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Barbara Walters: Journalist apologizes for helping Assad aide
Question of the Day
The ABC veteran acknowledged the conflict in trying to help Sheherazad Jaafari, daughter of the Syrian ambassador to the United States and a one-time press aide to Assad. Jaafari helped Walters land an interview with the Syrian president that aired in December.
Walters said in a statement issued Tuesday she rejected Jaafari’s later request for a job at ABC News, saying it was a conflict of interest. But she said she contacted people on Jaafari’s behalf and “I regret that.”
In January, Walters wrote to Jaafari saying she contacted CNN’s Piers Morgan and his producer “to say how terrific you are and attached your resume,” the Telegraph reported. Walters also contacted Richard Wald, a former ABC News executive now a professor at the Columbia University School of Journalism, on the woman’s behalf.
ABC News President Ben Sherwood had no comment, a network spokesman said Wednesday.
Sheherazad Jaafari is the daughter of the Syrian ambassador to the United States and a one-time press aide to Assad. Jaafari played a role in Walters‘ landing an interview with the Syrian president in December.
After the interview, Walters acknowledged sending letters to try to help Jaafari land a job or get into a college in the U.S. She says Jaafari asked for a job at ABC News, but Walters refused, saying it was a conflict of interest.
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