Sean Hannity wasn’t the only media figure lined up to take a crack at a George Zimmerman interview. ABC’s Barbara Walters was ready to sit Trayvon Martin’s killer down for some questions, but pulled out after refusing to meet Zimmerman’s conditions for the interview.
Walters reportedly flew down to Florida to discuss the arrangements, but walked away from the prospect all together when Zimmerman requested that ABC put he and his wife up in a hotel room for an entire month, reports the NY Post. Walters was reportedly “appalled” by Zimmerman’s request, though she was probably on thin ice over the interview in the first place. Known primarily for exclusive interviews, Walters was reportedly none-too-happy that Zimmerman promised his first sit-down to Sean Hannity of Fox News, but was going ahead with it anyway and planning her own interview to air after Hannity’s.
On The View, Walters confirmed much of the Post’s story. When Walters and her team arrived in Florida, they met with Zimmerman, who was dressed in a t-shirt rather than a suit, reports the Huffington Post. “That should have been my first clue,” Walters said. Zimmerman said that he was changing the deal, and would still do an interview so long as ABC met his hotel request. Though Walters didn’t mention the hotel stay, she said, “It was a condition that, being a member of ABC News, I was unable to grant.”
Walters said that Zimmerman was “desperate for money” and “very worried about his family.” She also said he was “polite, soft-spoken, stubborn.” She said that his lawyers also “wanted him to do the interview.”
Zimmerman then broke his poker-face when he called Walters, asking if he could call into the show and speak to her that way. But Ba-Wa wouldn’t budge. “Mr. Zimmerman, if you could not do the interview yesterday, I don’t think we should do a quick one today,” she said. “In the future if you feel differently, we will consider it.”
It is unknown why Zimmerman pushed for a late interview. Walters has said in the past that ABC does not pay interviewees.
Here’s Barbara Walters explaining the George Zimmerman interview fallout on The View: