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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Actor George Clooney's Dad Gets Punk'd

CINCINNATI (TBD) -- Nick Looney? That's an insult, and what is going on at is ludicrous because it sure seems like spiteful conduct aimed at one of the true gentlemen still around, Cincinnati Post newspaper columnist Nick Clooney. Nick is reigning Hollywood hearthrob George's dad, and the brother of the late Rosemary Clooney, a singer/actress who is everywhere on TV these days in the fusty Yule season flick, White Christmas.

If one goes to -- the Website for the Post, the Enquirer and Scripps Howard Broadcasting's WCPO-TV -- and does a search for ''Nick Clooney," up pops this slam: ''Were you looking for Nick looney?"

The dotcom needs to scrub that immediately. The slam carries a political stench -- Nick is a Democrat who ran unsuccessfully for the House in 2004. He has teamed up recently with George to use his son's supernova starpower to shine light on the tragedy taking place in Darfur. I learned about the Internet punking from Jim Schifrin's Whistleblower, an e-newsletter that is fairly widely circulated in Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky, where Nick still lives in a picture-story Ohio River village called Augusta.

Schifrin gave U.S. Rep. Jean Schmidt, R-Ohio, the nickname ''Mean Jean" long before she was lampooned on Saturday Night Live for bashing Pennsylvania's Democratic U.S. Rep. John Murtha. Schmidt is notorious for telling Vietnam veteran Murtha ''cowards cut and run, Marines never do." Murtha's sin was advocating Iraq War policies that conflicted with President Bush's stay-the-course strategy, a policy the White House has finally abandoned.

Schifrin is a man who can turn a phrase. He baptized Nick Clooney with the sobriquet 'Nick Looney" years ago as a joke. Today, he said, "Nick Clooney's Pearl Harbor Day column in the Post was unbelievably good. But when you go to and click on the Post and then search for 'Nick Clooney,' you won't believe what comes up."

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