"The phrase "Potemkin village" was originally used to describe a fake portable village, built only to impress.
According to the story, Grigory Potemkin erected the fake portable settlement along the banks of the Dnieper River in order to fool Empress Catherine II during her journey to Crimea in 1787.
The phrase is now used, typically in politics and economics, to describe any construction (literal or figurative) built solely to deceive others into thinking that some situation is better than it really is."
Compare the Matheny stories to the Rockingham County Commissioner stories.
If you are in the connected crowd, you get off the hook from the local press.
There will be little to any investigation of prior unreported, undocumented police encounters.