George Clooney likes to "knock around" tabloid reporters every now and then.
The Hollywood star earlier this month wrote a scathing op-ed piece for USA Today, taking aim at a British newspaper which had published a report claiming his future mother-in-law was opposed to his marriage to fiancée Amal Alamuddin.
"It's just fun to slap those bad guys every once in a while, knock 'em around," Clooney told Variety of his war of words with the Daily Mail and its website MailOnline.com.
The son of newsman Nick Clooney, the actor holds journalists to a high standard of ethics.
And he believes he had little choice in this case to attack the credibility of the publication that falsely reported information about his family, in part because he believes its reporters are harming the profession.
"I would sit with my friends and we'd just go, 'So they just sat at a computer and just went, "OK, this is what I'm gonna say today." I mean, literally, because you just go 'There isn't literally an element of truth in this,'" Clooney explained.
While he usually tries to roll with the punches, the star couldn't allow this particular piece to go unaddressed.
"You just laugh, and let it go. I'm used to it after all these years. But the thing that bothers me is how much the Daily Mail is now bleeding into American press and becoming a source for some pretty legitimate newspapers. So that's the thing that worries me," George said.
"Those are really bad guys and they do tend to tee off on everybody. It's fun when you can go, 'Well, this one, I know I have all the facts right.' Usually the argument is: 'Hey, we're not gonna tell you our source,' and, 'Prove it.' And when they actually do it themselves it's so great. You go, 'OK, well you obviously just screwed this (up), so I think I can get you now."
Clooney warns readers not to believe everything they see in the press. While he may not speak out about every claim, he insists it's only because it's important to "pick your fights at a tabloid".
"Every day they write things that aren't true, but every once in a while they write something that is actually dangerous to your family, and it's probably not true. And that's the one you pick," he revealed.
MailOnline has since deleted the story.
- Cover Media