The Obama administration has not been a friend of the media – and the latest example comes from Ferguson, Missouri, where in August a white police officer shot to death Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old, sparking weeks of sometimes violent street protests.

What did police do? They went to the Federal Aviation Administration and got a no-fly zone imposed over Ferguson for nearly two weeks under the pretext that reports had indicated shots fired at a police helicopter.

The White House insists that it was prudent for the FAA to limit flights to police helicopters and commercial planes, and that the restriction was eased within 12 to 14 hours to allow TV news helicopters over the area. But, as The Associated Press reported, none of the St. Louis TV stations were advised that the restriction had been updated.

The St. Louis County Police Department denied making any request that only media be kept out of the airspace. But audio recordings of negotiations between police and the FAA, obtained by the AP, tell a different story.

An FAA manager is heard talking to a police official about the updated limit: “It will still keep news people out. … The only way people will get in there is if they give them permission in there anyway so … it still keeps all of them out.”

“I have no problem with that whatsoever,” replied a county police captain.

While a grand jury is yet to decide the rights and wrongs of the fatal shooting, the media have never been the underlying problem in Ferguson. Shame on the FAA for making newsgathering more difficult.