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

Oakes:

Oh, there's no question that many people planted that bug in Punch's ear, and I think he began to believe it himself. In fact, he occasionally cautioned me a bit about that position, that we did tend to be anti-business.

I would say to him, when this came up, which it did occasionally, that I felt that we were not anti-business, that I felt it was absolutely essential, however, that we be in a position to criticize a business operation, whether it dealt with such matters as bribery and corruption, the big scandals that came out only a few years ago that involved so many big businesses, or on strictly economic issues, on which the business community would take one position, dealing with taxes or whatever, and I would feel that the public interest lay in a different direction.

There is no question that Punch was assailed by Wall Street and business people all the time, especially from - I would say, especially in the period of the seventies on up to the present, with the allegation that the Times was inherently anti-business.

Now, although he would indicate to me that he would feel that there may be some truth in this, he seldom tried to interfere with a position that we were taking, on the grounds that it was too anti-business, but I can't say that that never happened.

Q:

Because you just gave one example.

Oakes:

Exactly, but that's such a trivial example.





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