Interview queen Barbara Walters turned down George Zimmeran’s interview demands because they were the ridiculous request of a desperate man, Walters told the media.
Walters confirmed a New York Post report that she had flown down from New York to Florida with the intention of securing a sure-fire ratings-bonanza interview with Trayvon Martin’s admitted killer, but she practically put the plane in reverse when Zimmerman told her to get him and his wife hotel accommodations for a month in exchange for the juicy interview.
That, coupled with the fact that Walters was not scoring an exclusive as is her normal practice (Zimmerman had already granted one to Fox News’ Sean Hannity and it aired Wednesday evening), it was quickly decided that it was not worth it to her and her team.
Initially, Walters revealed on Thursday’s “The View”, that she agreed that she would interview him and that the tape would air after Zimmerman sat down with Hannity.
When Walters and her team arrived in Florida, she said that Zimmerman came in dressed in a t-shirt, rather than a suit. “That should have been my first clue,” she said.
According to Walters, Zimmerman said that the plans had changed, and he was refusing to do the interview unless ABC granted him one request. Walters refused to confirm that he had requested a month-long stay in a hotel. “It was a condition that, being a member of ABC News, I was unable to grant,” she said.
Walters said on the show that Zimmermman as “desperate for money” and “very worried about his family.” She added that he was “polite, soft-spoken, stubborn.” She said that his lawyers “wanted him to do the interview.”
Walters also announced a funny twist to this story: Zimmerman wanted to call into “The View” to speak to Walters. “He wouldn’t do the interview, but now he has something to say,” she said, later adding, “This has been an interesting day, to say the least.”
Even though she turned him down a second time, it came with a caveat. “Mr. Zimmerman, if you could not do the interview yesterday, I don’t think we should do a quick one today,” Walters said on the air of ‘The View.’ “In the future if you feel differently, we will consider it.”
But it won’t be for money or other forms of compensation or accommodations, Walters reiterated, ABC News does not pay for interviews.