Clooney & Huffington's blog of war
"She said some things that I won't share, but she did tell me that this could be bad for me - bad for my career. Well, screw you!" the movie star told me yesterday about a conversation he had with the doyenne of Huffingtonpost.com. "I'm not going to be threatened by Arianna Huffington!"
Clooney, in his only interview on the subject, took off the gloves in his fight with Huffington over a blog purportedly written by the "Syriana" Oscar-winner and posted on her Web site Monday.
"I feel abused," he said.
Yesterday, Clooney released an angry statement calling Huffington's methods "purposefully misleading," and she acknowledged that his so-called blog - slamming Dems who voted for the war in Iraq for fear of being labeled "liberal" - was actually compiled from Clooney's recent interviews with the UK's Guardian and CNN's Larry King.
But Huffington insisted (and forwarded me E-mails that seemed to back her up) that she believed she had explicit permission from one of Clooney's PR reps to publish his disparate quotes as a single piece of writing. "This was a misunderstanding," she told me yesterday, as the disputed blog was removed from her Web site.
Clooney told me: "Nobody has ever written an op-ed piece for me. If I say I've written something, I've written it. When I go to the Oscars, I write everything I say...I stand by what I do, but I'm very cautious not to take giant steps onto soapboxes because I think they're polarizing."
Clooney said that when he demanded a disclaimer from Huffington, she refused. "She told me that it's a big no-no in the blogosphere, where people are supposed to write their own pieces."
Huffington, who'd been haggling with Clooney's publicist, Stan Rosenfield, over the wording of a disclaimer, told me: "I believe it is time for all of us to move on."