Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Considerable money, considerable mouth

Bill O'Reilly's at it again, evidently, this time resuming a three-year-old tussle with George Clooney (or G-Cloo, as he's known in the 'hood). O'Reilly charged three years ago that the celebrity telethon following 9/11 was riddled with fundraising errors, and that the Red Cross changed its whole fundraising system thanks to his watchful eye. Clooney was one of the main organizers of the event, so he received a lot of O'Reilly's ire.

Well, Clooney's organizing another telethon, this one for the people hurt by the tsunami, and O'Reilly's launching a pre-emptive strike, staking out his watchdogging role early. Clooney responded to O'Reilly with a pretty scathing letter where, among other things, he said that the original 9/11 telethon was organized by the United Way, not the Red Cross. "An easy mistake to make.....if you're 3," the letter says. He also charges O'Reilly to put his "considerable money" where his "considerable mouth" is and get involved in the telethon, since his early criticism seems already to have reduced contributions.

Isn't it all just a bit silly? I mean, O'Reilly's a jackass for doing this the way that he is, but he's a jackass for doing just about everything the way that he does it. To insinuate before the fact that there's a better than likely possibility (he didn't say that, but it's the obvious implication) that there were going to be accounting errors and that the aid wouldn't reach the victims is petty and small, and really only indicative of the fact that O'Reilly has it out for "lefties" like Clooney.

And G-Cloo sits on the board of the United Way. I don't object to his writing a letter to O'Reilly, and I think it's entirely merited in this circumstance; but I think maybe his sarcasm could have been a bit more veiled. Especially as a representative of a charitable organization.

I come down pretty firmly on Clooney's side here, with some reservations about his manner of response.