Clooney on Beating the Daily Mail: ‘It’s Fun to Slap The Bad Guys’

George Clooney Slams Daniel Loeb
Win McNamee/Getty Images

“It’s just fun to slap those bad guys every once in a while, knock ‘em around,” George Clooney told Variety Friday about triumphing in his spat with British tabloid the Daily Mail.

The Daily Mail and its website MailOnline.com, which has frequently been sued for libel and regularly loses, published an article claiming the mother of Clooney’s fiance objected to their upcoming marriage. It deleted the article and apologized after Clooney wrote an op-ed that was published in USA Today, saying the Mail’s article was demonstrably false.

Clooney, the son of newsman Nick Clooney, has held journalism in high regard (as seen in his film “Good Night, and Good Luck”). So while he says he understands that some tabloids have always made things up, he is concerned about bigger issues than the Daily Mail’s lies about himself or even his family.

Speaking by phone from Lake Como in Italy, Clooney said “I would sit with my friends and we’d just go, ‘So they just sat at a computer and just went, “OK, this is what I’m gonna say today.” I mean, literally, because you just go ‘There isn’t literally an element of truth in this.’ You just laugh, and let it go. I’m used to it after all these years. But the thing that bothers me is how much the Daily Mail is now bleeding into American press and becoming a source for some pretty legitimate newspapers. So that’s the thing that worries me.”

“Those are really bad guys and they do tend to tee off on everybody,” said Clooney. “It’s fun when you can go, ‘Well, this one, I know I have all the facts right.’ Usually the argument is: ‘Hey, we’re not gonna tell you our source,’ and, ‘Prove it.’ And when they actually do it themselves it’s so great. You go, ‘OK, well you obviously just screwed this (up), so I think I can get you now.”

The actor-activist said he’s learned that he has to choose his battles, whether it’s choosing which atrocities in East Africa to spotlight or which lies out of London to object to. “That’s why you pick your fights at a tabloid. Every day they write things that aren’t true, but every once in a while they write something that is actually dangerous to your family, and it’s probably not true. And that’s the one you pick.”

Of his engagement to activist-lawyer-author Amal Alamuddin, Clooney quipped “I’m marrying up.”

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  1. Blake says:

    Congrats to George Clooney. Good one for taking the fight to them. The daily mail will think twice before publishing their rubbish. Seriously even gossip has to have some basis in reality.

  2. C.Rosser says:

    The newspaper and its online counterpart that George Clooney loathe so much, interviewed his mother days after the engagement was announced back in April. She said at the time that George had introduced Amal to her and her husband a year ago around that time, which would make it April 2013. Yet several weeks later, George is “telling the world” that he will marry Amal a year to the day they met in September. So George, is the Daily Mail and MailOnline lying about this article they did with your mother too?

  3. Mm says:

    If you really think he’s going to read these comments then you’re either naive or stupid.

    • Nina says:

      If Clooney wants to slap around the bad guys, maybe his fame/fortune-hungry, criminal lawyer GF should introduce him to her clients..

    • Karen Sherry Brackett says:

      Mm, what’s the matter? Does the power of the press even in public comments make you nervous? Your response is both heartless and cruel. Shame on you.

    • Karen Sherry Brackett says:

      Meg, I am sorry to hear about this and hope things go well for you.

  4. John Rider says:

    What a boring actor this guy is, he plays the same one note heading bobbing guy everytime why is he ruining all these movives. He is so full of himself the bar has been droped as low as it has ever been here.

    • MrsMurray says:

      John Rider — I wonder how many movies you have produced and won an Oscar – I do not care much about George Clooney – he has however created a wonderful life for himself – more power to him – sounds like you are just hating on the guy

    • Mm says:

      He must have done something right because you took time out of your day to click on this article and make a comment.
      George – 1
      You – 0

    • Kevin says:

      You clicked on the article, read it, then commented. Clearly you care at least a little… And it’s at least a little pathetic.

    • linordo says:

      If he is that boring to you!, then why you are even here!!?

  5. Liz99 says:

    That is incredibly narrow-minded. The USA has always been a diverse country and does not represent one religion. Islam has a rich history and theology. You should try to educate yourself instead of burying yourself in prejudice and ignorance.

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