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Notable New     Yorkers
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John B. OakesJohn B. Oakes
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enormous influence. And the name attached to the column is of importance, whether it's Reston or [Walter] Lippman or, as a matter of fact, not so many years ago David Lawrence and [Westbrook] Pegler, even.

Now, I think that to speak in the terms of competition between the column and the editorial page, you really have to talk about individual columns and individual editorial pages. As a general proposition I think I would have to say in all honesty that I believe that, generally speaking, people generally, if you can use such a broad term, probably pay more attention to the writings of the columnists that they read then they do to the anonymous editorial expression of a newspaper. If this is true on the Times, I do not know. I don't mean for a moment to suggest that our main political columnist, who is now, of course, Reston, does not have a very, very broad and wide and deep influence; he does, and he deserves to. He's a brilliant writer and a very thoughtful person. Whether Scotty's columns really affect more people than the editorial position of the Times, I really am not sure. He, of course, is very highly considered, is very widely read; I'm sure that everybody in Washington, for instance, reads Scotty, but I really do think that the editorials next door are read pretty carefully and thoughtfully by the same groups also. We are saying things in the editorial page and, after all, the readership really depends on whether or not you are really saying anything. If you have an editorial page - and there are many such pages that really don't say very much or try to get a point of view across - that doesn't try really to influence public action, then naturally the readership is going to be minute, and the editorials wouldn't deserve any more readership.

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