Bashar Al-Assad's Ex-Aide is Just an Ordinary Columbia Student, OK?

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The 22-year-old aide to Bashar al-Assad, who Barbara Walters helped get into a Columbia University graduate program, used her powers of spin on herself in a New York Post interview, saying she was "nothing but a victim for some personal agendas." Sure, that's the only reason people are criticizing Sheherazad "Sherry" Jaafari, according to her conversation with The Post's Chuck Bennett and Amber Sutherland. It's not because she advised a dictator whose forces have massacred civilians and told him to sit down for a softball interview with Barbara Walters because the "American psyche can be easily manipulated." 

Besides, that whole stint as an adviser was just a learning experience for Jaafari (left, on the cover of yesterday's Post). "As any ambitious young graduate student in America, all I was trying to do in this very brief time was to build up my knowledge and to explore ways to successful academic options," she told Bennett and Sutherland. And it worked! Jaafari got into Columbia last week, though she insists that had nothing to do with an email Walters wrote on her behalf, recommending her as "brilliant" and "beautiful." In fact, she told the Post, "as for Barbara Walters, I have no idea what these allegations are." She's getting this spin-doctor thing cold: When in doubt, deny.

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