CNN's airing of Hilton's exclusive interview on "Larry King Live" brought in 3.2 million viewers -- three times the show's normal average. Even more important, that number outdrew CNN's recent presidential debates -- for both Democrat and Republican deliberations.
CNN got the interview, perhaps by default, after an ABC News and NBC News bidding war ended in a public debacle. CNN then went on to market the interview heavily -- as if it wee a coup for a major news leader.
That didn't prevent CNN on-air talent from making more than a few tongue-in-cheek comments. Larry King told "Entertainment Tonight": "Someone said this is the second biggest guest you can get in the world. The first would be Osama Bin Laden. Now, what is that saying about us?"
King wasn't the only one kind of deriding Hilton. CNN's Anderson Cooper took a swipe -- before talking to a panel analyzing the interview. "We can't be above the news of the moment," he said dryly on his show "Anderson Cooper 360." But let's get back to Hilton and her potential public service aspirations. She said nothing at all revealing -- other than jail is hell, and she learned from it. Wow. Really.
Politicians can practice for years and never get the art right of avoiding the questions. Hilton, a nice-looking young lady, handled those inquiries perfectly, like a political pro.
Now what do the polls say? We don't need them. You already have some preliminaries in your hand -- 3.2 million voters said yes. Not only that, but Hilton is now getting the older crowd hooked. CNN got 1.4 million in the adults 25-54 demo -- also three times King's regular average.
Both red and blue states seem to be for Hilton.