Search transcripts:    Advanced Search
Notable New     Yorkers
Select     Notable New Yorker

John B. OakesJohn B. Oakes
Photo Gallery

Part:         Session:         Page of 512

this far too much to turn into simply expression of editorial opinion of the type that I was just referring to in Middleton's little dispatch from Mexico City a couple of days ago. And I raised this point with our news department, too, that much as Halberstam was admired for the vigor and really in some cases brilliance of his correspondence, he also was doing editorial work in those news stories which never should have been allowed to see the light of print, no matter what he did. This is a vivid case, a rather extreme case, of where I feel the standards of keeping the editorial commentary out of the Times' news columns broke down.

Now, I argue about this point with the managing editor all the time, I say so much so that it's almost become funny, except that it isn't funny, and often the news people agree with me that such-and-such a story should not have been allowed in the paper because of its editorial content, or at least the editorial passages should have been eliminated, but of course what-I don't mind saying-distresses me is that the thing is repeated time and time again.

Yesterday, on the Middleton thing that I protested to the publisher about, the publisher agreed with me. This is just the normal procedure, but then it's going to happen again next week. I'm being very candid about this, but I feel strongly about it. Perhaps I am what they call an old-school man because I grew up in the tradition of separating editorial from news, and I do see this as a thing that's breaking down and I am going to fight until I retire to try to maintain this separation.

© 2006 Columbia University Libraries | Oral History Research Office | Rights and Permissions | Help