Walters talks men with Huffington

THE FAB rising star, Shia LaBeouf, has decided to break his silence and let us know what it was like to finally meet the hero — “Indiana Jones” himself. I do mean Harrison Ford, with whom Shia plays in the latest “Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” movie. Shia: “The first time I met Harrison we were on an Air Force base doing stunt and vehicle training. He arrived in a big chopper and everyone stopped what they were doing. He got out of the helicopter, pulled a whip out of the glove box and proceeded to pull a sword out of a man’s hand using the whip. He then introduced himself to everyone.” And this is the same tough guy who is putty in the hands of the slight, trim, girlish Calista Flockhart. He’s also the kind of guy who makes his own phone calls and doesn’t put you on hold.

BARBARA WALTERS, soon to appear on the bestseller list with her memoir “Audition,” asked that other writer-dynamo Arianna Huffington if there’s a man in her life? Arianna thought, “No, right now my life is divided by the kids who are 18 and 16, the Huffington Post and my new book. ‘Right Is Wrong.’ There is no man in my life. I feel I would have to really fall in love; it would have to be really worthwhile.” Barbara pressed on: “What if he were a conservative Republican?” Arianna: “I don’t think that would be an impediment. I think if I fell in love with him I would probably convince myself that I would change his mind.” Arianna’s fans crammed into the Chambers Hotel Friday for a Jann Wenner, Matt Nye, Tom and Kathy Freston hosting of her new book which suggests that “the lunatic fringe has hijacked America, shredded the Constitution and made us less safe.” But you can bet Tim Russert was among the missing. He and Arianna are on the outs since reports that he blackballed her from NBC.

PEOPLE ARE talking about a president’s great-grand-daughter and she is Margaret Hoover, now a Fox News contributor. She also recently guest-hosted on “The View” and Bill O’Reilly regularly introduces her as something of an oxymoron — “a Republican feminist!” Margaret has worked at the White House and participated in two presidential campaigns. But she is determined to shatter the received wisdom that President Herbert Hoover caused the Great Depression. She says this is not so and she is working to “clear” his name.

BETTE MIDLER is temporarily back in town hosting the New York Restoration Project’s 7th annual “Spring Picnic” on Monday at the Toyota Children’s Learning Garden on the lower east side. (It’s at 11th street between Avenues B & C.) The evening will hark back to the 60’s with DJ Tom Finn spinning those “Let’s Twist Again” records. Katie Couric, Bradley Whitford, Tony Bennett, Candice Bergen, Kristin Chenoweth, Susie Essman, James Snyder, Leslie Kritzer, and the “face” of Ralph Lauren, model Lonneke, are just a few who will answer Bette’s call. Tickets? 914-579-1008.

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