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Barbara Walters refuses impromptu interview with George Zimmerman

July 20, 2012 at 12:12 PM ET

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Barbara Walters refused to take a last-minute call from George Zimmerman on "The View."

The opportunity for a live, on-air phone interview with George Zimmerman, the man currently awaiting trial for the fatal shooting of teen Trayvon Martin, might be reason enough for some TV talk hosts to change their plans and take Zimmerman's call -- but not for Barbara Walters. Zimmerman called into “The View” Thursday morning only to be rebuffed by the veteran journalist.

Earlier during Thursday’s show, Walters explained that she’d set up an interview with Zimmerman the day before, but the plans fell through when an agreement about the terms for the talk couldn’t be reached.

According to Walters, Zimmerman would only do the interview under one condition. She wasn’t willing to reveal that caveat, but added, “It was a condition that, being a member of ABC News, I was unable to grant.”

Offering one big clue, she said, “He’s desperate for money. His defense fund ran out.”

Before the show was over Walters announced that Zimmerman would call in, but when he did just that, she was the one to call off the interview.

As a spokesperson for ABC told TODAY.com, "On yesterday's live broadcast of 'The View' Ms. Walters said that George Zimmerman would be calling in to the show.  When she said that on air, Mr. Zimmerman had not called yet and when discussed during the commercial break, Ms.  Walters thought it was too important an interview to do briefly over the phone."

Walters then explained her decision, addressing Zimmerman.

"Mr. Zimmerman, if you could not do the interview yesterday, I don't think we should do a quick one today," she said as “The View’s” live audience cheered. "In the future if you feel differently, we will consider it.”

 

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