Paris when she fizzles



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Now we know the real reason why ABC and NBC opted out of airing a postjail interview with Paris Hilton. Money had nothing to do with itthey obviously realized that nothing she could say could possibly be interesting enough to justify squandering an hour of airtime on her, even in the middle of the summer when Last Comic Standing and Next Best Thing: Who Is The Greatest Celebrity Impersonator? are making the cut in prime time. The overexposed heiress's breathlessly hyped visit to CNN's Larry King Live was an astonishingly dull hour of television, made worse by the postgame analysis that a clearly pained Anderson Cooper led with a "panel of experts."
It didn't have to be that way: King, who takes pride in doing as little homework for his interviews as possible, could have opened the frakking phone lines instead of just asking her minor variations on the same three questions over and over (it might have spared us exposure to her seizure-inducing quasipoetry). And unlike Barbara Walters or Meredith Viera, King has had his own legal troubles and close brush with jail time that he could have used as a means of bonding with her and making the interview more interesting, instead of letting Paris carry on as if she was the first woman in human history to spend a few weeks in the county lockup. When you've got something as juicyand legitimately substantialas the Elizabeth EdwardsAnn Coulter TV dustup going on (to say nothing of a crime as bizarre and tragic as the Chris Benoit murder-suicide, the kind of thing King would normally be all over like white on rice), there's no logical reason for viewers to shower attention on someone with so little to say.

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