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John B. OakesJohn B. Oakes
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Part:         Session:         Page of 512

Oakes:

I'm sure that that's true. And then the whole paper has changed in character anyway. Quite apart from this issue that we're talking about, we have tended much more toward the broad kind of social - I mean, social in the broad sense of coverage of movements, rather than of what I would have called hard news. The whole tone of the paper has changed in this direction, too.

Q:

Well, to return to the central theme today, which seems to me to be your relationship with the publisher, in this context, it's rather an extraordinary one, when you think of the whole history of this city. I don't think there's been a paper with a stronger editorial page than yours except - the nearest comparable one maybe was Frank Cobb in the days of Pulitzer, but that didn't last as long, and relations were much more stormy. It's quite remarkable that you were able to edit as strong a page as you did for such a long period without more travail.

Oakes:

The publisher would rarely, in this whole period, after the incident that we've already discussed, very rarely come in on matters of principle. Oddly enough, the few times that I remember having a real problem with him would be on really quite relatively small matters. One, funnily enough, dealt with the question of - this is almost ridiculous, but nevertheless - it dealt with a question of returnable bottle legislation. Punch took a rather dim view of my tendency to favor returnable bottle legislation, the Oregon-Vermont type of legislation, and I had some real problems with Punch on that issue, so that for quite a long while we solved that one by not running anything. I was unhappy that we weren't supporting proposals for return bottle legislation, of cans and bottles returnable.



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