According to the New York Daily News’ Confidential blog, Barbara Walters wanted to name NSA leaker Edward Snowden as her most fascinating person of the year, but was overruled by ABC network executives.
Walters is reportedly especially intrigued by Snowden, and believes he will be chosen as TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year (he trailed Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Egyptian defense minister Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, and twerking minister Miley Cyrus in the readers’ poll).
Snowden, who declined to sit for an interview with Walters, remains on the list, but is no longer at the top spot. ABC plans to “write around” his absence.
Other selections for “Barbara Walters Presents: The 10 Most Fascinating People of the Year” range from Pope Francis to KimYe to Diana Nyad.
After revealing the existence of vast surveillance operations run by the National Security Agency, Snowden fled from Hong Kong to Russia, where he currently has asylum. His most recent revelation, about the NSA’s mass collection of cell phone location data, came just yesterday.
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