George Clooney compares Trump presidency to the McCarthy era

'The actions of this president have caused alarm and dismay amongst our allies abroad and given considerable comfort to our enemies,' says actor

Maya Oppenheim
Sunday 26 February 2017 11:55
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Clooney compares Trump to McCarthyism

George Clooney has compared the Trump era to McCarthyism.

The actor, who received an honorary award at Friday’s César Awards in Paris, did not mention President Donald Trump by name but invoked Edward R Murrow’s words about Senator McCarthy.

The term McCarthyism originates from the anti-Communist witch-hunt against the left led by Senator McCarthy in 1950's America. The term has now taken on a broader meaning and refers to the practice of making accusations of treason which lack proper regard for evidence.

Appearing on stage alongside actor Jean Dujardin, who presented the award, Clooney started his speech by thanking his wife, Amal Clooney, and the French Academy. He then turned his attentions towards the state of the US.

“I was thinking about Edward R. Murrow as we find ourselves nostalgic for when America was great and when the news wasn’t fake,” he told the audience.

“Maybe his words some 60 years can help put things in perspective.”

He then pieced together quotes from one of Murrow's most famous telecasts which saw him rebuke Senator McCarthy back in 1954 on CBS for mounting anti-communist suppression.

“We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We must not walk in fear of one another,” Clooney said, garnering applause from the audience.

“We must not be driven by fear into an age of unreason. If we dig deep in our history and remember that we are not descendants from fearful people, we proclaim ourselves indeed as we are the defenders of freedom wherever it continues to exist in the world. But we cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home.

“The actions of this president have caused alarm and dismay amongst our allies abroad and given considerable comfort to our enemies,” he said referring to Mr Trump.

“And whose fault is that? Not really his. He didn’t create this situation of fear, he merely exploited it - and rather successfully.

“Cassius was right. ‘The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.’ Good night, and good luck.”

Clooney has a special affinity for Munrow, having written, directed and acted in Good Night, and Good Luck in 2005, a historical drama that explores the conflict between veteran radio and television journalist Edward R Murrow and US Senator Joseph McCarthy.

Clooney, an ardent Hillary Clinton supporter, has vented his frustrations about Mr Trump on a number of occasions. He recently branded him a “Hollywood elitist” and expressed his support for Meryl Streep after her scathing rebuke of the billionaire property developer president at the Golden Globes.

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