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When asked why he made the umpteenth uniquely brave film attacking Joseph McCarthy, Mr. Clooney responded, “I thought it was a good time to raise the idea of using fear to stifle political debate.” (Self-righteous poseurs like Mr. Clooney make the ideological minority’s experience especially torturous when they “speak truth to power” and act as if they are taking on a censorious government Goliath.)

His answer - aimed at the Bush administration, which he knew would not retaliate in any punitive way - takes on a different meaning for his conservative peers in the shadows.

Then there was Mr. Clooney’s famous industry self-congratulations at the 2006 Academy Awards: “We’re the ones who talked about AIDS when it was just being whispered, and we talked about civil rights when it wasn’t really popular. And we, you know, we bring up subjects. This Academy, this group of people gave Hattie McDaniel an Oscar in 1939, when blacks were still sitting in the backs of theaters. I’m proud to be a part of this Academy, proud to be part of this community.”

By falsely linkingtoday’s politically correct order to pre-civil rights Hollywood - well before the town was subsumed by baby-boomer moral confusion and when party representation was varied - the perpetually campaigning Mr. Clooney shows why the system pays him well.

His sanctimony is symptomatic of the current Hollywood power structure. He is an unwitting tool that lets the industry get away with political blackballing by repeating the notion that the business is pure and uses art to remedy reactionary mistakes of the past.

While Orson’s trajectory was not typical of the average conservative convert (see his controversial 1971 book on Wilhelm Reich’s sexually liberating psychotherapy, “Me and the Orgone”), he publicly endorsed Richard Nixon and wrote an early piece for National Review.

“When the blacklist hit, I saw actors walk across the street to avoid me. The doorman at 485 Madison Avenue (former CBS headquarters) turned his back as I walked by. But I never felt hated by the ring-wing blacklisters. They just felt we were terribly wrong,” he said.

“These days, the left doesn’t just disagree with right-wingers - they hate them. People actually shudder when I tell them I’m a Republican. I should have to carry a bell and yell, ‘unclean.’ It doesn’t bother me, though. I’ve been on both ends. Being hated is like voodoo. It only works if you feel hated. And I just won’t. I know it will pass.”