Tierney is familiar to many Inquirer editors and reporters for his
strident advocacy on behalf of influential friends and clients. In
1991, he led Catholic activists in picketing the paper.
"He was always a very aggressive and passionate advocate," said
Maxwell E.P. King, a former Inquirer executive editor and now president
of the Heinz Endowments in Pittsburgh. King said he worried "about the
independence and integrity of the news coverage."
Tierney acknowledged the potential for conflicts of interest. He
said his investors signed a pledge not to interfere with news coverage,
and promised not to sell their investments for at least five years.
"I was an advocate in advertising and public relations for my
clients. Now I'm going to be a zealous advocate for this organization,"
Pressed on how his promise to respect the newsroom will be enforced,
Tierney said: "I'll beat the crap out of anyone" who tries to break it.