Yesterday ABC’s George Stephanopoulos conducted the first interview with Darren Wilson, the cop who killed Michael Brown. Wilson told Stephanopoulos that he “would not do anything differently that day”; that he was just “doing his job,” and that he has a “clean conscience.” Wilson may, God forbid, be reporting his feelings honestly, but he can’t possibly be doing so with his account of what happened. A source from NBC, who was also bidding for the interview, said that ABC payed in the mid-to-high six figures for the interview.
At the New Yorker, a reminder that the Ferguson prosecutor, Robert McCulloch, had the authority to charge Wilson with a crime, which is how most prosecutions begin. Instead, McCulloch decided to open a grand jury investigation. As Jeffrey Toobin points out, grand juries are widely viewed as “tools of prosecutors.” Here’s how Sol Wachtler, the former chief judge of the New York Court of Appeals, put it: “A prosecutor could persuade a grand jury to ‘indict a ham sandwich’ if he wanted to.” Technically, McCulloch turned over the decision; in effect he remained in control.
The Ferguson library has been staying open when other public organizations, including schools, have closed. You can donate to the library by clicking on the button in the upper right-hand corner of their website. You can also follow them on Twitter.
First Look Media has killed Racket, the political-satire site it was planning to launch under the direction of Matt Taibbi. But Taibbi left under acrimonious circumstances last month, and First Look, after reportedly looking for a replacement for him, has decided to let go of the staff Taibbi had hired. Yesterday, Taibbi tweeted, “Feel sick about Racket. And before Thanksgiving. I’m sorry to all.” At In These Times, Bookforum editor Chris Lehmann suggests that the situation at First Look isn’t that surprising. “Decades into the information age, the culture of Silicon Valley and the traditions of investigative reporting still make for an awkward fit.”
Obama’s new Treasury nominee, Antonio Weiss, has been instrumental in a deal that will let Burger King merge with the Canadian coffee-and-donuts company Tim Hortons—and, as a result of the merger, pay Canada’s lower tax rate (a so-called “corporate inversion”). As Zoë Carpenter reports at The Nation, Elizabeth Warren and a number of other senators are objecting to Obama’s nomination of Weiss, who would oversee domestic finance. Warren explained her feelings last week at the Huffington Post: “It’s time for the Obama administration to loosen the hold that Wall Street banks have over economic policy-making.” We took note of this story because Weiss also happens to be the publisher of the Paris Review.
The Times has published an obituary of Leslie Feinberg, a writer, activist, and the author of the influential novel Stone Butch Blues. Feinberg died on November 15 at the age of 65.