Couric Concerned Clooney's Many Liberal Causes Dilute Darfur Drama

As oft-documented by MRC - NewsBusters' parent organization - the MSM is quick to label people 'conservative', 'right-wing' and various 'ultra' variations thereon. But the MSM typically turn shy when it comes to the 'liberal' label. In a surprising twist, not only did Katie Couric speak of George Clooney as a liberal this morning, but the Hollywood star didn't hesitate to pin himself as a liberal, and an old one at that. What's more, Katie even suggested that Clooney's advocacy of countless liberal causes might be diluting the brand.

The topic was Clooney's advocacy of international involvement to end the humanitarian disaster in Darfur in the Sudan. Wikipedia entry on the Darfur conflict here. It is notable that although the conflict largely pits Arabs against non-Arabs, the populations on both sides are Muslim. This seems, by the way, to have been something of Celebrity Advocacy Week at Today. As noted here, yesterday it was Angelina Jolie's opportunity to tout her support for universal childhood education [courtesy the American taxpayer].

An aside: Clooney appeared with his father Nick. And while Clooney père is a lifelong journalist, one can see how George came by his acting genes. There was manifestly much of the ham in Nick, with mega-star George surprisingly having to fight for air time.

In any case, toward the end of the interview, there was this surprising exchange.

Couric: "You [George] have been quite vocal on a number of issues: the environment, liberal causes, presidential politics. I am just wondering if you worry that your message is being diluted by kind of focusing on so many issues that people will be like 'there is Clooney again'?"

Clooney: "I try not to go after too many issues. I try to focus on a couple. I made some jokes about the administration over the years because I am an old liberal. I try to pick my fights."

Hmm. So not only does Katie peg Clooney as a liberal, but even intimates that his association with a variety of liberal causes could be a detriment in the current context. Interesting.

Finkelstein lives in the liberal haven of Ithaca, NY, where he hosts the award-winning public access TV show 'Right Angle'. Contact him at mark@gunhill.net

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.