The New York Daily News reports Barbara Walters wanted to tap NSA leaker Edward Snowden as this year’s most fascinating person for her upcoming special, but was overruled by ABC executives.
Snowden will be on the list, just further down, the Daily News reports:
Snowden, who did land further down on the list, 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.
The report suggests Walters was fascinated by Snowden, thinking he’ll be named TIME’s person of the year.
ABC News SVP Jeffrey Schneider disputes the report, telling TVNewser:
“There are only two people who pick the people who end up on the most fascinating list, and that’s Barbara Walters and Bill Geddie. I certainly understand it has been a parlor game for years, to try and figure out who will be the most fascinating, but the only people who know who’s on the list are Barbara and Bill.”
Snowden will be joined by ABC’s Robin Roberts, Jennifer Lawrence, Kim Kardashian and Kayne West, Miley Cyrus, Pope Francis, royal baby Prince George, and the cast of the breakout show “Duck Dynasty.”
“Barbara Walters Presents: The 10 Most Fascinating People of the Year” airs Wednesday, December 18 at 9:30pmET on ABC.