Tuesday, October 18, 2005

George Clooney, The Daily Show, O'Reilly off the Deep End

George Clooney was on "Charlie Rose" and comes off as much brighter than Rose and not just because Rose is a flake and kind of a moron (Here's the video courtesy of Crooks and Liars). In his characteristic manner, Charlie asks Clooney a question, interrupts Clooney, and launches into a tract about how some people rely on "The Daily Show" for news, which is kind of strange considering "The Daily Show" (1) does provide truthful information and (2) the bigger worry should be that a lot of people rely on Fox and CNN as their only source of news. Furthermore, a lot of "The Daily Show" would not be as easy to understand were people not consulting other sources that have to do with the subjects the show covers, like the Valerie Plame leak and the Iraq War. Many of the most well-informed people I know are loyal viewers of "The Daily Show," so it seems Rose's feigned concern is both far-fetched and misplaced. If there's a message that "The Daily Show" conveys, it's that this humorous news show is more useful and informative than almost any other TV news program on air right now, with Jon Stewart often poking fun at the frivolity of the TV news coverage. Clooney also made the good point that humor has always been a conduit of news and politics in our history. Clooney's new movie Good Night and Good Luck kind of depicts a fork in the road point for television news, when it was either to become a source of information serving the public good or come be another tool for corporate profits (so that not offending advertisers became a bigger priority than presenting the truth). 50 years later, we can say that the latter direction was the direction it took.

Also, Charlie brings up Bill O'Reilly's ongoing challenge to debate George on Bill's show. George has understandably said he will only debate O'Reilly on netural grounds, and can you blame him? O'Reilly without his show is nothing, as proven by tonight's "Daily Show." O'Reilly was interviewed by Stewart, and, not in the comfort of his own studio, O'Reilly can only resort to insulting the French and yelling at the audience. As Stewart asked him, "Why so angry?"

Anyway, can George Clooney please run for office. Not only is he attractive (which shouldn't matter, I know), but he is well-spoken, smart, already quite politically active, and charismatic. I know he probably has skeletons in his closet, but geez, so did Ah-nold and Ronald Reagan. Then again, in a world where only Republicans can get away with moral fallibility, Clooney might have trouble. Oh well, George for Pres.

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