Time Finds Clooney's Prince Charming -- But He Hates Bill O'Reilly

Time magazine’s cover story on George Clooney ("The Last Movie Star") is a flop-sweat valentine from Joel Stein about how excited he was to host the "giant celebrity" Clooney for a bumbling dinner at his house, and how Clooney is an "Olympic-level" guest with his charm and good humor. The Time website even has video from Stein showing how lovable George crawled all over his house looking for the source of a beep. But there is one small break in Clooney’s suavity. He really hates Bill O’Reilly:

One person Clooney will mess with – the thing he keeps coming back to the more we drink – is what a massive loser Bill O'Reilly is. It's an irrational feud because every time O'Reilly gets to be as important as Clooney, O'Reilly comes out way ahead. But Clooney can't help himself. He keeps talking about O'Reilly, and the little traps he's set for him and how thrilled he is when he falls into them. It's as if Clooney loves O'Reilly because he gives him permission to be an irrational 8-year-old. Maybe that's why anyone loves O'Reilly. But he is also the anti-Clooney, donning a public persona, one that's humorless and incapable of self-effacement. It's as if someone created for Clooney his own Elmer Fudd.

That’s a bad analogy, since Bugs Bunny wasn’t known for always falling into Elmer Fudd’s traps. (Fudd also didn’t make Bugs Bunny obsessively angry over drinks.) But Stein quickly turns his valentine back to the cool Clooney:

One of the things O'Reilly has taken issue with is Clooney's involvement in the crisis in Darfur, saying it's reverse racism from someone who didn't care about the Arabs being killed by Saddam Hussein. Clooney got interested in Darfur in 2005 after the campaign for Oscar votes for Syriana and Good Night, and Good Luck made him feel dirty. "You're campaigning for yourself. To compete for art," he says. His dad was also dejected and angry after losing an election for Congress, and Clooney had been reading about the lack of attention being given to Darfur, so the two went on a trip to Africa to shoot footage. Clooney wasn't able to get into Darfur until late January, when the U.N. said it would give him an official title. "I have a U.N. passport. It says 'Messenger of Peace' on it. It's very cool," he says.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis