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John B. OakesJohn B. Oakes
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Oakes:

Well, I certainly can't say it came out - I would say that, on a few occasions at publishers' luncheons, in which I and some of the other Times executives would be at the table, Lester Markel was particularly vehemently against our policy, if I remember correctly - if I remember correctly, Cliff Daniel and, I'm certain, Rosenthal and Gruson and - these were the news executives - were very dubious, to put it mildly, about our policy. Occasionally at publishers' luncheons, this would come up in a rather, sometimes a rather tense form.

Q:

Would they be direct or oblique?

Oakes:

Well, I would say fairly direct, at least when Markel was involved. When Markel was involved in the argument - Markel, my old boss, for whom I have tremendous respect as an editor - but nevertheless, he was very argumentative on this.

Q:

He went along with Johnson a hundred percent?

Oakes:

I would say that that was a pretty fair estimate at that time. This was fairly early that we're talking about, in the period, let's say, during the Johnson period, yes, '65, '66.

Q:

There's nothing extraordinary about this, as you point out. I remember my mentor Allan Nevins came to a break in his long friendship with Walter Lippmann on this very issue.





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