In the prestige press, Saturday has seen much clucking with distaste over Ferguson police releasing more information to the public than was optimal for the national media’s Narrative Maintenance purposes.
From the New York Times:
Earlier Saturday, in a new sign of discord among the authorities over the handling of the investigation into Mr. Brown’s death, the Justice Department said that it had opposed the release of a video that the Ferguson Police Department said showed the teenager apparently involved in a robbery at a convenience store.
The Justice Department asked the Ferguson Police Department not to release the video because of concerns that “it would roil the community further,” a United States law enforcement official said on Saturday. The Ferguson Police Department released the video on Friday and the Justice Department official said it “occurred over the objection of federal authorities.” The official said that a copy of the video had been in possession of federal investigators, as well, “and there were never any plans by the federal investigators to release that copy.”[Missouri Orders Nightly Curfew to Quell Looting, By Julie Bosman and Alan Blinder August 16, 2014]
In other words, Eric Holder’s department had this key evidence and was covering it up. Moreover, the Department of Justice declared itself to be in a de facto alliance with the looters in the street to keep non-federal agencies from releasing their copies. The Attorney General’s people wanted to keep this Narrative-undermining video hidden from the public and used the threat of mob violence to try to uphold its political advantage.
That’s really, really immoral.
The dispute showed further divisions among the authorities in the handling of the case. The surveillance video appeared to show Mr. Brown, 18, stealing a box of cigarillos. Shortly after the release of the video, Captain Johnson expressed his displeasure, saying he had not been told that the police planned to release it.
Mr. Brown’s family and many protesters accused the police of trying to harm the teenager’s reputation and to divert attention from the officer who killed him.
How can the New York Times and the Obama Administration do their job of telling you what to think about this Defining Event of our Times when the local cops are free to release a security camera video on the Internet for the whole world to view? It’s just not fair: the Obama / Media Industrial Complex has all these highly expensive methods and minions for the engineering of human souls; yet a few wreckers at the local police force can undermine all that power and prestige just by posting evidence on Youtube.