Clooney: We Need to “Understand” Terrorists, Not “Label” Them

<p><img hspace="0" src="media/2006-01-04-SRBHClooney.jpg" align="right" border="0" />On January 4, FNC's Special Report with Brit Hume aired a segment that discussed Hollywood’s portrayal of terrorism. The story, airing at 6:38PM, featured a quote from George Clooney, star and producer of &quot;Syriana.&quot; The clip appeared to be from the movie’s press junket. Fox News reporter William La Jeunesse stated that &quot;'Syriana' is based on the true story of a CIA operative sent to assassinate Saddam Hussein.&quot; He adds:</p><blockquote dir="ltr" style="MARGIN-RIGHT: 0px"><p>&quot;But in the hands of actor/producer George Clooney, the story changes Saddam into an benevolent Arab prince. And Hezbollah saves the agent's life. Americans are shown to be greedy and corrupt, while suicide bombers are presented as freedom fighters.&quot; <a href="media/2006-01-04-SRBHClooney.rm">Real Player</a> or <a href="media/2006-01-04-SRBHClooney.wmv">Windows Media</a></p></blockquote><p>Mr. Clooney elaborated on his reasons for making the film’s suicide bombers so sympathetic: </p><blockquote dir="ltr" style="MARGIN-RIGHT: 0px"><p>&quot;They are, in a way, the most sympathetic, but I think that's important. Because if you are going to fight a war on terror, which is not a state that you can go and bomb, then you need to understand what it is that creates the people who would do such horrible things, rather then just saying- labeling them as evildoers.&quot;</p></blockquote><p dir="ltr">A partial transcript follows: </p><p>Special Report<br />1/4/06<br />38:00</p><p>Brit Hume: &quot;With terrorism in the headlines nearly every day since 9/11, moviemakers have tried to capitalize on the interest of Americans by producing fictional films on the issue. But their portrayals of individual terrorists appear, to at least some critics, to be fictitious in more then one sense.&quot;</p><p>William La Jeunesse: &quot;The movie Syriana is based on the true story of a CIA operative sent to assassinate Saddam Hussein, an agent's near murder by Palestinian terrorists from Hezbollah. But in the hands of actor/producer George Clooney, the story changes Saddam into an benevolent Arab prince. And Hezbollah saves the agent's life. Americans are shown to be greedy and corrupt, while suicide bombers are presented as freedom fighters.&quot;</p><p>Clooney: &quot;They are, in a way, the most sympathetic, but I think that's important. Because if you are going to fight a war on terror, which is not a state that you can go and bomb, then you need to understand what it is that creates the people that would do such horrible things, rather then just saying- labeling them as evildoers.&quot;</p>

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org