By Lesley Goldberg
Originally published on Advocate.com December 10 2009 2:55 PM ET
Like him or not, Perez Hilton has become more than a headline writer covering celebrity gossip. Through the well-documented scuffle with will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas to this week’s feud with Sam Rubin, a reporter at KTLA Morning News in Los Angeles, Hilton has become the subject of said headlines, especially with his new book, True Bloggywood Stories: The Glamorous Life of Beating, Cheating, and Overdosing. The notorious blogger says he hesitated before agreeing to do the KTLA show after a “heated” interview earlier this year with an anchor via Skype and only opted to appear because he’s a “media whore” who wanted to promote his book. Who knew showing up an hour and a half before an appearance would cause such a stir and prompt Rubin’s on-air tirade?
Hilton paused between posts and interviews to discuss the kerfuffle with Rubin, Bloggywood, polarizing audiences, and who his favorite target is.
Advocate.com: What happened with Sam Rubin on Monday at KTLA?
Perez Hilton: What happened was just an unfortunate situation that has spiraled out of control. Basically, what happened was there was a lot of miscommunication. That’s the truth. I arrived to do a segment an hour and a half before I was supposed to go on. If I would have known when I really had to be there, I would have showed up on time or brought my laptop so I could still work. It was Monday, my busiest day of the week; I could not be away from my site for close to two hours, so I asked if there was any way possible that I could go earlier than 9:20 a.m., when I was scheduled to go. They said no.
I was trying to come up with options. I said to them, “I know it’s not your fault. I apologize. It’s not my fault either; there’s just a miscommunication and let’s see if we can come up with a creative solution for it.” ... They weren’t working with me. I was like, “Well, I’ve done your show via Skype before, can I do it via Skype at the scheduled time so I don’t throw you off schedule?” They’re like, “No, we can’t really do that because we advertised and promoted you as you being here in studio and we have a whole five-minute segment planned just for you.” I asked if I could do a quick hello from the studio, like 30 seconds or a minute, something like, “Hey, everyone, some breaking Tiger Woods news came up and I’ve got to run but I’ll catch up with you guys at 9:20 via Skype with all the latest.” And they weren’t even willing or able to do that. At that point, I was like, let’s reschedule. Then it really upset me. I don’t know if you heard me on [KIIS FM with] Ryan Seacrest [Wednesday], but I called them out on their BS. I dropped names, and the one anchor, Sam Rubin, couldn’t step up to the plate and hit a home run because he was batting with faulty balls.
So Sam’s on-air tirade was based on ...
It wasn’t necessary. I’m actually flattered because the reason they did it means that I’m newsworthy and they thought I’m newsworthy and/or they wanted to use me for publicity. So I’m flattered. I love that it’s become a big story. Today [Wednesday], I told my publicist to send it to all the news shows. Hopefully it gets on all the news programs and hopefully people talk about my book!
What would it take for you to go on the KTLA morning show again?
Just for him to admit that he lied on air and misrepresented the facts. Saying that I was screaming at the people there. He said three things that were not factual: One, that I screamed at people there; two, that I thought I was bigger than [8 a.m. guest] Snoop Dogg when I said the complete opposite — I said, “I’m not Snoop Dogg, I know my place in the totum pole; Snoop Dogg is Snoop Dogg and I’m like a D-lister.” So he misrepresented that. And then he said after that all happened that my publicist reached out to them to rebook me when it’s the opposite that happened. Some woman named Grace reached out to us on Monday about rebooking before his little tirade on Tuesday.
If you were a manager at KTLA, and you’re Sam’s boss, what would you do? Do you think he should be suspended?
It depends. If he was really passionate and felt like saying that, then yes. But if somebody told him, “Oh, Perez was screaming,” then I’ll be the nice guy and give him the benefit of the doubt that somebody gave him bad information, but if you’re a journalist, it’s your job to get the facts right and going on-air and claiming that somebody did something they didn’t do.
What sort of responses have you gotten since the feud began Monday?
Like anything I do, it’s very polarizing. I’m getting a lot of support and Rubin is getting a lot of support. I’m a very polarizing figure.
What will you do if you don't get the on-air correction/retraction that you requested via Twitter?
No. I haven’t even mentioned it on my website; it’s almost beneath me.
Switching gears, do you have a favorite part of Bloggywood Stories?
My favorite part of the book is selling it! The website is like sex — hot, sweaty sex. The book is like long, all-night sex with multiple orgasms. So if you like the website, you’ll love the book.
The New York Times, in a review of Bloggywood Stories, called you a "hard-to-ignore Hollywood player," while Rolling Stone said you were "the queen of mean." How do you feel about having that sort of reputation?
I just love that I’m being talked about by TheNew York Times! [Laughs] I’m old-school — I really think any press is good press.
Have you experienced any sort of backlash since your book came out?
Yeah. Actually, there were reports that Drew Barrymore was contemplating suing me over what I wrote about her, which is true, but she hasn’t yet. I wouldn’t have been upset if she did because it would have been great publicity for my book.
What did you write about her?
About this incident I had with her at a Peaches concert several months ago and her being a hot mess.
Does it bother you to create a career out of bad-mouthing celebrities?
No, because that’s just part of what I do. I do what I do for the people who read my website every single day and because I love it. And the people that are reading my website every single day get me and see the full picture, which is in addition to the celebrity gossip, I include a lot of political posts. This year I was very involved with tons of gay issues, predominantly gay marriage. I also was very involved in other issues, like animal issues. I did a PSA for PETA; I also was involved with Rock the Vote and a campaign they had with health care reform. So I do all the political stuff, I do a ton of music posts; I often have charity posts for organizations that readers have become more aware of. And I post silly random funny videos too. I do it all, and there’s positive and negative.
Is there one specific celebrity that you refuse to dish about?
No, I’ll dish on anyone.
Who is your favorite target?
I guess it depends on the week. This week it’s been all about Tiger Woods and I love it. It’s great!
Who’s your favorite target of the year?
I’d say Jon Gosselin. I hated even having to write about him but it became this big story. But he’s just such a douche.
You put yourself on your Hot List in the book. What prompted you to do that?
It’s my book, why not? I can!
If you weren't a blogger, what would you be doing?
I would be doing what I was doing before, which is writing for a lot of the gay publications.