TG: I have to create the policy because I am the publisher.
SH: Are you planning to litigate?
SH: How did you decide who should live blog?
TG: Amy is a reporter for us, so she is live blogging.
TG: It wouldn't be a case for us. It would be handled by other people.
SH: Are you violating the policy re not having Amy Howe report on cases by having her live blog it?
SH: You have mentioned other owners of news organizations
TG: Amazon has interests in internet tax, for example. Lots of news orgs are owned by other companies. Does that represent a disqualifying feature of the news organization? The law firm doesn't own the blog, of course.
SH: Are you saying you think that they are setting editorial policy?
TG: If Rupert Murdoch wants to set editorial policy for the WSJ or Bezos for Wash Post . . . he may have chosen to create an editorial policy where he doesn't affect policy, but if you own the institution you own the institution.
Someone on the SC:
There is a clear difference because the publisher of the Washington Post is not Jeff Bezos. Their firewall is enormous by comparison.
TG: Here is the dilemma. You are entering into an era of journalism in which classical journalism is facing $ problems. A form of journalism involving specialized verticals is emerging.
TG: I know a lot about the Supreme Court. And in an era of vertical narrow journalism, if you are going to say that the people involved in those issues cannot be involved in journalism, will create real problems.
TG: You will be taking a swath of people who can helpfully inform the public and disqualify them. The reason that I think I am good at this is because for 15 years I have studied the Court. I would be the worst publish of 99.999% of other publications, but I am the best publisher of SCOTUSblog.
Standing Committee: Everything is indeed changing. The question of whether we should change the rules is not what we are talking about today. We are talking about the application that is before us today.
TG: The rule says editorially independent -- not economically independent. If you want me to be editorially independent and you say that I am not, how can I be more independent?
TG: I think independence helps us be better, but I have run out . . . .
Lyle: On Tom's authorship of independence policy, that was the end product of extended and sometimes tense exchanges between Tom and me. That is a declaration of policy and a manifestation of my ethical sensibilities.
Lyle: We believe that we are in your rules. We have made as strong a case as we could; if you think we don't, then don't make an exception.
Lyle: I wore my pass when I had it with honor.
TG: While there was tension, it was only in the respect that I was thinking of taking the cases entirely off the blog.
Lyle: Tom and I disagree about a lot of things.
Lyle: As a reporter, I do not go to Tom on any point or issue involving his law practice. As a citizen, I hope his law practice is successful.
Lyle: Now that the blog has matured -- we have evolved -- this is not the same blog I went to work for.
Standing Committee: This is not about you and Amy as journalists.
Lyle: We don't want to bring something into the gallery that will compromise the nature of the institution.
SC: You don't need a daily
press pass to cover the Senate?
Lyle: I do tell you that my having a credential has made a difference to have access.
Lyle: If I do have to come to the gallery, I will be all over you guys.
That is the end of the hearing. Thanks for joining us.