The person Barbara Walters wanted to pick as the most fascinating person of 2013 was nixed by ABC executives, the New York Daily News reports.
The publication reports that Walters wanted Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor who leaked classified documents to the press.
Snowden, of course, is on the list, as we reported earlier this week when nine of the 10 names on the list were made public. But Snowden is not No. 1 — and that selection has not yet been revealed.
“Walters had been collaborating with ‘The View’ executive producer Bill Geddie throughout the year on choosing the 10 figures to appear on ‘Barbara Walters Presents: The 10 Most Fascinating People of the Year.’ She had a particular fascination with the former NSA contractor, we’re told, because at one point she believed he would be chosen as Time magazine’s Person of the Year,” the story reports.
One reason for the network’s reticence about Snowden may be his lack of availability. The report notes that Snowden "is particular about his outlets, relying mainly on journalist Glenn Greenwald — formerly of the Guardian — to tell his stories, and would not participate. Instead, the network did a write-around with old interview clips for his part, much like they did with Gen. David Petraeus in 2012."
Other figures picked for the special include Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence, singer Miley Cyrus and baby Prince George. ABC declined to confirm who will be interviewed for the special or who will be picked as the most fascinating person of the year.
The show will also include Walters’ picks for the most fascinating people of the past 20 years, the story adds.