Barbara Walters expressed her regret after trying to assist Syrian U.N. Ambassador Bashar Jaafari’s daughter, Sheherazad Jaafari in acquiring an internship or university admission. Barbara Walters wanted to help after Sheherazad connected Walters with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for an interview.
Jaafari and Assad have a close relationship, as is apparent from e-mail exchanges between the two. In one e-mail from Jaafari, she wrote, "I am coming today. I will arrive there tomorrow," adding, “no excuses ... miss uuu, please please please." She also refers to Assad as “Handsome” in one of the e-mails.
Barbara Walters recommended Jaafari to CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight as an intern, and also contacted Columbia University journalism Professor Richard Wald, who is the son of Morgan’s producer.
After Barbara Walters contacted CNN, Morgan discovered an e-mail between Jaafari and Assad where Jaafari wrote, "I am meeting Piers Morgan tomorrow...I feel appreciated here!”
Morgan, confused, responded in The Daily Mail newspaper, not recalling any such appointment: "We didn't meet, nor speak, nor in fact have any contact at all. And given the nature of her e-mail correspondence, I don't think you should expect Ms. Jaafari to be popping up in my programme title credits any time soon," Morgan wrote.
"We didn't meet, nor speak, nor in fact have any contact at all. And given the nature of her e-mail correspondence, I don't think you should expect Ms. Jaafari to be popping up in my programme title credits any time soon," Morgan wrote.
"the fallout for Assad from the interview was such that the Syrian government went to great lengths to discredit me and ABC News," said Barbara Walters.
Jaafari had allegedly coached and prepared Assad for his interview with Barbara Walters, and suggested answers to him.
Barbara Walters rescinded her recommendation for Jaafari to Columbia University.