TV anchors have met with Darren Wilson for potential interview

Reporters have been doing this for ages: they meet in off-the-record sessions with high-profile interviewees in the hopes of getting the elusive exclusive interview.

But this time, it’s Darren Wilson being interviewed, and CNN’s Brian Stelter says the secrecy is now a problem.

“Because it was off the record, those anchors can’t talk about the meetings and the networks can’t even confirm that they happened,” Stelter says.

The controversy is not the interviews themselves, since Wilson’s story should be told for fair journalism to be upheld.

The problem is the idea that Wilson hasn’t spoken in open court to tell his story but could be willing to tell it to famous TV anchors.

Reporter Chico Harlan writes for the Washington Post:

What makes Wilson’s case notable…is the completeness of the information void: Wilson left no traces on social media […] His police chief says they haven’t spoken since the aftermath of the shooting. Even at pro-Wilson rallies, most who show up say they’re simply showing support for police officers and due process. Nobody in Wilson’s far-flung family has spoken on his behalf.

Since Stetler broke the story, a few prominent reporters have spoken up about their interview process.

Anderson Cooper, for example, points out that reporters had gone through a similar process with another infamous interviewee: Donald Sterling. “Prior to interviewing Donald Sterling, for example, I also met with him to ask him to do an interview. That’s how you ask for an interview,” Cooper said on Twitter.

Don Lemon also confirmed Stelter’s report:

The interviews, which included TV anchors from CNN, NBC, ABC and even 60 Minutes, were meant mostly as a means to establish trust so that Wilson will be more willing to choose one of these anchors when he decides to break his silence.