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Paris To The View? Don’t Rule It Out, Says Barbara Walters

paris_phone_061107.jpgBarbara Walters is still milking her impromptu jailhouse phone call from Paris Hilton, and it seems Walters is at least considering Hilton for a guest spot on The View when the heiress gets out of prison.

Walters and longtime executive producer Bill Geddie talked about such a scenario on Babs’ Sirius radio show, while simultaneously patting themselves on the back for upholding diversity quotas (one apparent hurdle for a prison-to-View move for Paris: she’s not black):

CALLER: I think what’s lacking from The View are two things: an African-American voice and a young, hip, party girl. I wonder if you would you ever consider bringing Paris on as a co-host?

BW: Wouldn’t that be fun. By the way, we’ve had an African-American on almost every single day, and we do think it’s important to have an African-American on when we choose the new people we’re adding, but there hasn’t been a day practically this whole year that we haven’t had an African-American on. If Paris wanted to come on and be a member of our panel …

BILL GEDDIE: Let me answer that: no.

BW: Let me answer that: yes.

BILL GEDDIE: No.

BW: Yes.

BG: Whatever, it’s not going to happen.

BW: Bill and I used to say when we do specials if we both agree that’s great, if he feels very strongly about something, then we go with him. If I feel very strongly about something, then we go with me.

BG: But the end of the story is that if she feels strongly and I feel strongly, we go with her [Barbara].

BW: [Laughing] And that’s the way it should be.

More grist from the show, including Paris’ jailhouse reading materials (the Wall Street Journal — seriously), the View hiring update and more:

BARBARA WALTERS: She said she’s different, this is the big story.

[Reading Paris Hilton quotes from their conversation] “I’m not the same person I was. I know now that I can make a difference, that I have the power to do that. I’ve been thinking that I want to do different things when I am out of here. I used to act dumb, it was an act. I am 26 years old and that act is no longer cute. It’s not who I am nor do I want to be that person for the young girls who looked up to me. I’ve become much more spiritual, God has given me this new chance.”

BW: Then I asked what kind of things she might want to do, and she’d like to help in the fields of breast cancer, her grandmother had breast cancer, mulitple scelrosis, her father’s mother suffered from the disease, or she thought she might want to get toy companies to build a kind of “Paris Hilton Playhouse,” where sick children might come and the toy companies would donate toys.

BW: She has had a person … this I couldn’t quite get. She has had a person in her life before she went to jail, who she described as a “spiritual advisor,” who told her ‘My spirit or soul did not like the way I was being seen, that is why I was sent to jail, God had released me.’

BW: She’s reading newspapers, The LA Times , and… The Wall Street Journal. It’s not surprising that she likes The Wall Street Journal.

Five days [is a long time] to sit by yourself, and she’s alone in the room, and think ‘Why am I here, have I changed, what brought me here?’ The difference we’re going to see is when she gets out. But the fact that she says ‘I used to act dumb it was an act, but I’m 26 years old and that act is no longer cute.”

BILL GEDDIE: We’ve been around her … and she’s perfectly pleasant.

BW: This was not a vindictive or a mean girl…ot on drugs, not on cocaine, not falling apart.

I asked her what she was wearing, she was wearing the prison garb, an orange or brown jumpsuit. She’s not allowed makeup. She said her skin was so dry, there’s no cream there, but she said it doesn’t matter, I’m not that superficial girl, I have not looked in a mirror since I got here.

She said I feel that the purpose of my life is to be where I am but however usually with a situation like mine the person serves 10% of their time … I have served 30% of my time.’

BW: That’s legitimate.

BW: Her mother told me that Paris told her, ‘I will never again have another drink and drive.’ By the way, she does still have a license which I thought was surprising. So I think the big thing out of this … when she says I’m 26, that was an act, it’s not cute anymore, I’ve changed, and we give her the benefit of the doubt and let’s see what happens when she gets out.

She says she’s changed, she says she’s going to be different. We have to wait and see when she comes out…is she? Or is she going to put on little short skirts and go the clubs again, in which case a lot of people will feel that they were taken.

BW: We’ll see what happens when she gets out, does she write a book, does she do a movie, does she change her life?

BW: Before she could just be adorable and get money for being adorable, but what happens if now this sort of ‘cute girl’ gets out and no longer is being just cute? What does she do, how does she earn money? Is she going to get a television show … is the new serious Paris going to be able to earn the same kind of living?

CALLER: I think what’s lacking from The View are two things: an African-American voice and a young, hip, party girl. I wonder if you would you ever consider bringing Paris on as a co-host?

BW: Wouldn’t that be fun. By the way, we’ve had an African-American on almost every single day, and we do think it’s important to have an African-American on when we choose the new people we’re adding, but there hasn’t been a day practically this whole year that we haven’t had an African-American on. If Paris wanted to come on and be a member of our panel …

BILL GEDDIE: Let me answer that: no.

BW: Let me answer that: yes.

BILL GEDDIE: No.

BW: Yes.

BG: Whatever, it’s not going to happen.

BW: Bill and I used to say when we do specials if we both agree that’s great, if he feels very strongly about something, then we go with him. If I feel very strongly about something, then we go with me.

BG: But the end of the story is that if she feels strongly and I feel strongly, we go with her [Barbara].

BW: [Laughing] And that’s the way it should be.

Another caller asked the same question about a potential African-American host and Paris on The View:

BW: She would certainly always give us something to talk about.

BILL GEDDIE: First of all, we had an African-American on for nine years with Star Jones. We have really two positions open, I think people forget. We got a lot of hiring to do here. So the chances of us hiring two white women … not very likely.

BW: And we do like the diversification and we think it gives us … for some discussions, not all, a different point of view. We got a lot of work to do and we’ve fortunately been going very strong on The View . We were a little concerned when Rosie, who is such a strong personality, left, but we are going strong.

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