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John B. OakesJohn B. Oakes
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which, by the way, was a position that was taken long before I had my present responsibility, so this goes back long before me.

Matthews has been a member of the editorial board of the Times for just about the same length of time I have. In other words, he came onto the editorial board from his foreign- correspondent job in 1949, I think. As he began to become a specialist in Latin American affairs on the editorial page (of course, he had previously been in Spain as a reporter and spoke Spanish) he went down to Cuba on the story that earned him all the fame and all the opprobrium, which was the discovery that Castro really existed. He wrote - for the news department - the first stories that Castro existed as a revolutionary, anti-Battista force in Cuba. These were sensational and very fine reportorial stories. Then, I believe, he went back to Cuba and wrote some more stories subsequently. I can't now recall the sequence of events, but in any case, it is true that the Times stories were the first ones, and the stories written by Matthews, were the first ones that really indicated that Castro existed and he was not, as Battista had been maintaining, a dead issue or no issue at all.

Now, there may have been a mistake only in this sense, as far as sending Matthews to Cuba. There may have been a mistake, and this is a debatable matter in Matthews theory and practice, to have an editorial man - by this time, he was a member of the editorial board - cover a news story and thereby - this happened to be, as it became, an emotional issue - get involved as a reporter in matters on which he would naturally, both prior to this occasion and subsequently, editorialize. I think that there is a very serious question whether or not a man on the editorial board of a paper such as ours, which does take its editorials seriously, should sometimes do reporting as well.

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