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Notable New     Yorkers
Select     Notable New Yorker

John B. OakesJohn B. Oakes
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include governmental people, too, but I mean people in business, people in what are generally considered policy-making positions and not exclusively governmental, but this is, of course, particularly true in governmental areas. If we have a big story about something terribly wrong with the foreign aid program in country X, this will get attention and will stimulate activity on the part of political people to see what's wrong and try to do something about that particular problem.

So, the influence of the Times as a news-gathering organization, I think there can really be no argument about it, just because of the fact that it is recognized as a repository of more and broader news on serious subjects, on political and economic subjects, than any other American newspaper. Many people who are interested in them naturally read it and are affected by what they read. I think this is the fundamental source of the Times' influence.

Now, to narrow that to the editorial page, which is the opinion of the Times, obviously I think that it's perfectly clear that the influence isn't that great. The Times' influence, speaking editorially, is not nearly as great as the Times' influence as a newspaper, as a news organ. However - of course, I'm subjective about this because I'm involved in it, but I'm trying to look at it as objectively as I possibly can - I really think it's true that the Times editorially has a very considerable influence, not that the Times because it comes out for Candidate X can get Candidate X elected. As a matter of fact, we have a remarkably good record of supporting losing candidates. And, of course, I don't mean influence in that sense. But I do mean that the Times' editorial position is looked at and is considered by and large by a very large number of the same kind of policy-forming, politically minded people, the people that are attracted to the Times because of its basic news coverage,

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