GEORGE CLOONEY scrapped an appearance on US TV news show DATELINE last week (ends23SEP05) after he was told a planned discussion about the news media on the programme was being replaced by a fluffy interview with Eva Longoria.

Clooney was approached to join a panel discussing the fact that entertainment news has become more important in America than current affairs to promote his new movie GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD LUCK, which focuses on the heroes of 1950s news shows.

He found it ironic that the discussion idea was scrapped when DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES star Longoria became available - and he then slammed plans to turn his appearance on the NBC show into nothing more than a promotional piece for his new film.

He says, "They pitched me an earnest discussion about the difficulties of entertainment pushing news off the air... I thought, 'That's an interesting thing.'

"Then, we got a call and the producer cancelled this for an Eva Longoria piece, which is fine. I wanted to point out that it seemed awfully interesting because we were doing a film about the dangers of entertainment constantly pushing off news (sic) and then we were pushed off for entertainment!

"I fired off a letter which said, 'Listen, if you told me you were pulling the plug on our show because we were an entertainment story and you had a news piece that you wanted instead, I would applaud your stance, but you didn't.'"