Judge Lance Ito reversed his ruling and opened jury selection to the media. Ito's flip-flop is based on a change of heart by defense attorneys, who had earlier filed a motion claiming that the media presence in the courtroom was hampering jury selection. Today Robert Shapiro, Simpson's chief hired gun, said: "We were mistaken . . . we are candid enough to admit that." Still, Shapiro was only following up on Ito's suggestion that he file such a motion. Was this a case of Ito not so subtly telling reporters to back off? "I don't think he's playing politics with the press," says TIME law reporter Alain Sanders. "He's trying to conduct a fair trial whose results will hold up if there is an appeal."