At a packed press conference in Venice today, George Clooney preempted potential criticisms that his Good Night, and Good Luck is a political polemic. "I didn't make the film as a political statement," Clooney said. "I made the film as a historical reference." To that end, rather than cast an actory to portray Joseph McCarthy, Clooney chose to use actual footage of the HUAC-heading witch hunter. "The trick was to show the actual McCarthy, doing what he did," said, and the film's co-writer and producer, Grant Heslov, added, "Nobody could be as bad as he was." Apparently the filmmakers were saving the hyperbole for the press conference.