01/22/2005: Thought for the Day:
When the list was announced, there was a media outcry at Walters' choice of the hotel heiress and reality-TV star, fresh from receiving her VH1 award for "Catchphrase of the Year": "That's hot." (Here's my new "catchphrase" for '05: "Good morning.") In fact, though, the choice of Paris makes a lot of sense, given the show's philosophy and retro-'80s feel; Paris, after all, looks like the long-lost love child of a character from Dynasty. In order to find entertainment in the Paris persona, one must simply accept that materialism, greed, and a naked desire for fame are highly valued attributes in our culture. After plugging her new perfume (is there really anyone out there who wants to smell like Paris Hilton?) and her soon-to-be-released album, Screwed (is there anyone out there who wants to listen to Paris Hilton?), Hilton characterized herself as the misunderstood girl-next-door, who plans to settle down and have children in the next two years. ("Is there a guy?" asks Barbara. "I'll find one," vows Hilton.) Perhaps her current reading, a chick-lit novel called Maneater, will be of some assistance.
--Dana Stevens [slate.msn.com, on Walters's 10 Most Fascinating People of 2004]
Len on 01.22.05 @ 10:03 AM CST