Like many others do, ABC’s Barbara Walters tried to use her many connections to help out a friend. The difference is that Walters’ friend was Sheherazad Jaafari — daughter of Syria’s UN ambassador and close aide to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Emails obtained by the UK’s Daily Telegraph show Walters tried to get Jaafari a CNN internship and a spot at Columbia University. …

“In the aftermath [of the Assad interview], Ms Jaafari returned to the US and contacted me looking for a job. 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 organisation and in academia, though she didn’t get a job or into school. In retrospect, I realise that this created a conflict and I regret that.” …

“Miss Jaafari, 22, was a close adviser to Mr Assad and was at his side as Syrian troops stepped up their campaign of killing and repression. She would speak to him several times a day, sometimes calling him “the Dude” in her adopted American accent, and was sometimes the only official in the room when he did interviews with Western journalists.”