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John B. OakesJohn B. Oakes
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attacked, criticized, or denounced specific Communist or totalitarian-type actions of Castro. But we are not going to join the general pack of simply saying Castro's a Communist and the only way to treat Castro's Cuba is either by invasion or by a complete isolation of Cuba, because we don't really think this is a practical cure for a very difficult situation. We don't like the situation. We never indicated that we like it. We don't like it any more than we like the fact that Russia is Communist, but the difference is in what you do about it in the best interest of the United States.

Q:

There's another problem, too. Occasionally you get a reporter into a situation where what he reports is heavily interpretive, has to be, and becomes in effect somewhat of an editorial issue.

Oakes:

Ah, well, now you're talking about another issue that is very, very dear to my heart and one on which, I'm afraid, I'm known as a wild man down at the office because I feel very, very strongly that the news and editorial functions of a Matthews should be kept completely separate. This reverts again to my doubts that an editorial man should write news stories; I'm very doubtful about that. I'm certain that a news man should not be writing editorials in his news stories, and I am constantly, and I mean literally constantly, every week - sometimes it seems like every day - protesting and objecting to what I see as editorial content in news stories, mainly foreign ones, sometimes Washington ones, even occasional local ones. And I am a fanatic on the subject of keeping editorial opinion out of the news columns of a paper. I feel, and here I have to say so honestly, that the Times has weakened on this division very seriously in recent years. It's been a matter of deep concern to me. I've expressed my concern in exceedingly emphatic fashion to the previous



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