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John B. OakesJohn B. Oakes
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many years, probably always. What would happen? Somebody else would write such an editorial.

Now, it just so happens, that to my knowledge this situation has never arisen, so I'm speaking theoretically. So to give a full and proper answer to your question, I have to describe it this way.

I, as a member of the Editorial Board, have disagreed strongly with the position the Times has taken in some Presidential elections, but I wasn't at that time in charge of the page. And in those cases that I'm referring to, whereas I normally did a lot of the political writing, I simply did not write any editorials that I, myself, could not with completely free conscience subscribe to. And not only would I not do it, but I want to emphasize the Times wouldn't expect me to. And this is what happened during both the [Dwight D.] Eisenhower campaigns, where I happened to be for Stevenson and wrote long memos stating why I thought the Times should be for Stevenson. But the management decision, which was taken in complete agreement between the publisher and the then editor of the editorial page, Charles Merz, was otherwise.

Now, if this should come up again, I would do my best to persuade management of my point of view, but if the final decision in this went the other way, I simply would not write for the candidate that management decided on. So this is just as completely free a situation that I think is humanly possible to get on a newspaper.

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