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Notable New     Yorkers
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John B. OakesJohn B. Oakes
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Kennedy. That was part of it, and he was sensitive to criticism, but he also was very concerned about the specific things we were saying about specific legislation. Kennedy had a very acute sense of what we were talking about and knew what we were talking about. In Johnson's case, I'm under the impression, as I say, that he is more exclusively interested in the image, to coin a phrase, that we present of him editorially and otherwise, and particularly editorially, rather than our specific criticism of specific legislation.

But, anyway, in answer to the question of whether or not the editorial page is read - whether it's understood is another matter - and paid attention to in the sense of inducing reactions on the part of the readership, whether at the White House or through the government or elsewhere in the administration, I would say that there is just no doubt at all that it is read. Remember, there's a big difference between people reading it and getting mad at it and having their day affected by something they read, and following the advice given. This latter is not done so often.

Q:

Would you like to differentiate between the influence of, say, Reston's column and -

Oakes:

Now, that was the other part of your question. There just is no doubt at all that the personalization of newspaper opinion through the columnists in the last twenty or thirty years has increased. I might say that in the long historical perspective, newspapers used to be highly personal, too, and then there was a long period in which they were really less personal. Of course, in the middle of the nineteenth century they were highly personal. But, anyway, then there was a long period in which they were less personal. But the columnists in recent years have certainly attracted a very considerable following and are an



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