Why 'Enable' Paris Hilton?
June 22, 2007 12:39 PM
If it’s true that NBC is paying Paris Hilton $1 million for her first TV interview out of the slammer, something that the Peacock network won’t comment on, that’s akin to giving a junkie a heroin fix.
According to the New York Post, NBC offered the family that princely chunk of change for an interview that will air the day after she is sprung with “Today Show” co-host Meredith Vieira. Yep, I guess Paris did learn something in the slammer after all—how much she craves the spotlight. So much for those crocodile tears and how being locked up has changed her life.
Given all the subsequent bad buzz about NBC’s journalistic ethics, possibly paying for a celebrity profile, I’m beginning to wonder if this interview with Hilton will happen after all. I hope not because it really lowers the bar for broadcast newsgathering organizations.
But is the “Today Show” about newsgathering at all? As it morphs along, “Today” is starting to look more like “Entertainment Tonight.” And that’s fine if that’s the goal. But don’t further enable Paris, a publicity junkie, and dignify this “interview” by calling it news.