George Clooney says Obama is the smartest and nicest man in the world
the Venice Film Festival whether he was interested in the presidency, movie star George Clooney replied
“As for me running for President—look, there’s a guy in office who is smarter than anybody you know, and nicer, and he’s having an almost impossible time governing.”
Now, Clooney is a reasonably intelligent man. How can he look at Obama, who in speech after speech, day after day, month after month, robotically and meanspiritedly blames all his failures on his political opponents and on “rich people” (i.e., people with a household income higher than $200,000), and conclude that Obama is the smartest and nicest person anyone knows?
Apparently Obama’s capital—meaning his half-black, supposedly sophisticated persona which puts white liberals into the political equivalent of sexual ecstasy—is not as exhausted as many observers seem to think. Which is another reason why conservatives are foolish to keep stating with such greedy certitude that he’s finished and will be defeated in 2012. - end of initial entry -
Julian C. writes:
“Now, Clooney is a reasonably intelligent man. How can he look at Obama, who in speech after speech, day after day, month after month, robotically and meanspiritedly blames all his failures on his political opponents and on “rich people” (i.e., people with a household income higher than $200,000), and conclude that Obama is the smartest and nicest person anyone knows?”
I’m not sure, but apparently there is a modern trend among parents to overpraise their children in an effort to boost their confidence and achievement.
Julian C. replies:
Daniel R. writes:
Barack Obama is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I’ve ever known in my life.
Jim C. writes:
I agree with Clooney: Barry be a geenyus and the most nicest man in the whole wide world. And you a rasist if you disagree.
Alexis Zarkov writes:
Mr. Auster writes, “Now, Clooney is a reasonably intelligent man.” There is reason to doubt this assertion. Most Hollywood actors are either high school or college dropouts, and George Clooney is no exception. According to his Wikipedia bio, “He attended Northern Kentucky University from 1979 to 1981 majoring in Broadcast Journalism and, very briefly, the University of Cincinnati, but did not graduate from either. See note 12: “He had such odd jobs as selling men’s suits and cutting tobacco.” [LA replies: I disagree with your implication, which sounds too elitist, that Clooney’s having worked as a men’s suits salesmen when he was very young shows lack of intelligence. Most people in this country, except life-long pursuers of elitist occupations, work at modest, low-level jobs when they are young. Furthermore, good men’s suit salesmen are intelligent and intuitive and perform an important service to society.] Perhaps Mr. Clooney is simply a late bloomer. After all many college dropouts go on to great accomplishments. Bill Gates withdrew from Harvard to start up a company and become the world’s richest person. Winston Churchill, while not a drop out, had very poor grades at Harrow and had to join the military. The great linguist, explorer, and anthropologist, Sir Richard Burton was expelled from Trinity College, Oxford for bad behavior. And so on. Mr. Clooney is a successful actor, but I ascribe that to his being mostly a pretty face. The girls swoon over him, and that attraction can get you into the movies. Marilyn Monroe was successful, but evidently extremely dumb according to her biographer Anthony Summers. [LA replies: your only evidence that Clooney is not intelligent is that he went to a non-elite college and did not finish—which means nothing—and that he is handsome—which means nothing. Your argument amounts to zero argument. How about referencing interviews he’s given, to see how well he speaks? I’ve read some things he’s said, and he strikes me as reasonably intelligent. That’s all I said. I didn’t say he is very bright, just reasonably intelligent. But your elitist attitude toward non-graduates of non-elite colleges would not grant him even that.]
With a few exceptions I disregard everything that comes out of the mouths of Hollywood actors. The actor James Woods strikes me as intelligent. He attended MIT, but alas did not graduate. Nevertheless when he speaks, at least he’s coherent and precise. The others, including Clooney simply babble. His admiration for Obama provides further evidence of a limited intellect. [LA replies: James Woods is clearly very intelligent. But I didn’t say that Clooney is very intelligent. I said he was reasonably intelligent.]
James P. writes:
The combined SAT score of people who attend Northern Kentucky University is between 850 and 1080. Let’s call it 960. This correlates to an IQ of 106. (Since Clooney didn’t graduate, we might assume that this is the upper bound of his IQ.) Is this “reasonably intelligent”? Not in my opinion—it is simply average.
your only evidence that Clooney is not intelligent is that he went to a non-elite college and did not finish—which means nothing.
But that is precisely the evidence that liberals cite to support their claim that the likes of Sarah Palin, Christine O’Donnell, and Michelle Bachmann are stupid—they attended non-elite colleges. And of course, they claim that the Obamas must be smart, since they attended elite colleges. Sauce for the goose, and all that.
You haven’t noticed that I’m not a liberal and that I haven’t argued that Palin and Bachmann are not intelligent because of the schools they went to. So that argument is not apropos here.
Further, is it necessary to point out to you that a 960 combined SAT is the average combined SAT at Northern Kentucky, not Clooney’s? We don’t know what Clooney’s combined SAT is. Thus your reasoning about Clooney’s intelligence is stunningly off-base, since you display a lack of understanding of the concept of averages. I’m sure that you do understand the concept of averages; however, you let it slip in this instance. Why? In my opinion, because you are indulging in the same kneejerk hostility to liberals that Mr. Zarkov displayed in his comment. Clooney is a Hollywood liberal, so you MUST say something that, in your book, puts him down, in this case, denying the non-earthshaking statement that he’s “reasonably intelligent.”
Alexis Zarkov writes:
Point me to something that establishes Clooney’s ” intelligence. I have heard him speak, and as I recall he sounded like the usual Hollywood airhead. Perhaps I missed the good stuff. Perhaps we interpret “reasonably intelligent” differently.
I do agree with you about suit salesmen. The key word is “good.” Outside of New York City suit salesmen are not so good. When I moved to California from New York City, I was surprised and how poor the salesmen were. When I asked “what number suit is this?” I would get a blank stare. Suits are graded (like meat) with a number. While the number does not appear on the suit, a good salesman knows it and will tell you when asked. Where is the evidence that Clooney was a “good” salesman?
The accusation of being “too elitist” is something I usually get from liberals who seem uncomfortable with the idea of merit.
I don’t have evidence at hand for Clooney’s intelligence, beyond what I’ve already said. From things he’s said, from the way he conducts himself, he has struck me as a reasonably intelligent person, by which I meant, not an intellectual, but a person who ought to be capable of seeing that a politician who speaks in nothing but brain-dead slogans is not the smartest man in the world.
Also, to switch direction for a moment, the reason I said Clooney was reasonably intelligent was by way of indicating that his belief in Obama’s genius suggests that he, Clooney, is not, as I had thought, even reasonably intelligent. So there is a piece of evidence as to Clooney’s (lower than reasonable) intelligence. It is not based on his college experience or the jobs he held when he was in his twenties. It is based on something he actually said. However, that conclusion is not at all dispositive. For example, I know a very high-IQ liberal, a New York lawyer, who said that the decisive reason Republicans and tea partiers oppose the stimulus and Obamacare is that they are racially hostile to Obama. I know various high-IQ liberals who believe equally off the planet things. Do such opinions prove they have low IQ? No. IQ is the ability to process information. IQ says nothing about HOW we use that ability. Therefore Clooney’s shockingly dumb statement about Obama being the smartest man in the world does not, by itself, show that Clooney lacks intelligence. How many properly credentialed members of the liberal elite class have emitted similar effusions about Obama’s history-changing brilliance?
As for my using the expression, “too elitist,” obviously I’m not uncomfortable with the idea of the large differences of intellectual ability and aspiration among human individuals and human groups, since I talk about those things all the time. I was reacting against the quintessentially elitist belief that someone who went to a non-elite school and left it before graduation cannot even be reasonably intelligent. In my view, that was an expression of elitist bias against people who lack the “right” credentials.
Jim C. writes:
Clooney is obviously highly intelligent: he’s a screenwriter, director, actor, and producer. He has consistently done good work in his field. As to his mediocre Kentucky college—Clooney was born in Kentucky.
The reason a smart guy like Clooney LIES about Obama’s intelligence is the same reason Obama’s law school professor, Larry Tribe, LIED about Obama’s “gifts”: they want to promote the BIG LIE that blacks are equal in intelligence to Asians and whites.
Jim C. continues:
Here’s the Larry Tribe article on Obama, wherein the lying Tribester describes our dumb Barry as the most exceptional student he ever taught. Wouldn’t it be amusing to give both Clooney and Tribe a polygraph?
Alexis Zarkov writes:
Mr. Auster writes, “I was reacting against the classically elitist belief that someone who went to a non-elite school and left it before graduation cannot even be reasonably intelligent. In my view, that was an expression of elitist bias against people who lack the “right” credentials.”
I agree completely, and that’s why I was careful to present a few examples of college dropouts who achieved great success. However with Clooney we have little to no evidence that he’s even reasonably intelligent. Had he even finished college in a decent major, I would take that as some evidence. If he had accomplishments in something other than movie acting, I would call him reasonably intelligent. If I knew more about him, I might feel differently. [LA replies: But since, as you admit, you know very little about him, why jump into the fray as you have done and repeatedly insist that he’s not even reasonably intelligent? You deny elitist, credentials-based bias, but you keep showing it.]
Many liberals are extremely intelligent, and on the whole might be even more intelligent than conservatives if you exclude blacks. For example, Edward Witten might be the most intellegent man on the planet today as shown by his accomplishments and awards in the most cognitively challenging field of endeavor we have. Nevertheless he’s big on liberal politics. One can be intelligent, but gullible. In fact intelligent people tend to be more gullible. Houdini showed us that. On the whole, I think conservatives are more skeptical and less gullible than liberals. They have a less optimistic outlook on the human condition, and don’t believe that people can be fundamentally improved by the state. Thus conservatism is the very antithesis of Communism (as set forth by Marx). Human perfectibility is the root difference in the two outlooks. I learned this from a liberal. As a young person, I was liberal until one of my professors pointed this out. That did it. My liberalism unraveled—something I don’t think the professor wanted. It did take a few years and a lot of study to reform my outlook fully. I crossed over sometime in 1978.
Van Wijk writes:
Mr. Zarkov wrote: “There is reason to doubt this assertion. Most Hollywood actors are either high school or college dropouts, and George Clooney is no exception.”
I wonder what Mr. Zarkov thinks of those working class whites who never attended college and work in the trades. Are they simply without intelligence?
To be honest, it’s a bit astonishing that a conservative would hold up “higher education” as some sort of litmus test for intelligence. Last I checked, modern universities are utterly compromised institutions that, apart from the hard sciences, no longer provide education.
James P. writes:
We cannot know for sure what Clooney’s SAT score was. However, we do know what the broad range of IQs of Northern Kentucky students is; we know the 25th percentile and the 75th percentile. Do we have any reason to believe Clooney was not an average NKU student, i.e., that he was a far-above-average student relegated to NKU for reasons beyond his control? No, none whatsoever. Moreover, the fact that he did not graduate supports the view that he was not an above-average student trapped in an inferior school. The balance of the evidence thus indicates that his IQ is simply average. The idea that someone who attends such a school and does not even graduate has an IQ of 106 is not stunningly off-base, it is consistent with the available facts. [LA replies: what I said was stunningly off-base was your statement that the average IQ of the student body is Clooney’s IQ. And again, you, like Mr. Zarkov, are fixated on what school Clooney attended for a year or two when he was 18, rather than what he has done in his life. Your quality of animus against him, combined with your reductive means of arriving at the conclusion that he can’t even be “reasonably intelligent,” suggests an attitude that if someone is a liberal, you’re just going to go after him, period.]
Clooney is a Hollywood liberal who worships the supposed intelligence of liberals who attended elite schools, and therefore comments about Clooney’s intelligence are not based on kneejerk hostility but on the use of Clooney’s own logic and assumptions. [LA replies: Whatever Clooney’s own premises are, they are irrelevant to this discussion; you’re not having a discussion with Clooney, you’re having a discussion with me.]
Dan R. writes:
“Barack Obama is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I’ve ever known in my life.”—commenter Daniel R.
Maybe everyone else already knows, but a friend informs me this is a paraphrase of a classic line from “The Manchurian Candidate.”.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at August 31, 2011 08:31 PM | Send