moving away from centralized political bureaucracies and toward broader popular engagement. In this new environment—fueled by social networking—fame is a potent commodity that can have more influence on public debate than many elected officials and even some nation-states.

“It’s harder for authoritarian regimes to survive, because we can circumvent old structures with cell phones and the Internet,” says Clooney. “Celebrity can help focus news media where they have abdicated their responsibility. We can’t make policy, but we can ‘encourage’ politicians more than ever before.” Which was why, a few weeks ago, Clooney was being driven in a white pickup down a red dirt road under the watchful eyes of teenage soldiers armed with AK-47s. L.A. was half a world away, but the paparazzi were not far from his mind. “If they’re going to follow me anyway,” he was saying, “I want them to follow me here.”

Clooney had traveled to the oil-rich contested region of Abyei on the eve of South Sudan’s historic referendum. When the polls closed seven days later, Africa’s largest nation would be divided into two separate countries by electoral mandate. After witnessing more than 2 million people murdered—including the first genocide of the 21st century, in Darfur—South Sudan would finally be on the path to independence. It was an outcome that even three months earlier appeared unlikely. And Clooney, according to many observers, played a pivotal role.

No one in Abyei has seen a George Clooney movie. His credibility here comes from the multiple trips to Africa, many of them with John Prendergast, cofounder of the Enough Project. Amid the factions, Clooney is seen as a man unconstrained by bureaucracy, with access to power and the ability to amplify a village’s voice onto the world stage.

Celebrity statesmen function like freelance diplomats, adopting issue experts and studying policy. More pragmatic than stars turned social activists in the past, they use the levers of power to solve problems. Clooney has Sudanese rebel leaders on speed dial. He’s had AK-47s shoved in his chest. And when he’s on movie sets, he gets daily Sudan briefings via email.

Now he’s gone one step further—George Clooney has a satellite. Privately funded and publicly accessible (SatSentinel.org), this eye in the sky monitors military movements on the north-south border—the powder keg in a region the U.S. director of national intelligence described a year ago as the place on earth where “a new mass killing or genocide is most likely to occur.” “I’m not tied to the U.N. or the U.S. government, and so I don’t have the same constraints. I’m a guy with a camera from 480 miles up,” Clooney says. “I’m the anti-genocide paparazzi.”


Clooney’s high-wattage visits draw unwelcome attention to the head of the north’s Islamist government in Khartoum, Omar al-Bashir, who has been indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court. News of the satellite spurred Khartoum to issue a press release accusing Clooney of “an ulterior motive that has nothing to do with peace.” But to the world media, a press release is no match for the spectacle of Clooney in Africa.

Clad in a khaki-colored ExOfficio vest, white safari shirt, lightweight pants, and worn hiking boots, Clooney doesn’t look or act like a buttoned-up diplomat. Skinnier and slightly shorter than he appears on film, his face tanned, and a salt-and-pepper goatee growing in, he will be 50 in May and has the attitude of a man determined to spend his time on things that matter. “The truth is that the spotlight of public attention is lifesaving—whether it’s a genocide, disease, or hunger,” says New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof. “Stars can generate attention and then generate the political will to do something about a problem.”

Clooney read Kristof’s Darfur columns in 2005. “I had just come out of Oscar season—I had two movies up—and you really do campaign, like kissing babies,” he says. “So by the time it’s over, you sort of feel unclean. You want to do something that makes you feel better.” He remembered how his father, Nick—a newsman from Kentucky—had been furious when international stories were bumped by celebrity gossip. So when he made his first trip to Sudan with his father, Clooney was determined to put the candy coating of celebrity on the serious substance of foreign policy.

But he quickly learned the dangers of just dropping in on a humanitarian crisis: as a way of giving back to a refugee village where he and his father stayed, he donated money to build a well, huts, and a community center. “A year later, the next-door villagers—who wanted water and needed shelter—ended up killing some of the people to get to that well and to get to that shelter,” Clooney says, his voice trailing off. “It’s devastating. Your response is … to continue to try to help, but we have to be very careful—and sometimes helping is not throwing money at a problem.”

John Prendergast gets credit and/or blame for popularizing the actor-activist alliance. A former director of African affairs at the National Security Council under President Clinton, Prendergast lopes around sporting sneakers and graying shoulder-length hair. He stumbled on the formula after a trip with Angelina Jolie to the Congo in 2003 drew People’s attention. Prendergast’s partnership with Clooney builds on the template set by U2’s Bono and Jeffrey Sachs of the Earth Institute, who publicized efforts to alleviate extreme African poverty through debt forgiveness and targeted aid while successfully lobbying the Bush administration to expand funding for AIDS drugs.

“Bono’s model really worked,” Clooney says. “There is more attention on celebrity than ever before—and there is a use for that besides selling products.” Stars like Brad Pitt (Katrina), Ben Affleck (Congo), and Sean Penn (Haiti) followed suit. “A lot of the young actors I see coming up in the industry are not just involved, but knowledgeable on a subject and then sharing that with fans,” says Clooney. No one’s just a “peace activist” anymore—they have a specialty.


Clooney’s focus on Sudan has made him a resource for top policymakers, who also benefit from the attention he brings. He has briefed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the U.N. Security Council. And it helps that the American president is a friend. Clooney and Barack Obama, both born in 1961, first worked together on Darfur. After their first Oval Office meeting, Obama appointed a special envoy to Sudan. The second meeting, last October, resulted in the deployment of Sen. John Kerry to Khartoum. “When the klieg lights go off, he is willing to maintain attention and work with policymakers across partisan lines,” says conservative Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback. “These guys have spent more time on the ground in Abyei than most American officials have,” Kerry says of Clooney and Prendergast. “The White House has been listening to them.”

Clooney plays a flawed presidential candidate in his next film, The Ides of March. He’ll direct the movie he co-wrote, giving his character lines he’d like to hear from a presidential candidate. But despite occasional overtures from the California Democratic Party, Clooney has rejected the constraints of conventional politics. “I didn’t live my life in the right way for politics, you know,” he said, sitting outside the Central Pub in Juba, scarfing down pizza. “I f--ked too many chicks and did too many drugs, and that’s the truth.” A smart campaigner, he believes, “would start from the beginning by saying, ‘I did it all. I drank the bong water. Now let’s talk about issues.’ That’s gonna be my campaign slogan: ‘I drank the bong water.’?”

Off-camera, Clooney is funny and friendly, frenetic and unpretentious. He’s proud to be “the son of a newsman.” He’s decidedly a guy’s guy—a connoisseur of the practical joke and a rubber-faced raconteur, fueled late into the night by vodka and soda. But Clooney is also the first one up in the morning, needing only four hours of sleep. He gives the impression of someone who takes his work seriously, but not himself.

Clooney’s strategy for public diplomacy is informed by film. “You have to get people in the theater first,” he reflects. “The trick is to be really concise—it’s a one-liner on a poster, right? You have to make it clear. ‘You can stop a war before it starts’ [or] ‘If you had a chance to prevent the next Darfur, what would you do?’?”

“You cannot sustain people’s attention seven days a week, for a long period of time. Actors have an advantage, because you do a movie and then you disappear for a while,” he says. “That’s what John and I try to do—come back every three or four months with something new to reignite interest.” Then he jokes it might take The Real Housewives of Sudan to keep Americans’ attention.

After driving across arid plains dotted with huts and red acacia trees, we pull into a compound guarded by soldiers manning a jeep crowned with a machine gun. Inside a thatched hut, the Abyei administrator, Deng Arop, and the chief of the Ngok Dinka tribe, Kuol Deng, greet Clooney warmly and gesture for the group to sit. “Our job is to ask you how we can help,” Clooney says—and then he listens.


Morale is low and tensions are running high with the neighboring nomadic Misseriya tribe, who are considered an ally of the north. There is talk of the Ngok Dinka declaring an independent association with the south, which could spark a new civil war. Over two hours, Clooney and Prendergast counsel calm and promise to communicate Abyei’s concerns to the southern capital of Juba and to Washington. Then Clooney steps outside to find camera crews from CNN and SkyNews. Alerted that he was heading for Abyei, the networks dispatched cameras to an area without pavement or plumbing, 550 miles from the nearest city.

We drive on to a “returnee” camp known as Mejak Manyore. There, in a field of mud, are rooms without walls. Bed frames, tables, and chairs are arranged almost as if still inside the houses their owners once inhabited. They belong to a handful of the 40,000 families who left the north and returned home to the south over the past four months in anticipation of independence. Now they are living under the open sky in a no man’s land, surrounded by all their earthly possessions. Barefoot children follow Clooney around, alternately friendly and shy, some carrying visibly sick younger siblings in their arms.

“They’ve packed everything up and come here—not out of fear, but out of incredible hope,” Clooney says, surveying the scene. “I’ve been to a lot of refugee camps where people have come because half their family was killed. These people are here because they want to be part of something historic. They believe things are just going to work out.” But two miles away, Misseriya militias attack a Ngok Dinka village that day, killing more than 30 members of the tribe—including police officers—before being repelled and losing more than 80 militiamen themselves.

Clooney’s bed that night is a cot in a compound where relief workers in Abyei live. Perched on plastic furniture, he drinks a warm can of Heineken as the sun sets over a rubble-strewn courtyard. “These guys have a day job that pays them nothing and is dangerous. My day job pays very well, and the worst thing that happens is you get some bad food from craft service,” he says. “I walk an uneasy line trying to bring focus to what they do, because there’s a lot of self-congratulatory crap that makes you sick to your stomach.”

Clooney’s celebrity-statesman strategy has its share of critics on the right and left. Prof. William Easterly of New York University, author of The White Man’s Burden, believes “the success in South Sudan happened in spite of the celebrities, and not because of them … It’s unclear why we want celebrities to be in a diplomatic role. It’s like getting someone who’s trained to be an actor or a rock vocalist and having them fix a nuclear-power plant.”

But as recently as October, there was deep pessimism among diplomats and the people of South Sudan that the referendum would occur. The turnaround cannot be ascribed primarily to Clooney’s bully pulpit. The government-in-waiting of South Sudan, led by Salva Kiir, kept its coalition together; the Obama administration and U.N. found new diplomatic focus in the fall; and China—Sudan’s largest oil investor—changed the equation by belatedly announcing it would support the referendum. As the Council on Foreign Relations’ James Hoge cautions: “Celebrities can be a catalyst for policy changes, but the policy changes themselves actually have to come from political figures.”


Still, after Clooney launched a media blitz to mark 100 days to the referendum, English-language newspaper, magazine, and website mentions of the Sudan referendum spiked from six to 165 in one month. Between October and January, the referendum was mentioned in 96 stories across the networks and cable news—with Clooney used as a hook one third of the time. In that same period, 95,000 people sent emails to the White House demanding action on South Sudan. Valentino Achak Deng, the former “lost boy” known to Americans as the subject of a bestselling “fictionalized memoir” by Dave Eggers, What Is the What, says simply: “The referendum would not have taken place without his involvement. Never. He saved millions of lives. I don’t think he knows this.”

Days after the referendum resulted in a resounding 98.8 percent vote for independence, Clooney was in Detroit, scouting locations for The Ides of March. Recovering from malaria, he was coordinating the release of satellite images and reflecting on Egypt’s uprising: “We’re so interconnected now that I can’t imagine that the south voting for freedom against an oppressive government doesn’t have some effect across the region.” Adds Prendergast: “I don’t think it’s pure coincidence that protests took hold just days after the referendum was broadcast on Al Jazeera. Those images helped empower people. The breeze of freedom from South Sudan became a gale-force wind in Egypt.”

The Republic of South Sudan will not officially become a separate nation until July 9. Obstacles remain, especially Abyei, caught between countries and capable of igniting at any moment. When SatSentinel.org released its first high-resolution photos, it provided visual verification that the north had deployed some 55,000 troops and artillery around the border of Abyei. Whether defensive or offensive, Khartoum could no longer deny the buildup.

“My job is to amplify the voice of the guy who lives here and is worried about his wife and children being slaughtered,” says Clooney, summing up the opportunity and obligation of the celebrity statesman. “He wants to shout it from the mountaintops, but he doesn’t have a very big megaphone or a very big mountain. So he’s asking anyone who has a mountain and megaphone to protect his family, his village. And if he finds me and asks, ‘You got a big megaphone?’ and I say, ‘Yes.’ ‘You got a decent-size mountain to yell it from?’ ‘Yeah, I got a pretty good-sized mountain.’ ‘Will you do me a favor and yell it?’ And I go, ‘Absolutely.’?”


Last edited by Katiedot on Mon Feb 21 2011, 16:23; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added pic)

laetval
Clooney maximus fantasticus

Posts : 1687
Join date : 2010-12-24

Back to top Go down

Re: Newsweek interivew: A 21st-Century Statesman

Post by Casey on Sun Feb 20 2011, 16:45

Well, now we know why Stan gets the big bucks. He can deliver embarrass fluff pieces like this.

Where should one start? He's a statesman/diplomat? Only in his mind really. The only reason why Obama and his staff 'listen' to him is because he donates.a lot of money to the Democratic party. I don't remember him getting meetings with the Bush White House back in 2006. And Egypt happened.because of the South Sudan referendum? Yeah, I don't think so. And the referendum happened because of George? LOL. That was years in the making.

Well, apparently he's off to the Oscars next weekend. So, he can give more publicity to the Sudan? Yeah, that makes sense since so many people tune in to the Oscars to get an update on the Sudan.

Well,.at least we know why EC is rushing back to the us. She's going to the Oscars. Maybe she can translate for him when he talks to an Italian outlet about the Sudan while sayshaying on the red carpet in her busted dress while he shows us his flask. Plus, he'll have his other more important constant companion: his enormous ego.

Casey
Learning to love George Clooney

Posts : 232
Join date : 2010-12-06

Back to top Go down

Re: Newsweek interivew: A 21st-Century Statesman

Post by sisieq on Sun Feb 20 2011, 22:42

OSCARS!!!!! What have I missed??? Where has this been posted???? Why is he going????

I was going to suggest an Oscar chat for the fun of it, now I insist!!!! LOL!

sisieq
Training to be Mrs Clooney?

Posts : 2477
Join date : 2010-12-07

Back to top Go down

Re: Newsweek interivew: A 21st-Century Statesman

Post by bunny on Sun Feb 20 2011, 22:50

Are we sure he is going to be at the Oscars? He is not listed anywhere as a presenter. He normally does not go unless he is nominated or asked to present an award.

Seems odd that he would go


bunny
Learning to love George Clooney

Posts : 243
Join date : 2010-12-14

Back to top Go down

Re: Newsweek interivew: A 21st-Century Statesman

Post by melbert on Sun Feb 20 2011, 23:04

At the front of the article it mentions George presenting. I have not seen it anywhere either, so I won't believe it til it's official. I'll probably still watch, but will definitely if he's on.

melbert
George Clooney fan forever!

Posts : 19134
Join date : 2010-12-06
Location : George's House

Back to top Go down

Re: Newsweek interivew: A 21st-Century Statesman

Post by sisieq on Sun Feb 20 2011, 23:10

melbert wrote:At the front of the article it mentions George presenting. I have not seen it anywhere either, so I won't believe it til it's official. I'll probably still watch, but will definitely if he's on.

Thank you!!!! I confess I don't read all the articles posted. Embarassed I agree, let's see if true. I would think at least this week the Oscar's will use his name in advertisements for viewership!

sisieq
Training to be Mrs Clooney?

Posts : 2477
Join date : 2010-12-07

Back to top Go down

Re: Newsweek interivew: A 21st-Century Statesman

Post by melbert on Sun Feb 20 2011, 23:25

The only thing I've seen is on the TV Guide Channel when they have the advert for their Red Carpet show. There's a half-second blip of "Hi George" and then they go on. But, they always show last year's show in adverts for the current year.

melbert
George Clooney fan forever!

Posts : 19134
Join date : 2010-12-06
Location : George's House

Back to top Go down

Re: Newsweek interivew: A 21st-Century Statesman

Post by melbert on Tue Feb 22 2011, 01:53

They talked about George on ET, this Newsweek article. Nothing with George talking, just showing pics of him. Nancy O'Dell said that George said that rather than use his celebrity for endorsements, he wants to use it to bring attention to the genocide. I don't remember reading that in the article. Maybe they talked to Stan or George to run this piece? Then, they had to show Eli. Just stills, not actually doing her "dancing".

melbert
George Clooney fan forever!

Posts : 19134
Join date : 2010-12-06
Location : George's House

Back to top Go down

Re: Newsweek interivew: A 21st-Century Statesman

Post by lucy on Tue Feb 22 2011, 03:27

Yes they had to show a photo of George Clooney's girlfriend and say what she's been doing.You think it was a package deal?

lucy
Clooney Zen Master

Posts : 3209
Join date : 2010-12-10

Back to top Go down

Re: Newsweek interivew: A 21st-Century Statesman

Post by PigLove on Tue Feb 22 2011, 03:50

Clearly, Tina Brown has taken over Newsweek.

PigLove
Shooting hoops with George Clooney

Posts : 364
Join date : 2010-12-16
Location : New York City

Back to top Go down

Re: Newsweek interivew: A 21st-Century Statesman

Post by watching on Fri Feb 25 2011, 06:57

They call him a statesman but he is a 50 year old man who refers to women as 'chicks'. The only thing stately about him is his appearance. His lack of depth or respect for when discussing women tells a whole other story.

I'm sorry Newsweek but pull your head out of your arse. The bloke is an actor who occasionally, when it is in his best interest and he has nothing else professionally happening at that minute, gets involved. Which is great and more than others do but this is not a man who has dedicated his adulthood and the bulk of his financial resources trying to help. Calling him a statesman when he states that he got involved to make himself feel better after awards season (“So by the time it’s over, you sort of feel unclean. You want to do something that makes you feel better”) is idiotic. He doesn’t actually help by way of volunteering in the country for extended periods, he isn’t writing policy, he isn’t intervening, etc. All he brings press attention, that's all. Other people are doing the hard yards and George is getting all the attention as if he has single-handily fixed the Sudan in between banging bimbos, drinking the bong water and making the occasion film. And considering he is threatening leaders in this area with satellite monitoring because they don’t jump when he says jump and do what he wants them to do, is only going to cause more violence and unrest. It is just grandstanding and I hate that publications like Newsweek, which are suppose to have some credibility, are running this type of crap with this type of onus on him. Will Newsweek soon start gushing over him on Twitter the way Ann Curry did?

Also noting the satellite paparazzi issue- if he is going to use a satellite and publicly deem it ‘satellite paparazzi’ for his own purposes around the borders of the Sudan, he better not pull any more of that ‘don’t pap me in public’ crap. One or the other George - no matter what the scope. If you are going to film and take pictures of other people without their consent, then you better man up and be willing to endure the same treatment 24/7.

watching
Practically on first name terms with Mr Clooney

Posts : 2002
Join date : 2011-01-17
Location : A padded cell somewhere

Back to top Go down

Re: Newsweek interivew: A 21st-Century Statesman

Post by lucy on Fri Feb 25 2011, 07:11

SO true,the people who our in the country living in tents aiding those in need are the true heros who should be getting the attention because they are the ones doing the work on a daily basis.Not that raising money isn't important,but it takes helping hands to put that money to good use.

lucy
Clooney Zen Master

Posts : 3209
Join date : 2010-12-10

Back to top Go down

Re: Newsweek interivew: A 21st-Century Statesman

Post by Katiedot on Fri Feb 25 2011, 09:25

watching wrote:Also noting the satellite paparazzi issue- if he is going to use a satellite and publicly deem it ‘satellite paparazzi’ for his own purposes around the borders of the Sudan, he better not pull any more of that ‘don’t pap me in public’ crap. One or the other George - no matter what the scope. If you are going to film and take pictures of other people without their consent, then you better man up and be willing to endure the same treatment 24/7.
Oh come on! That's hardly the same thing. Putting a satellite up to stop armies murdering civilians is not in any way on a par with a celebrity having his picture taken arriving at an airport. One is in the public interest, the other is not.

Added to that, George doesn't take issue with pap photos. He complains about them trying to provoke him into extreme behaviour but not about them taking his picture generally.

Katiedot
Admin

Posts : 12369
Join date : 2010-12-05

Back to top Go down

Re: Newsweek interivew: A 21st-Century Statesman

Post by watching on Fri Feb 25 2011, 10:25

I have to disagree – I consider it to be the same thing. If George claims that he can buy and fund the 24/7 usage of a privately owned satellite as a ‘paparazzi’ (what he called it) for his own purposes and agenda, why should he not expect that others will do the same to him? If he expects them to just accept it, why shouldn’t he expect the same treatment from those who believe they have interest in what he does? How is filming people without their consent in that region (not just those committing the atrocities) any different to the paps filming him in a restaurant or when he is out and about? Or on his property in Como? Who gets the images that his satellite takes? Can he sell them to whatever publication is willing to run them – exactly like what the paps do to celebs every day. He owns the satellite – he would own the pictures. I doubt the pictures won’t go public otherwise what would be the point. He will trot them out when he wants to make a point.

Also, I would assume that the usage of the satellite could be considering spying on foreign soil. So spying on people is ok because Clooney is funding it but when someone jumped his fence and took pictures of people at the villa in Como without their consent, he was outraged and issuing press releases about the invasion of his privacy and those at his property. Or the fact that he tried to and participated in shutting down the real-time celeb spotting site that Gawker was running a few years back. So when his movements are monitored and made available to the general public, it’s an invasion of privacy but he can then turn around and basically say that the right to privacy doesn’t extend to anyone else? I really don’t see the difference, just hypocrisy from him. Again.

If he is going to play politics, then he needs to walk the walk, not just talk the talk. Otherwise for the good of the issue, he needs to shut the F up. And leave the CIA do the spying.


Last edited by watching on Fri Feb 25 2011, 12:39; edited 1 time in total

watching
Practically on first name terms with Mr Clooney

Posts : 2002
Join date : 2011-01-17
Location : A padded cell somewhere

Back to top Go down

Re: Newsweek interivew: A 21st-Century Statesman

Post by Katiedot on Fri Feb 25 2011, 10:50

From The American Culture

[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

25 February 2011

Clooney Entertains with Classic ‘Humble Brag’

Here’s a classic “humble brag” for you. What’s a humble brag, you ask? It’s a clever observation from the most recent episode of NCIS: Los Angeles, designating when a person compliments him- or herself by pretending to complain of a difficulty.

The actor-filmmaker-politico-egomaniac George Clooney has just provided us with a classic, hilarious example of a humble brag in his interview with Newsweek magazine (h/t to USA Today), in explaining why he won’t run for political office:

“I didn’t live my life in the right way for politics, you know,” he says. “I f–ed too many chicks and did too many drugs, and that’s the truth.”

A smart campaigner, he believes, “would start from the beginning by saying, ‘I did it all. I drank the bong water. Now let’s talk about issues.’ That’s gonna be my campaign slogan: ‘I drank the bong water.’?”

Perfect. By saying, “Poor me! I’ve lived such a thrilling, hedonistic, perversely enviable life that I just don’t know whether people will take me seriously as a statesman, which of course is what I really merit,” Clooney gets to brag about his cosmic coolness and superiority while pretending to be plagued with troubles like the rest of us.

It’s the mark of a truly gargantuan ego, and proof positive that Clooney has what it takes to be a politician.



Katiedot
Admin

Posts : 12369
Join date : 2010-12-05

Back to top Go down

Re: Newsweek interivew: A 21st-Century Statesman

Post by Sabby on Fri Feb 25 2011, 17:05

"humble bragging," that's an interesting take on it!

Sabby
Getting serious about George

Posts : 81
Join date : 2010-12-13

Back to top Go down

Re: Newsweek interivew: A 21st-Century Statesman

Post by watching on Sun Feb 27 2011, 09:42

Daily Beast has unpublished excerpts from this interview (found the link at frenchies). The writer is the guy who wrote the Newsweek piece.

Sidebar - Note the Switzerland comment, that he had just come back from an earlier trip to the Sudan. The only time the paps have caught him in Switzerland in recent years is when he was papped getting off a plane around the time that Ely was shooting there. He stayed for a day then left. He disappeared for weeks (and made no comment about his Oscar nom and no press called him out on it) only to turn up in Switzerland with the press awaiting him (tipped off?). There was talk of a trip on the Crumbs board (someone was connected to the UN and stated the trip had been planned) but nothing was ever confirmed. Guess he did go.

Link

Clooney Takes On His Critics
by John Avlon

In unpublished excerpts from Newsweek's cover story, the actor talks to John Avlon about his first trip to Sudan, the religious right's positive role there, critics of his activism—and Sean Penn's Haiti work. Plus, read Avlon's Newsweek cover story about George Clooney.

In early January, I spent five days witnessing the birth of a new nation in South Sudan, traveling alongside George Clooney on assignment for Newsweek. The subsequent cover story has been on newsstands this past week, detailing the rise of the "celebrity statesman"—stars who are trying to leverage their celebrity to get people to care about something more important than celebrity. In Clooney's case, this includes being a catalyst to draw international attention to the referendum which put South Sudan on the road to independence after decades of civil war.

But out of the 3,000-word article, three sentences have dominated the news-buzz surrounding the piece—a candid and colorful admission by Clooney that he hadn't lived his life right for conventional politics and instead has opted for a different kind of public service. It's the kind of honesty that contrasts usefully with the false airs of perfection we've come to expect from politicians—and helps describe why celebrity statesmen are in the surreal position of having more credibility than politicians on some issues. But the quote about "bong-water" and women wasn't just picked up gossip pages, but highlighted by serious news sources, from The New York Times to the Today Show. The mini-furor was an ironic distraction, echoing a story Clooney had told me which ended up on the cutting room floor.

It seems that after an earlier trip to Sudan, Clooney landed in Switzerland and emerged from the plane to find a dozen paparazzi in wait, shouting questions about Lindsey Lohan's most recent trip to rehab. "I pointed at them and said, ‘right now it's time for grown-ups,'" Clooney recalled. "And I really think that's how we should feel about all the attention that we spend on all of this crap. It makes no difference. It's chewing gum. You know, the sugar gets out of the gum in about 30 seconds and then your jaw gets tired from chewing... It's just distractions for no purpose."

Building off this perspective—and given the amount of content available—we thought it would be interesting for Daily Beast readers to see some additional quotes from and about Clooney—as well as deleted scenes from the trip—free from the restrictions of print space.

Clooney on his first trip to Sudan in 2006: "When you first get to Darfur and you see burned villages and women with their legs cut off, and children who've been murdered, mother's pulling the heads of their kids out of wells, wells that have been poisoned and young boys that have been recruited and old men who have been massacred, you sit there and you go ‘I want a god-damned plane that says U.N. on it to come over and go bomb the shit out of these mother-fuckers.' That's your first reaction—but as time goes on what you realize is in order for there to be peace and in order for this to work we're going to have to evolve."

Clooney on navigating the news-cycle: "I know how the news works. I've traveled with reporters where we've gone to refugee camps and they say 'this one isn't tragic enough, let's go find a more tragic story.' I understand why. You know: 'Nobody died today. News at 11:00—all the film on everybody living happily.' That doesn't really play. But our job is to say ‘if we don't pay attention to this area it will explode' and try to bring the focus there. Keep it going, keep the pressure on."

Clooney on the Religious Right in Sudan: "The religious right were leaders of this issue, Darfur in particular. The church groups had missionaries in this area for years and years, huge leaders in getting this movement going. And it was a funny coalition, because it was hardcore church members and then hardcore student groups—which are not necessarily at all cohesive, but they were together. So the truth is that all of this labeling and all of this polarization stuff really comes through talk radio and talking head news...The truth is they don't hate each other. They all get along."

Clooney on critics of his activism in Sudan: "I hear that all the time—‘Oh, why should we listen to the actor-vist.' And I go, ‘well then get out of my way.' Because we're doing everything we can to try and help people to save people's lives. And if you don't like me or you think I'm too liberal or whatever, then don't participate. But get out of the way. Because we're going forward. We're going forward with a lot of people from the right. We're going forward with a lot of people from the left. And a lot of religious organizations and people in colleges who believe that there is no right or left to saving people's lives. There's no two-sides to this issue."

Clooney on Sean Penn's relief work in Haiti: "Whether people want to love him or hate him, the truth of the matter is Sean Penn has lived in Haiti for a year. And you can't do Haiti-lite. He's not staying at the Bel-Air Hotel and dipping his toe in. He's in there, sleeping in funky places, sweating and risking a lot—not just his life, but his health and his sanity—to try and not just bring attention but actually physically build something. He's a tremendous example of the best use of celebrity."

Clooney on the limits of celebrity: "I would caution against this idea that actors and celebrities actually do anything to change people's minds," Clooney clarifies in a characteristic act of deflection. "All I do is make the heat much hotter, I make the light much brighter. And then they look around and get informed by finding a guy like John [Prendergast]." In this new evolution of activism, celebrities are just the gateway drug to deeper policy engagement.

Jimmy Carter on George Clooney: "It's extremely valuable to have you both here," the 86-year old Carter says to Clooney and John Prendergast in a closed-door meeting at the U.S. consulate in Juba. "You don't have an axe to grind and everybody knows it."

Family wisdom from Clooney's father: Nick Clooney is a broadcaster of the old school. His voice has the requisite warmth and crispness even as he relays his disappointment in the state of news today—‘after the [Berlin] Wall came down, we decided we could go out and play—we could look up skirts and through peep holes and call it news." Speaking from their family home in Kentucky, it's not hard to hear the father's influence on the son. "If there was a philosophy in our family, it was not unusual—you help those with less power than you and you challenge those with more power than you. If we can shine a light in a dark place, that would be a good thing to do. And if we fail, we fail, but in the meantime there's no excuse and no reason not to try."

George Clooney on the morning of the referendum: On the first morning of the seven-day referendum—Sunday, January 9—George Clooney got up before dawn. Shortly after 7 a.m., he arrived at the central polling station in Juba where the official kick-off ceremony for the referendum would take place. As he walked to the guarded gate, the lines were already winding back upon each other, hundreds of south Sudanese dressed in their colorful Sunday best, waiting patiently for the polls to open.

When the increasingly familiar face of Clooney passed by, they held plastic voter registration cards aloft like tiny liberty torches and smiled. They were ready to take the last few steps toward self-determination, the near-miracle of independence achieved through peaceful means rather than civil war.

As the official ceremonies began, African dignitaries and international statesmen lined up to take their picture with Clooney and talk with Prendergast as ‘We Are The World' blared from loud-speakers. When Salva Kiir, the presumptive first president of the Republic of South Sudan strode in wearing the trademark black cowboy hat he received from George W. Bush, he saw Clooney in the crowd, grabbed his hand and smiled broadly in a moment of shared triumph.

Clooney drove to different polling stations to witness the votes—foreign cameras snapped like cicadas when they saw him, but the locals were largely non-plussed, wondering what all the fuss was about. One election monitor from Liberia asked to have her photo-taken with him, while admitting she did not know who he was—‘I'll find out later' she said semi-apologetically. "I'm Brad Pitt, m'am," Clooney said without missing a beat.

A special mass to mark the start of the referendum was being held at Saint Theresa Kator Cathedral. By the time Clooney arrived the massive space was packed to capacity. No cameras were allowed, thwarting the paparazzi who tried to follow Clooney into the service. Inside, the atmosphere was like Easter—a time of rebirth, with abundant flowers and sunlight shining through the stained glass, illuminating the yellow walls. Above the altar a series of neon hearts flashed in succession, giving the impression of a beating heart. The choir sang traditional hymns punctuated with claps and the ululating tribal cries of celebration. Clooney sat on a pew in the back and listened to the service. The archbishop offered hope in the sermon and a reminder to make every vote count. "If you think one person is too small and insignificant to make a difference," he bellowed, "try spending the night with a hungry mosquito."

Their prayers for voter participation were answered. That first day, twenty-percent of the South's registered voters showed up at the polls. The final results found a 98.8 percent ‘yes' vote for independence.

One young man named Gaddaffi was beaming after voting that first day. I asked him how he felt: "I feel free at last—like Martin Luther King—thank God almighty, I am free at last!" He saw Clooney and started talking excitedly— "I call him a friend of southern Sudanese—he told the international community to wake up, that we didn't have to be Rwanda—and to me he is a hero for what he has done for us. " I heard these sentiments echoed over the next days. As one man simply said: "Thank you—For 20 years our country was at war and nobody cared until you came here."

The Interview with Valentino Achok Deng: This final excerpt is a from an interview with Valentino Achok Deng, the former ‘lost boy' best known to Americans as the subject of a best-selling "fictionalized memoir" by Dave Eggers, What Is the What?. He is still a young man, now building schools—and a better future—in South Sudan. He spoke in soft, considered tones, with an almost prayerful lilt.

"Before George came, people were debating about whether or not [the referendum] should take place. Khartoum is aggressive and influential and it was insisting that the referendum will not take place. That was not just referendum for us. That was our destiny being put on hold."

"When George Clooney came to southern Sudan this time, for the referendum, it gave me a lot of confidence. It gave me a lot of hope. It strengthened my faith that what we had been struggling for all these several years—what my fathers and grandfathers had struggled for—our independence, was going to be a possible case scenario. Not by using AK-47s, but by the word of mouth."

"He has a huge following. The media follows him. Presidents hear from him. Everyone hears from him and what he says people hear it. So he has become our voice. Many people do not know that what we speak means a lot. And if we have a following, we must speak in a way that saves other peoples' life, in a way that helps other people economically and socially—and that's what he has done."

"The referendum would not have taken place without his involvement. Never. He saved millions of lives. I don't think he knows this."

"Personally, I'm going to name one of the big buildings at my school after him and I will not tell him. It will just be written there ‘cause he will feel embarrassed. That's not what he cares about."

watching
Practically on first name terms with Mr Clooney

Posts : 2002
Join date : 2011-01-17
Location : A padded cell somewhere

Back to top Go down

Re: Newsweek interivew: A 21st-Century Statesman

Post by watching on Sun Feb 27 2011, 09:46

There are also a couple of new pictures posted and a rehash of older pictures and different charitable events he has been involved in.

Link to pictures at Daily Beast

watching
Practically on first name terms with Mr Clooney

Posts : 2002
Join date : 2011-01-17
Location : A padded cell somewhere

Back to top Go down

Re: Newsweek interivew: A 21st-Century Statesman

Post by Katiedot on Sun Feb 27 2011, 14:08

Great find Watching! I'm going to put all of those pics into a separate thread about his many causes.

Katiedot
Admin

Posts : 12369
Join date : 2010-12-05

Back to top Go down

Re: Newsweek interivew: A 21st-Century Statesman

Post by it's me on Sun Feb 27 2011, 14:12

amazing


thanks

it's me
George Clooney fan forever!

Posts : 16899
Join date : 2011-01-03

Back to top Go down

Re: Newsweek interivew: A 21st-Century Statesman

Post by sisieq on Sun Feb 27 2011, 14:20

Thanks for the update, watching!

sisieq
Training to be Mrs Clooney?

Posts : 2477
Join date : 2010-12-07

Back to top Go down

Re: Newsweek interivew: A 21st-Century Statesman

Post by melbert on Sun Feb 27 2011, 18:00

Thanks Watching!

melbert
George Clooney fan forever!

Posts : 19134
Join date : 2010-12-06
Location : George's House

Back to top Go down

Re: Newsweek interivew: A 21st-Century Statesman

Post by watching on Mon Feb 28 2011, 01:29

A different take on the Newsweek article.

Link


Newsweek Keeps Sinking With 'Saint George' Clooney Cover Story: He 'Saved Millions of Lives' as '21st Century Statesman'
By Tim Graham | February 26, 2011 | 06:59


Newsweek’s latest issue shouted from the rooftops that Tina Brown and the Daily Beast are now in charge. The cover story’s on George Clooney, and the cover headline is “Mr. Clooney, The President Is on Line 1: On the ground in Sudan with a new kind of statesman.”

Inside, the gooey story has a gooey headline: “A 21st Century Statesman: In the age of Twitter-shortened attention spans, fame is an increasingly powerful weapon of diplomacy. How George Clooney is helping to bring change – and a hefty dose of hope – to Sudan.”

It comes with Tina Brown touches, like focusing on what he’s wearing: “Clad in a khaki-colored ExOfficio vest, white safari shirt, lightweight pants, and worn hiking boots, Clooney doesn't look or act like a buttoned-up diplomat.”



Clooney is provided with pages of promotional goop, about how he was “determined to put the candy coating of celebrity on the serious substance of foreign policy.” This included constant tributes to his humility, including this quote about people on the ground in South Sudan: "I walk an uneasy line trying to bring focus to what they do, because there's a lot of self-congratulatory crap that makes you sick to your stomach."

Then this congratulatory profile ought to make Clooney ill for about a week.

The self-debasing author is John Avlon of the Daily Beast, who once wrote a book opposing “Wingnuts.” That’s clearly out the window, since Clooney admitted five years ago that he made the terrorists the most sympathetic characters in his conspiracy-theory movie Syriana, and mocked people like President Bush who would simplistically label al-Qaeda as “evildoers.”

Avlon and Newsweek/Beast want to suggest that Clooney not only almost single-handedly gave democracy to South Sudan, but he inspired the current democratic revolution in northern Africa. He is Super Clooney, more powerful that nation-states:

It's an ambitious avocation: Clooney has been leveraging his celebrity to get people to care about something more important than celebrity. South Sudan's January referendum for independence was quickly followed by uprisings that toppled North African and Arab dictatorships, with power moving away from centralized political bureaucracies and toward broader popular engagement. In this new environment-fueled by social networking-fame is a potent commodity that can have more influence on public debate than many elected officials and even some nation-states.

“It’s harder for authoritarian regimes to survive, because we can circumvent old structures with cellphones and the Internet,” says Clooney. “Celebrity can help focus news media where they have abdicated their responsibility. We can’t make policy, but we can ‘encourage’ politicians more than ever before.” Which was why, a few weeks ago, Clooney was being driven in a white pickup down a red dirt road under the watchful eyes of teenage soldiers armed with AK-47s. L.A. was half a world away, but the paparazzi were not far from his mind. “If they’re going to follow me anyway,” he was saying, “I want them to follow me here.”

Clooney was “pivotal” in remaking Sudan:

After witnessing more than 2 million people murdered-including the first genocide of the 21st century, in Darfur-South Sudan would finally be on the path to independence. It was an outcome that even three months earlier appeared unlikely. And Clooney, according to many observers, played a pivotal role.

Celebrity statesmen function like freelance diplomats, adopting issue experts and studying policy. More pragmatic than stars-turned-social activists in the past, they use the levers of power to solve problems. Clooney has Sudanese rebel leaders on speed dial. He's had AK-47s shoved in his chest. And when he's on movie sets, he gets daily Sudan briefings via email.

Now he's gone one step further-George Clooney has a satellite. Privately funded and publicly accessible (SatSentinel.org), this eye in the sky monitors military movements on the north-south border-the powder keg in a region the U.S. director of national intelligence described a year ago as the place on earth where "a new mass killing or genocide is most likely to occur." "I'm not tied to the U.N. or the U.S. government, and so I don't have the same constraints. I'm a guy with a camera from 480 miles up," Clooney says. "I'm the anti-genocide paparazzi."

No “self-congratulatory crap,” like “I’m the anti-genocide paparazzi”?

Political junkies might enjoy Clooney’s self-mocking talk of how he could never be a politician because he’s just too suave and irresistible to settle down with one woman, and likes illegal drugs:

But despite occasional overtures from the California Democratic Party, Clooney has rejected the constraints of conventional politics. "I didn't live my life in the right way for politics, you know," he said, sitting outside the Central Pub in Juba, scarfing down pizza. "I f--ked too many chicks and did too many drugs, and that's the truth." A smart campaigner, he believes, "would start from the beginning by saying, `I did it all. I drank the bong water. Now let's talk about issues.' That's gonna be my campaign slogan: `I drank the bong water.' "

Newsweek’s only dash of disagreement with its celebrity-statesman thesis arrived in paragraph 25, but only so the Clooney-as-pivotal theme can be repeated:

Clooney's celebrity-statesman strategy has its share of critics on the right and left. Prof. William Easterly of New York University, author of The White Man's Burden, says "the success in South Sudan happened in spite of the celebrities, and not because of them . It's unclear why we want celebrities to be in a diplomatic role. It's like getting someone who's trained to be an actor or a rock vocalist and having them fix a nuclear-power plant."

....Still, after Clooney launched a media blitz to mark 100 days to the referendum, English-language newspaper, magazine, and website mentions of the Sudan referendum spiked from six to 165 in one month. Between October and January, the referendum was mentioned in 96 stories across the networks and cable news-with Clooney used as a hook one third of the time. In that same period, 95,000 people sent emails to the White House demanding action on South Sudan. Valentino Achak Deng, the former "lost boy" known to Americans as the subject of a bestselling "fictionalized memoir" by Dave Eggers, What Is the What, says simply: "The referendum would not have taken place without his involvement. Never. He saved millions of lives. I don't think he knows this."

This was followed by Clooney pleading his own case:

Recovering from malaria, he was coordinating the release of satellite images and reflecting on Egypt's uprising: "We're so interconnected now that I can't imagine that the south voting for freedom against an oppressive government doesn't have some effect across the region." Adds Prendergast: "I don't think it's pure coincidence that protests took hold just days after the referendum was broadcast on Al Jazeera. Those images helped empower people. The breeze of freedom from South Sudan became a gale-force wind in Egypt."

In case anyone was in doubt that Newsweek was on a daring mission of globe-trotting celebrity massage, consult the Daily Beast picture gallery. It’s titled “Saint George.” (Um, the "Saint George" that's boinked too many women and drank the bong water?) Inside, the Daily Beasties twice celebrate Clooney, and how he’s so much more than the “Sexiest Man Alive.” Have they mentioned he’s the “Sexiest Man Alive”? Here's one caption:

George Clooney has again proven himself as more valuable than the throwaway label of "Sexiest Man Alive." Although his friends and fellow A-listers Bono and Angelina Jolie have largely been recognized in Hollywood for their humanitarian work, Clooney has quietly spent the last decade giving generously of his time and money to countless charitable organizations and fighting the crisis in Darfur.

If it's such a "throwaway label," why do they keep using it? Here's another:

In January 2008, Clooney earned a title far more valuable than "Sexiest Man Alive" when he was named a United Nations Messenger of Peace for his extensive work in Darfur. He and Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel also met with members of the U.N. Security Council in 2006.

watching
Practically on first name terms with Mr Clooney

Posts : 2002
Join date : 2011-01-17
Location : A padded cell somewhere

Back to top Go down

Re: Newsweek interivew: A 21st-Century Statesman

Post by watching on Mon Feb 28 2011, 01:41

Interesting all this talk about how George saved Sudan but the fighting continues. 200 have been killed this month between clashes with the army and a rebel militia but how much coverage has that gotten? Sure the vote went through but region didn't all of a sudden become peaceful. There is no guarantee that when they get to the July date for peace that it is actually going to happen yet these writeup's about George would make the mainstream reader think the situation has been resolved. Guess that satellite of George's isn't pointed in the right direction for him to be on top of this. We have heard nothing from him about it - the great Sudan protector - yet the fighting started on the 9th Feb. Guess there isn't a PR angle in it for him.

Link - South Sudan's Militia Clashes Imperil Oil Exploration, Independence Plans

Quotes from the piece:
“If in fact the cease-fire has collapsed, we are going to see much of the same kind of fighting and civilians are going to suffer,” Jehanne Henry, a researcher on Sudan for Human Rights Watch, said Feb. 18 by phone from New York. “Some people don’t know what it means for the war to be over.”

"Before Southern Sudan and the north signed a peace accord in 2005, the region had been the scene of fighting for all but 11 years since Sudan’s independence from the U.K. in 1966. While last month’s referendum on independence passed off peacefully, with a 99 percent vote for secession, the clashes with Athor’s forces showed that unity in the region remains fragile."

watching
Practically on first name terms with Mr Clooney

Posts : 2002
Join date : 2011-01-17
Location : A padded cell somewhere

Back to top Go down

Re: Newsweek interivew: A 21st-Century Statesman

Post by Sponsored content Today at 20:38


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum