Cooper/Hilton Comes From The Fox Playbook. Remember Banfield/Kournikova?

By Brian 

> Update: 3:31pm: A Fox News executive responded, “Poor Charlie is delusional and will stop at nothing to see his name on the blogs.”

Fox News Channel’s effort to tie Anderson Cooper to Paris Hilton is reminiscient of a 2001 strategy to deflate the buzz about Ashleigh Banfield.

“It’s a cheap shot straight from the playbook” of former Fox PR man Rob Zimmerman, ex-FNC employee Charlie Reina says in an e-mail to Romenesko.

In Dec. 2001, in a Washington Post profile of the up-and-coming MSNBC anchor, Zimmerman labeled Banfield “a lightweight… the Anna Kournikova of television news.”

Interestingly enough, Reina suggests that Fox tried to hire Cooper not long after his star began to rise at CNN. Here’s his letter…

> Last year: Cooper = Banfield?