Following their verbal dust-up at a recent dinner where George Clooney took exception to some remarks about President Obama by Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn, the latter called Clooney a “money-coddled” actor “living in a bubble” in an interview. Clooney, though, pretty much dropped n-u-t-s in counter-reply, saying among other things in his written response, “I did not attend a private boys’ school, I worked in tobacco fields and in stock rooms and construction sites. I’ve been broke more of my life than I have been successful, and I understand the meaning of being an employee and how difficult it is to make ends meet. Steve is one of the richest men in the world and he should be congratulated for it, but he needs to take off his red, sparkly dinner jacket and roll up his sleeves every once in a while and understand what most of the country is actually dealing with… or at least start with the fact that you can’t make up stories when eight people who are not on your payroll are sitting around you as witnesses.”
And this, folks, is one of the reasons that I dig George Clooney. It’s a high-and-tight fastball, this reply, but it’s more pointed and intelligent than driven by cheap, flaming rhetoric. He throws down the gauntlet, calls Wynn out, and twists the knife, but also does so in a way that deflates and all but eliminates Wynn’s slappy putdown. And just as a side note — a billionaire calling someone money-coddled? Why is it one-percenters have all the worst rejoinders?