Meredith: "View" Not A Joke, Actually

8/29/2006 9:18 AM PDT

Meredith: "View" Not A Joke, Actually

So it was all just a big misunderstanding: Meredith Vieira says that she didn't really mean that her old show "The View" had become "a joke" when it was printed in a recent interview. What's more, her ex-boss Barbara Walters had threatened the physical safety of her husband if it had in fact been true.

Vieira explains that the quote from Time magazine, which certainly caught the attention of a plethora of media outlets, was taken out of context. "I felt that the media was turning ["The View"] into a joke, not that the show was a joke," she says.

Indeed, as the New York Post reports this morning, Time magazine added a clarification to its own website: "[Vieira] assures Time that in no way were her comments meant to be insensitive or derogatory..." And when Vieira called Walters to explain herself, she tells the Post, Walters understood – but with a caveat: "She said [the 'joke' quote] doesn't sound like you, but if it was you, I'll have to hurt your husband." Walters was on vacation yesterday and didn't comment.

Meanwhile, Vieira's former "View"-mate Star Jones got back from a European vacation recently, only to watch her husband Al Reynolds take off to a club with three young men and a woman, according to Page Six. But Reynolds may just have been trying to help out his unemployed wife. As one friend explains, "Al went out with the new female host of '106th and Park' and a group of executives from BET."

That's Not So Hot: Paris Album Fizzles

Despite a blitz of hype and promotion that seemed to go on all summer, Paris Hilton's album "Paris" had a dismal first week, with just 75,000 copies sold in the United States, and is projected to sell a paltry 30,000 in its second week.

What's more, industry insiders are blaming the sorry sales figures on Hilton's refusal to support the record with a tour – and they're saying that it's because she really just can't sing. The album is hovering near the basement of Billboard's Hot 100, reports Page Six, and, as a result, her record label has rushed out a second single called "Turn It Up," which hasn't exactly burned up the charts. The problem, according to an industry source cited by the Post, is that while she did plenty of preening and posing for cameras, she hasn't done what most artists do when they release an album: perform on tour.

"The international people are not inclined to do a big push since she can't back up the album with a tour. Obviously, she can't sing live." Hilton's tireless rep, Elliot Mintz, himself a longtime confidant of recording artists, responds, "To me, [the album] sounds huge. For a newcomer, this is incredibly impressive."

Emmy After-Stories: Piven Impaled While Mom Covers Ears

As ever, the real activity on Emmy night came later in the evening, after the sun had gone down on LA. Rush & Molloy report that Emmy winner Jeremy Piven actually opened a blood vessel trying to kiss his statuette, and that he noticed that everyone he subsequently kissed was covered in his blood. Lovely.

And while Prince did his thing at the People magazine party at the Mondrian and Pink did hers at Social at the TV Guide bash, HBO got hired dancers to try to get the party started, like at bar mitzvahs and company holiday parties. Apparently, says the LA Times, Aida Turturro of "The Sopranos" did her best to get people groovin' but that she failed utterly with Olympic skater Sasha Cohen.

Elsewhere at that party, after cleaning up his wound, Piven held court with his on-screen entourage, but his mother, who had gone to the show as his date, had to clap her hands over her ears because the pounding disco tunes were too loud. Also, Candy and Randy Spelling showed up, but went their separate ways.

Party Favors: Couric Gets Prez On First Show, Tom Arnold Files For Legal Separation, Eminem Designs Sneakers

Katie Couric's first broadcast may include the biggest guest of all -- the President of the United States. If producers deem the sit-down to be newsworthy enough, they'll include it in a segment on the show – and then put the rest on a 9/11 primetime special called "How Safe Are We" ... Tom Arnold has filed for a legal separation from his third wife, Shelby Roos, reports People. The couple met in 2000 at the Democratic National Convention in LA and were married in 2002. The legal separation suggests that the couple may eventually reconcile, says a rep. Arnold's previous two marriages, one of them to Roseanne Barr, ended in divorce ... Eminem is designing a line of limited-edition kicks for Nike. Just 64 pairs will be available, and proceeds will benefit the Marshall Mathers Foundation, which helps troubled youth in southeast Michigan.