Syria allowed Barbara Walters to interview the dictator.
Why Walters? Because she already has a Vogue-ish track record. And she is the go-to interviewer to help celebrities rehabilitate their reputations, since she will never embarrass her guests.
For example, in March, Walters gushed about how great the Assads are on her TV show The View:
According to YNet, in this interview Assad tries to duck responsibility for the thousands of murders committed in recent months by the Syrian security forces:
Syrian President Bashar Assad has denied responsibility for the killing of thousands of anti-government protesters. In an interview with ABC News, to be aired Wednesday, Assad said he does not control the forces implementing his country's brutal crackdown.There's a leader for you - blaming his army and saying that he cannot control them.
During the interview, the Syrian ruler said that although he is president he does not “own the country, so they're not my forces.”
In his first interview with an American news outlet since the violent crackdown began in March, Assad said there was “a big difference” between having “a policy to crack down and having mistakes committed by some officials.”
Maybe Syria hired a PR firm for this interview as well. The timing of Walters' March interview was suspiciously close to the infamous Vogue article, which makes one wonder whether a paid PR firm got ABC News to create a puff piece for the ruthless dictator last spring - and whether ABC is doing the same today.