Horrifying fact number one: This has been the top story on Drudge for hours. Horrifying fact number two: I think maybe it deserves to be. We’re staring at a Friday so slow news-wise that this really might be the biggest thing going. And I’ve got six more hours to blog.
Thanks for doing your part to keep the HA content mill churning, George.
Max Milien, a spokesman for the Secret Service, said the protesters would be charged with the disorderly crossing of a police line, a misdemeanor. He could not confirm how many people had been arrested.
For Mr. Clooney, the arrest caps a week in Washington spent trying to draw attention to the Sudanese conflict that included testifying before a Senate Committee and attending a state dinner at the White House in honor of Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain. Mr. Clooney warned Friday that the situation was deteriorating into “a real humanitarian disaster,” and praised President Obama’s personal engagement on it, the Associated Press reported.
American officials estimate that some 500,000 civilians in the region are being deprived of food, medicine and other necessities provided by international aid organizations. In January, Susan E. Rice, the American ambassador to the United Nations, warned that if no new aid reached the region by March, the situation would be “one step short of full-scale famine.”
It’s a noble cause and I don’t question the sincerity of Clooney’s commitment to it but the crowd hooting in the second clip makes it feel like the red carpet. Maybe it raises awareness of Sudan marginally but most people, I think, come away with the vague impression that Clooney’s doing “something political” and, hey, good for him, without delving too deeply into the specifics. Read this short take at the Telegraph by an expert on Darfur about the futility of western agitation against Omar al-Bashir and how celebrity awareness-raising, however pure in intent, ends up sucking up media oxygen from more substantive proposals on ending the crisis. Quote: “Real solutions will come from the ground up. They will come from addressing long-standing issues over land, water and grazing rights. Borders need to be demarcated through dialogue. These are complex issues that don’t easily reduce to soundbites.”