Barbara Walters tried to get Assad aide a job at CNN
New York Post:
Let this be a lesson to all mainstream media types; if you're going to help a foreign nation infiltrate our media, don't put anything in writing.
Just weeks after TV doyenne Barbara Walters landed an exclusive interview with brutal Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, she tried to get his comely young press aide a job at CNN and a spot at Columbia University, newly released e-mails show.
A humbled Walters apologized yesterday after a Syrian opposition group exposed the cozy - and questionable - e-mails she exchanged with Sheherazad Jaafari, the glamorous, 22-year-old former Assad adviser, who helped arrange the big "get" with the Middle East strongman last December.
The "View" founder had called Jaafari "dear girl" and signed her e-mails "Hugs, Barbara" while Jafaari referred to the 82-year-old TV veteran as her "adopted mother."
A few weeks after the airing of the Damascus interview, in which Assad brazenly denied ordering the bloody crackdown that has cost 9,000 lives, Walters had an intimate lunch with Jaafari at the Mark Hotel on the Upper East Side, according to London's Daily Telegraph, which first obtained the e-mails.
During lunch, Jaafari, the daughter of Bashar Jaafari, the Syrian ambassador to the UN, asked for a job at ABC News.
Sheherazad Jaafari had assured Assad, whom she called "the Dude," that the "American psyche can be easily manipulated," the e-mails show,
But Assad felt humiliated by Walters' questions about the violence and had Jaafari sacked, sources told The Post.
"In the aftermath, Ms. Jaafari returned to the US and contacted me looking for a job," Walters said in a statement.
"I told her that was a serious conflict of interest and that we would not hire her. I did offer to mention her to contacts at another media organization and in academia," Walters said, "though she didn't get a job or into school."
To that end, Walters had reached out Jonathan Wald, a producer for CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight" telling Jaafari, "I wrote to Piers Morgan and his producer to say how terrific you are and attached your resume."
Jaafari would fit right in at CNN. Anyone who thinks Americans are "easily manipulated" would do fine at that network.
Just for fun, let's imagine it's the eve of World War II and an aide to Goebbels assists the New York Times reporter in getting an interview with Hitler. What would be the ethical problems in helping that young man get a job at the Washington Post?
The fact that you can answer that and Walters can't reveals much of the arrogance and stupidity present in the media.