The NYT article on Asma and Bashar Assad says volumes on the state of the media today.If you’re hot and speak English you can pretty much get fawned over. Until you start killing thousands of your own people.
Why the media loved them so much at first:
Andrew Tabler, a Syria expert with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy who once worked for a charity sponsored by Mrs. Assad, summed up the appeal the Assads had for some news outlets: “He speaks English, and his wife is hot.”
Joan Juliet Buck on her Vogue article and Mrs. Assad:
she said Mrs. Assad was “extremely thin and very well-dressed, and therefore qualified to be in Vogue.”
(these are the Vogue qualifications. Wow.)
So - perhaps Barbara Walters helped Assad’s aide because she was hot:
Two people close to Ms. Walters said she had reacted to a plea from Ms. Jaafari for help because Ms. Jaafari was being removed from her position as a media adviser to the Syrian president.
Mr. Tabler said that he didn’t “find it surprising what Walters did for her.” The issue, he said, was the timing.
“At that point, how many had been killed — 7,000?” he said. “This is an attractive young woman, and she speaks English. Maybe you help her with an introduction. To get beyond that is a little difficult to swallow.”