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Clooney says he didn't write blog for Huffington

March 16, 2006|Elizabeth Snead | Special to The Times

GEORGE Clooney and Arianna Huffington, two of Hollywood's best-known politicos, got into a tit-for-tat Wednesday after Clooney issued a statement saying he was misrepresented as a political blogger on her website.

On Monday, the Huffington Post site posted a blog under Clooney's name that immediately drew news coverage. In it, the Oscar-winning actor, who appeared in "Syriana" and "Good Night, and Good Luck," two movies with strong political themes, criticized Democrats for not standing up to President Bush when the Iraq war began.

"We have to agree that it's not unpatriotic to hold our leaders accountable and to speak out," the Clooney blog read.

On Wednesday, Clooney didn't backpedal from his political views but said they had been compiled from his interviews with CNN's Larry King and Britain's Guardian newspaper. Huffington acknowledged reprinting the comments but said she had permission from a publicist.

He says he gave permission to use quotes. "What she most certainly did not get my permission to do is to combine only my answers in a blog that misleads the reader into thinking that I wrote this piece," Clooney said in a statement. "These are not my writings -- they are answers to questions and there is a huge difference."

Huffington sent a copy of her e-mail exchange with Lisa Taback -- who worked on the "Good Luck" Oscar campaign -- in which approval was granted.

"I don't know [Clooney's personal publicist] Stan Rosenfield and had never spoken to him until Monday when he and George called. Hollywood is not my beat," Huffington said.

At a New York screening, she had invited Clooney to blog for her. When he told her didn't know how a blog worked, Huffington's staff put together a sample, from his interviews. "And once we had the approval, that's what we ran: George Clooney's words put into blog form."

Huffington said she held off posting for two weeks after the Oscars because of the heated political comments he had made.

Though she sought Clooney's approval, "I didn't need permission because his statements are in the public domain." Nor did she think she needed to credit the source of the statements.

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Elizabeth Snead writes Styles & Scenes for TheEnvelope.com.

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