Liz Smith: Is Paris Burning? Yes, But She Ain’t “Hot” Anymore..

Reality star Paris Hilton

And more from our Liz: History lessons from Mrs. Palin, the motorcycle mama … Happy birthday, Mark Wahlberg … Lady Gaga — only alive onstage?

“MY MOM told me that you get those holes in your face … craters … from giving blow jobs. I totally believed her. She’s like ‘It’s from that.’ I’m like ‘Ewwww!’”

That was Paris Hilton a few years ago, when her public image was high (or low, depending on your standards.) Needless to say, Paris’s boyfriend at the time convinced her — as any man would — that Paris’ mom, Kathy Hilton, was simply incorrect.

* * *

I WAS reminded of that quote from Paris, about a week ago when I caught Miss Hilton and her mom on Piers Morgan. Paris was there, ostensibly, to promote her reality show, “The World According to Paris.” But Kathy Hilton did most of the talking — and crying. Paris was virtually immobile, facially frozen, giving brief monosyllabic responses.

Kathy was quite chatty, however. Her weeping came at the mention of Paris’s infamous sex tape. Paris looked bored. The elder Hilton was also there to promote her own coming line of clothes. It was unfortunate, however, that Kathy — a very attractive woman — wore a dress that had a whiff of Marjorie Main to it, with badly placed and shaped pockets over her bust. Well, maybe she’ll bring this look back, along with Pa Kettle. Kathy Hilton did have some interesting things to say about Michael Jackson, with whom she claimed a close friendship, right to the very end.

The Hiltons made actual news (sorry, Piers!) when they stopped in to visit all my friends on “The View.” Barbara Walters chided Paris for the superficiality of her reality show, and was especially concerned that Paris was seen complaining about the public service duties she is obliged to perform, stemming from whatever the hell she was jailed for a few years back.

Backstage there was row with Hilton’s father, Rick, and one of “The View’s” producers. Paris herself was angry. (She must have said, “I’m angry!” Because there’s no way anybody could tell what she is feeling by just looking at her.)

Well, I’ve always been quite amused by Paris, think she’s attractive and she has made a major fortune with her many products — perfumes, lingerie, jewelry, etc. (On Piers Morgan she coyly whispered, “My parents taught me never to talk about money,” when Piers asked for figures on her wealth. But that is a thankless question. When I asked Elizabeth Taylor how much she’d paid for the fabulous Duchess of Windsor brooch back in 1986, she laughed and said, “We don’t talk money!” They never do.)

But Paris’s new show is terribly silly, and a step backward. As I’ve said before, she has peaked as a celebrity. Better to remain a behind-the-scenes entrepreneur. Talk to Kathy Ireland, Paris.

As for Miss Walters, she asked the proper questions, properly — as a good journalist should.

* * *

CHANNEL-CLICKING, web-surfing, reading and ruminating. That’s what I’ve been doing while I heal. Along with answering the phone, talking to friends who are out and about:

Sarah Palin. In the history of the world has there been a politician who has never uttered the words. “I misspoke?”  Perhaps. But ex half-term Governor Palin is the only one I can think of. What is wrong with saying, “I’m sorry. I was nervous. I made a mistake.” Nope. Our girl Sarah has to twist everything into her Politics of Victimization, and then of course, blame the media for a “gotcha question.” And then — as she has most recently — she alters American history to suit her need. The need to be correct and a victim. To Palin’s latest: Paul Revere warned the American rebels the British were coming. No bells were used. It was lanterns in the Old North Church (“one if by land two if by sea.”) Revere didn’t shout, “The British are coming,” as in legend. He road quietly, because he didn’t want to alert the British militia.

Mrs. Palin won’t accept this. And her fans have even been attempting to alter the Wikipedia entry on Paul Revere’s Ride.

To me, the best part of this was where Sarah was when she got it wrong. Sarah had just visited the Paul Revere Museum. You betcha — the media was really stretching to ask her about Paul Revere.

However, I’m late coming to remark on this. I just hope the liberal media (hello, MSNBC) is smart enough to let it drop. I’m more interested in her remark to Fox News’s Chris Wallace that she wants to “bring back Americana.”  What Americana? Figurines of George and Martha Washington?

I will say Mrs. Palin looked super hot on her motorcycle. Apparently, that’s enough for some people. And to her credit, she wore a helmet, flattening her tawny mane.

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Mark Wahlberg, who turned 40 over the weekend. This is a man who really made something of himself, rising from a hardscrabble childhood and adolescence, and avoiding the worst temptations of young fame and fortune. He’s a big deal now — as a top-flight serious actor and producer. (I still say he was robbed of an Oscar nomination for “The Fighter.”) But I’ll always remember him as the super-attractive, sweet-faced young man still shaking off his early rapper image who behaved like a choirboy during our interview.

* * *

LADY GAGA in Rolling Stone magazine: The pop star tells writer Brian Hiatt: “When I am not onstage, I feel dead, and when I am onstage I feel alive.” Also, in discussing the unhappy deaths of Elvis and Michael Jackson, Gaga asks the author, “I am at that level?” Hiatt says “it’s within sight” and though Gaga exclaims that it’s “terrifying” that he thinks so, she also says, “If it is my destiny to end up that way, then it shall be so.”

I don’t think that’s the greatest message for her “little monsters,” frankly.

* * *

FINALLY — On June 13th Peggy Siegal hosts one of her illustrious New York City events: the premiere of the documentary “Page One: Inside The New York Times,” directed by Andrew Rossi. The movie chronicles the rise of the Internet as it challenges the printed page. Sounds right up my alley. I probably can’t make the “do.” So — I hope there’s a DVD floating around?


18 Responses so far.

  1. avatar Baby Snooks says:

    Do I dare say it? The Hiltons, all of them, belong on tabloid covers. Rich trash is still trash. There. I said it. 

    As for Sarah Palin, well, ditto as they say.  Although I did enjoy her comment about loving the smell of motorcycle exhaust fumes.  At least we know she doesn’t sniff glue. 

    I personally have had enough of Barack Obama and the Bush Dynasty. I guess he was promised a magic cash camel like Bill Clinton. Whoever the Republican candidate is gets my vote. So, well, maybe we will have Biker Chick Barbie in the White House. Although I guess Daddy Bush will promise her a magic cash motorcycle to ride around the Persian Gulf on collecting the loot as they say, 

    This country has gone to hell in the hand basket.

    • avatar Selma P says:

      Baby Snooks–

      One reason the country has gone to hell in a hand basket is that people choose to cast their one vote for the person running against the incumbent.  That is just plain foolish, not to mention ignorant.  That’s how we get biker chick Barbies and assorted sundry incompetents in the House, the Senate, and the White House.  (Needless to say, going to hell on a Harley isn’t any better!)

      • avatar Baby Snooks says:

        Actually we don’t vote enough incumbents out of office. The incumbernts we have in both the Congress and the White House are the sole reason this county has gone to hell and they provided the hand basket. And would someone please tell Weiner to take his weiner somewhere else? And to take his constituents with him if they think that is acceptable behavior for a role model in our society.  

  2. avatar J G says:

    I second what Baby Snooks said, with an exception;
    I will never vote for Biker Chic Barbie. There. I said it.

  3. avatar elaine s says:

    I am not a fan of Paris Hilton.  I watched Barbara Walters grill her on The View.  I must say, I am sick and tired of watching Barbara Walters take easy shots at people.  She is a witch.  I don’t call what she does “journalism”.  She does not enlighten us, uplift us, or even inform us.  All she does is take mean shots at easy targets.  The rest of the time, she sits in her chair looking confused or else shakes her finger at her Whoppi or Joy to stop interrupting her.

  4. avatar Count Snarkula says:

    Liz you know I love you. We have connected at many a Texas Film Festival and the Texas Book Festival. And I so hope your recovery is going well. But what the hell kind of painkillers are you on where the lead in your column is Paris Hilton talking about the dangers of giving blowjobs ?!?!?! Advice from her MOTHER of all things. Surely to God there is more interesting things to write about than that. Sorry, just sayin’

  5. avatar Richard Bassett says:

    Paris Hilton: The Princess of Mediocrity. There is an element of it in everything that she says and does. I am happy that her nickel and dime (figuratively) products are selling. One can never have enough perfume, jewelry or lingerie. Yes, a Kathy Ireland party girl but Kathy (at least) generates some sincerely to the products that she does sell. I don’t see Paris as white trash. I see her as invisible trash. Though, if she is going to be on a talk show, I’ll wait up…to hear her talk about nothing in specific, confirming my earlier opinion, and then go to bed. I always give her the benefit of the doubt but she (according to her) is maturing now at age 30. No more 22 year old 4am drunken global adventures from her and you know, that sounds about right, if it is true. There is a transition when you reach 30 and it raise the bar a little higher. Her new show (like the last one) appears to be ridiculous but, in terms of entertainment, that is really all that she can do. A pretty girl? No, she is an average looking woman trying every trick in the book to be more glamorous. Her silence stems from this fact. She hardly has a gregarious personality but, perhaps, would be if she was more secure (or accepting of) her looks. A Kathy Ireland, she ain’t. To Sarah, something to ponder: The British never left. And Markie Mark (Mark Wahlberg)…they are the same, aren’t they? Well, his singing career passed me right by for one reason or another and one of my hobbies is keeping up with Billboards Top 40’s. (Did he ever sing?) I had this hobby since I was 13 and now, as an actor…that is passing me by too. Though “The Fighter” was filmed in my home town, Lowell, Mass. I need to be more observant of him. Oh wait, there were underwear print ads too! I guess I am (now) caught up with Mr. Wahlberg. Gaga continues to be in awe of her iconic reputation. When she no longer has it, it will attempt to reappear again. Self-Induced of course. I wish Gaga didn’t talk so much. It reduces the impact of her outrageous costumes. They become too fake and if she doesn’t believe in them…regarding their artistic messages (because I think that each of them are supposed to mean something), then we won’t believe them either.

  6. avatar Jay Gentile says:

    Sorry, Liz, but you lose a little of your credibility when you write about a empty vessel like Hilton. the girl became famous because of her last name and because she was willing to do literally anything — including giving Rick Solomon those face-damaging blowjobs — on video. She’s a vapid whore with a large product line. But to put her in the same column where you talk about real achievers like Ms. Walters, Elizabeth Taylor, and the Duchess of Windsor makes you and your column a joke. I expect better journalism from Liz Smith. Between the “news” about Hilton and the “news” about Sarah Palin, you have scraped a new bottom to the barrel.

  7. avatar Liz Smith says:

    Dear Count Snarkula…

    Actually, I have been refraining from painkillers.  The better to have a clear mind.  How else could I have recalled Kathy Hilton’s motherly advice to Paris?

    Just sayin’

    A very coherent Liz Smith 

  8. avatar Liz Smith says:

    Dear Jay Gentile…

    I must have missed the column I wrote in which I compared Paris Hilton favorably to Miss Taylor, Miss Walters and the Duchess of Windsor.  

    Miss Hilton has made news of a sort lately, in her dust-up with Miss Walters. As has Sarah Palin, who has also appeared many times in my column.  I’m supposed to ignore them  because they are not the late Duchess of Windsor?!  (The Duchess was no angel, Jay.)

    The joke is—you recall the name of the man in the Paris Hilton sex-tape.  I did not.  So, I didn’t scrape the absolute bottom of the barrel.    Thanks for the help.



  9. avatar J G says:

    Thanks for the chuckle, Liz. (And for showing us all how to stand up for ourselves with Grace and Dignity)

  10. avatar LuckyLady n/a says:

    Barron Hilton was a lovely man–Philanthropic, kind, and look at what he spawned.  What a shame his family turned out the way they have. Rick’s wife Kathy (and her two sisters) the proverbial prom queens; Rick Hilton with a “job”; Paris with money but completely uneducated (“that pot isn’t mine, a friend put it there”) or for airports (“that isn”t my purse, I borrowed it” or “that is my purse and the pot belongs to the girl who borrowed it”). Somebody make the woman a list of excuses if you are sure she can read because obviously she can’t think on her feet.  I say au revoir Paris–most of the world is weary of you and your hair extensions!

  11. avatar Daniel Sugar says:

    Get well!

  12. avatar madhatter_80 says:

    Lady Gaga has had the ‘Elvis/MJ’ vibe for awhile now.  It is eerie.  So much of what she says in interviews reminds me of Michael Jackson which is not a good thing.  In the outtakes of her 60 minutes interview with Anderson Cooper she even proclaims herself a showbiz martyr.  If that is the fate she wants to be then that is fine.  I just hope she doesn’t bring kids into the equation to leave behind when her possible self fulfilling prophecy becomes real.    

  13. avatar wilowist says:

    In a recent interview, Gaga mentioned “Paparazzi,” and said, “The fans really want to know what you look like when you’re dead.”