You know what never gets old? George Clooney visiting Capitol Hill.
He’s done the celebvocacy thing before, but somehow the novelty never wears off. When he testified Wednesday about the crisis on the Sudan-South Sudan border, his every smirk and shrug was met by the click of a dozen cameras. The hearing room for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was packed to the point of overflowing into the hallway and up against the adjacent offices, and cops went around trying to quiet the masses. (Hey, people are trying to work here!)
The actor said he recently snuck over the border, from south to north, where Sudanese government planes are attacking villagers in disputed territory where violence remains despite the hopes raised by last year’s agreement that made South Sudan an independent country. He and John Prendergast, co-founder of the Enough Project, showed a video warning of “the next Darfur.” Powerful images: Dead bodies, cowering refugees, a young boy whose hands have been blown off.
Yes, Clooney told a small group of reporters before his testimony, there’s a risk of “misery fatigue” when it comes to warning the world about disasters in the making. “You have to pick your times and events; it can’t be a constant drip,” he said, reports our colleague Karen DeYoung. But it was important, he said, “to report back on what we saw.”
Next stop: The Sudanese embassy, where Clooney is expected to join hundreds of protesters on Friday morning .
Read earlier: Celebvocate: George Clooney on Darfur, 10/13/10