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Notable New     Yorkers
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John B. OakesJohn B. Oakes
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it would be so totally disguised that in effect this would not ever be recognizable. And how wrong I was!

In any case, a very uninhibited conversation, with Argyris present, in which we were talking about this very point of relationship between publisher and editor, and it did come out quite clearly, that my view of what the editorial position of the Times should be was somewhat different, or at variance at least, with the publisher's view, in the sense that he rather tended to feel, along with Charlie Wilson in the famous statement, “What's good for General Motors is good for the United States,” he rather tended to feel that the business interests of the Times, as a business corporation, had to be taken into consideration, in our editorial stance vis-à-vis economic or social or any other kind of matters.

That's perhaps a perfectly reasonable point of view. But my own view was one that the editorial page of the Times had to be divorced totally from its business interests, and that it was absolutely essential for the Times, editorially, to keep its integrity, to divorce totally what might or might not be the business or commercial interests of the Times from the position we were taking on public issues; and that if the crunch would come, if we would have to take a position we felt was right for the public that was actually harmful to the interests of the New York Times as a corporation, I was in favor, in fact thought it was essential, that we take such a position, even though it might be not the best economic position for the New York Times as a corporation, as a business.

This was a real clash, and we discussed this perfectly civilly. It was an interesting conversation, probably the most interesting conversation I'd ever had with the publisher

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