Jewish World Review Dec. 24, 2004 / 12 Teves, 5765
We'll never have Paris again!
Even a gossip columnist has limits.
Paris Hilton has finally abused mine.
Over the past five years without any discernible talent, education, scruples, manners, modesty or underpants the pretty blond great-granddaughter of hotel magnate Conrad Hilton has waged a terrifying campaign for world domination.
The arc of Paris' "career" from rich, witless party girl to rich, witless party girl with a hit television show is an insult to the American sense of fairness: the idea that you get ahead by working hard, playing by the rules and acquiring a skill of some sort.
Paris has bothered with none of the above, and yet society continues to reward her with money and fame.
The British actor Stephen Fry put it best when he observed recently to this column that being Paris "takes a startling vanity, an enormous lack of self-knowledge and a huge amount of greed and desire."
What is it about this otherwise unremarkable 23-year-old that can provoke such seething outrage?
Let me count the ways:
WHILE OTHERS SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES OF THEIR BAD BEHAVIOR, PARIS JUST SKATES: When she was caught on video making nice to two African-American men, then treacherously calling them "dumb n " after they left, it might have been a career-ender, but Paris barely got her wrists slapped. Even after her former friend Brandon Davis claimed: "She is a racist, plus an idiot. . . . She puts down Jews and other minorities, too. And I'm Jewish." Paris who, according to published reports, tried to buy the tape to take it out of circulation sidestepped the issue of using racial epithets but declared: "I love everybody and am not a person who discriminates against anyone ever."
IT MUST BE TOUGH MAKE THAT VICIOUS LOVE: Shortly after issuing her affirmation of universal undifferentiated affection, Paris was spotted at the nightclub Marquee trying to oust a fellow blond from a table: "The blond held her arms up in the air in a 'Bring it on' kind of way," reported The New York Observer. "Paris reached into an ice bucket passing by and, cackling, launched some cubes at her. 'You're the f ugliest b ever!' Paris screamed," according to The Observer.
SHE DOESN'T JUST STRAIN CREDULITY, SHE HERNIATES IT: After the infamous videotaped sex romp with ex-boyfriend Rick Salomon from which she earned a reported $400,000 Paris claimed to Rolling Stone: "I'm not a sexual person, really. I don't really care about sex. If I'm in a relationship, we don't even do anything, really. We just watch TV. I'm too lazy." Her mother, Kathy Hilton, insisted to Vanity Fair: "Paris is the most modest girl." Meanwhile, Paris recently told the "Today" show's Matt Lauer: "Like, I work every single day. . . . I really work my butt off."
HER SENSE OF ENTITLEMENT KNOWS NO BOUNDS: At Bungalow 8, Paris "swanned to the head of the long bathroom line, as is her custom," my colleague Ben Widdicombe wrote last month. "But when Lindsay [Lohan's] friends tried to do the same thing, there was a rank-and-file rebellion. 'But Paris just did it,' whined one Lohan hanger-on. A gatekeeper responded: 'Yeah, but she does it every week. Now get to the back of the line.'"
SHE'S PROUD TO BE SNOBBISH: Asked by Entertainment Weekly if she still keeps in touch with the Ledings of Altus, Ark., the family that gave her bed and board for the first season of "The Simple Life," Paris answered coldly: "I changed my number." A wounded Janet Leding later complained: "She made us sound like we were trying to stalk her."
SHE'S A BAD TIPPER: In August, after Paris, Christina Aguilera and their respective posses ordered late-night food at Miami's Raleigh Hotel, they reportedly left a $12 gratuity on a $300 check.
SHE'S SHAMELESS: When her much-hyped but little-listened-to single, "Screwed," was leaked, as my colleagues Rush & Molloy reported, Paris showed up at nightclubs and insisted that her deejay pals play it over and over, assaulting the eardrums of innocent paying customers.
CONSISTENCY? HOBGOBLIN OF LITTLE MINDS!: Paris eagerly posed for a poster to tout Sean Combs' "Vote or Die" crusade during the recent presidential election, then didn't vote or, for that matter, even register, according to public records obtained by this column.
SHE HAS DISTRESSING TASTE IN MEN: Yes, Paris once dated blue-chip movie star Leonardo DiCaprio, back in the last century, but the quality of her boyfriends seems to have declined and steeply after that. Among her many, many paramours: occasional rehab denizen Edward Furlong, womanizer Jared Leto, "Girls Gone Wild" promoter Joe Francis, notorious porn purveyor Salomon, shrill punk-rocker Deryck Whibley, "Australian Idol" contestant Robert Mills and bubblegum crooner Nick Carter who denied causing the bruises that suddenly showed up on her face last summer.
SHE PROBABLY WON'T EVEN READ THIS COLUMN: The literacy cops should dispatch an emergency bookmobile, sirens blaring. Pressed by Barbara Walters, Paris claimed to have cracked the down-market chick-lit novel "Man-eater," but there's no evidence that she even read her own book, a satirical how-to manual titled "Confessions of an Heiress." When Hilton's "co-author" Merle Ginsberg congratulated her on hitting The Wall Street Journal's best-seller list, Paris replied, "What's The Wall Street Journal? Is that good?"
Make no mistake: I plead guilty to having been one of Paris' enablers encouraging and even celebrating her silly ways through countless mentions.
I admit that Paris and I have been snared in an ugly web of mutual addiction: She to all the lurid ink, me to all the pointless drama.
But on the "Today" show Thursday morning, I announced my New Year's resolution: going cold turkey. No more Paris Hilton.
Far be it from me to advise other practitioners in the gossip game, but I'm through with her.
We're a better country than that.
Iraq is a better country than that.
But I don't want to be unreasonable about it.
If she discovers a cure for cancer, wins the Nobel Peace Prize, launches herself into outer space or even gets her high-school diploma I'll be happy to revisit the issue.
But until then, this is the last time you'll see Paris in this column.
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© 2003, Creators Syndicate