As I wrote yesterday, the fact that Time Inc. delivered Matthew Cooper’s notes to the special prosecutor did not make Cooper’s subpoena moot. Today, the special prosecutor reiterated his request to the court that Cooper needs to be sent to jail. The New York Times wrote:
Mr. Fitzgerald [the special prosecutor] quoted at length from news accounts concerning Time’s decision to show that journalists and others are not of one mind about news organizations’ and reporters’ obligations to obey final court orders concerning their confidential sources.
In addition to the material I quoted yesterday, Norman Pearlstine wrote:
In declining to review the important issues presented by this case, we believe that the Supreme Court has limited press freedom in ways that will have a chilling effect on our work and that may damage the free flow of information that is so necessary in a democratic society.
I believe the choice Time Inc. made to release the notes will create more of a chilling effect on journalism than the Supreme Court decision. In addition, Pearlstine’s decision may have created domino effect of tumbling press freedoms.
While I am an employee of Sports Illustrated and Time Inc., I do not in any way speak for Time Inc. I am not directly involved in making decisions that effect the content of our magazines. The comments above represent my own opinions.