SCOTUSblog publisher respects reporters more after doing tick-tock

This morning I sent a few questions to SCOTUSblog publisher Tom Goldstein about his 7,000-word post (“We’re Getting Wildly Different Assessments”) on the June 28 coverage of the Obamacare ruling and he kindly responded.

What’s the reaction to what you call your “first effort at real journalism”? Have you heard from the news organizations mentioned in your piece?
Of my 9 principal sources, I have heard from 2 — 1 of whom is depicted critically — both said they thought the piece was very fair. No one has suggested any inaccuracy.

Tom Goldstein

Traffic numbers?
My best estimate is that 175,000 unique readers have read the post.

I’d give you an A for your “first effort,” but how do you grade yourself?
On rereading the post for the first time today, there are things I wish I had done differently. For example, I wish I had singled out NBC’s Pete Williams for more praise. But for me it is like a legal brief or oral argument; I always wish I did something different afterwards.

How was the experience of reporting this?
I certainly respect reporters still more now; it’s really hard. I had all the hard news in that piece a week before I posted it, so I wish I had just made myself get it out the door sooner. [It was posted last Saturday night at 10:04.] Nina Totenberg finally gave me the (encouraging) kick in the pants to get it done.

Will you do more reporting?
I don’t see a next reporting project. This was very special because I know the subject well and was trusted by the people involved. And our site does relatively little enterprise reporting. Instead I have a novel that I’ve sketched, and that’s where my time will go after my family, law practice, teaching, and the blog.

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