Turns out Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson is only in hiding when he wants to be—over the last week or so, he reportedly auditioned at least five TV anchors at a "secret location" in preparation for a sympathetic interview.
Wilson disappeared immediately after he fatally shot 18-year-old Michael Brown in August, and hasn't been heard from since—which has had some major consequences for the prosecutors assigned to his arrests. Last month, a judge let a man facing felony drug charges walk because of Wilson's absence, which prosecutors say has scuttled a number of their cases.
In the pursuit of that interview, several high-profile television anchors have secretly met with Wilson, according to sources at several TV networks. All of the meetings were off the record, meaning the anchors could not describe what was said.
These meetings are a normal part of the TV guest booking process, but they're significant in this case because Wilson has not been seen in public since Brown's death in Ferguson, Missouri on Aug. 9.
Among the anchors who have met with Wilson are Matt Lauer of NBC, George Stephanopoulos of ABC, Scott Pelley of CBS, and Anderson Cooper and Don Lemon of CNN.
Cooper and Lemon both admitted to the meetings on Twitter, describing the secret sit-downs as "standard operating procedure" and similar to pre-interview meetings with disgraced former Clippers owner Donald Sterling, a man whose absence from public life had absolutely zero real-life consequences for the criminal justice system.
— Don Lemon (@donlemon) November 23, 2014
According to Stelter, the anchors "did most of the talking," attempting to "establish trust and comfort" with Wilson. It's not clear who, if any, Wilson chose, but Cooper says it wasn't him.
Darren Wilson chose not to do an interview with me. I continue to hope to interview anyone with information about this tragedy.
— Anderson Cooper (@andersoncooper) November 23, 2014
[image via AP]