As the hot potato that is the first post-pokey interview with Paris Hilton was tossed around, Barbara Walters deemed it unworthy, a potentially bad PR move and opted to decline the opportunity, allowing CNN to swoop in.
According to Cindy Adams, Walters had this to say about the jostling.
"Look, I’ve done prison interviews before, but people like the Menendez Brothers were really important news stories," said the First Lady of the Soundbites.
"This wasn’t. And even though I’d already written my questions, when all that pay-for-play stuff happened, I suddenly felt this was not up to my standard. It . . . felt . . . sort of . . .
Tawdry. The whole thing somehow was beneath me. Besides, it was a no-win. If I did a tough piece and her tears started to flow, it would be, ‘Oh, there’s Barbara Walters making people cry again.’ Too soft, and I’d be criticized."
Walters reports that ABC wanted the "get" for the ratings, but that they were "classy" about it and let her decision stand. Besides, she’d already interviewed the incarcerated socialite on the phone and been the first to report that Paris Hilton has "changed."
All this while Paris Hilton, the new voice for the disenfranchised, was (again) waxing altruistic and public-service minded in yet another phone interview, this time with Ryan Seacrest.
Beyond the thankful-for-her-pillow talk, Hilton let Seacrest in on her plans to build a facility to help end the recidivism cycle of female convicts.
E Online reports that Hilton said she hopes it will be "a place for them to go get food, clothes on their back, get them up on their feet. Especially the mothers. It’s just a really bad cycle. If we stop it now, we can make our community a better place."
All noble, but we’ll believe it when we see it.
Leopard. Spots. You know the drill.