There’s been some interesting controversy over the past few days on Newsweek’s decision to censor an exclusive George Clooney interview from the U.S. market. Clooney has always been known as an outspoken activist on human rights; particularly concerning the crisis in Darfur — but this is the first time I’ve ever heard of a magazine not printing remarks due to fears of reactions on the home front.
So what exactly did Clooney say that caused the magazine to offer the story only to its international readers? From The Daily Background,
“One of Clooneyâ€™s major issues is the ongoing genocide in Darfur. When Newsweek asked Clooney about the international and US failure to prevent the genocide, Clooney told the magazine â€œ[in] our [personal] meetings with all of the heads of government they said to us, â€œYour policies in Iraq have made it impossible for you now to threaten anything.â€ We have no moral high ground. We have to look to anyone but ourselves to be able to broker some sort of a peace treaty. That is a very frustrating place to be.â€
Clooney also hit the Bush Administration for not joining the International Criminal Court, a treaty-based governmental organization aimed at prosecuting war crimes and crimes against humanity, saying, â€œIt is rather astonishing that the United States does not play ball with the ICC, considering our country was the beacon of the idea of an international criminal court. I really like what the ICC is doing.â€
And then there’s this little gem — something that’s very ironic considering the topic of this post, â€œI just worry that we have lost our balls for reporting. We constantly underestimate the intelligence and interest in the audience. The U.S. press took such a pass on the Bush administration that they are as responsible for us marching into Iraq as the administration. There is no question about it. They were afraid to be marked as unpatriotic.â€
Interesting, right? What do you think? Is Newsweek innocent here or are they attempting to protect themselves by not releasing this in the U.S.? Why would they censor a George Clooney interview from the U.S. market?