The Telegraph‘s detailed story on the relationship between ABC’s Barbara Walters and former Assad aide Sheherazad Jaafari soft steps what was apparently going on. Jaafari was a major aide to Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, so senior that she was often the only aide present when Assad gave interviews to Western journalists. She was very Westernized herself, and close enough to Assad that she spoke with him several times a day and addressed him as “the Dude.” As for the latter, it didn’t hurt that she’s gorgeous and could probably get away with calling the blood soaked dictator anything she wanted.
Jaafari advised Assad on how to deal with the Western press as news of his atrocities made headlines. Walters obtained the first interview with Assad during the Syrian uprising, an interview in which he apparently expressed limited regret for the killings — as Jaafari had advised him to do.
Walters knew Jaafari before the interview, since she has known Jaafari’s father for about seven years. How does Walters know a prominent Syrian? The story doesn’t say. What it does say is that when Jaafari returned to the US, she asked Walters for help getting a job and getting into a university. Walters turned her down for a job at ABC but wrote personally to Piers Morgan to get her an internship at CNN, and tried to help Jaafari get into a US Ivy League university. Both of those efforts failed.
But Barbara Walters, knowing who and what Jaafari is, tried to get her a slot at CNN. Jaafari is, most likely, still a Syrian agent. Syria is a terror sponsor, ally of Iran, enemy of Israel and hostile to the United States. Walters has apologized for her actions, but to whom? To whom does one apologize for knowingly helping someone who is probably an agent of an enemy state, obtain passage into the US media that said agent has previously sought to manipulate?