rules of tabloid journalism according to george clooney

George Clooney Says You Can Lie About Weddings, But Not About Religion

Photo: TPG/Corbis

George Clooney has finally provided the world with the Rules of Tabloids According to George Clooney, the Noted Son of a Newsman. After reading a particular Daily Mail fiction about his fiancée’s mother, the bescruffed fellow realized that it was time to lay down his edicts.

Here are topics about which he will allow fictions: wedding plans, Downton Abbey superfandom, pregnancy. He won’t stand for mendacity about religious differences, though. He writes in USA Today:

The irresponsibility, in this day and age, to exploit religious differences where none exist, is at the very least negligent and more appropriately dangerous. We have family members all over the world, and the idea that someone would inflame any part of that world for the sole reason of selling papers should be criminal. 

I’m the son of a newsman; I accept the idea that freedom of speech can be an inconvenience to my private life from time to time … The Daily Mail, more than any other organization that calls itself news, has proved time and time again that facts make no difference in the articles they make up. And when they put my family and my friends in harm’s way, they cross far beyond just a laughable tabloid and into the arena of inciting violence.

After filing his item, this son of a newsman doffed his cap, nodded deeply at his pretty typist, and jaunted out the door, silently waving to the office with a gesture of his newspaper. The scent of pipe tobacco and righting a wrong lingered in the room. 

[UPDATE: The Daily Mail has since removed the article that sparked Clooney’s brief career in journalism.]

George Clooney Says You Can Lie About Weddings