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Notable New     Yorkers
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John B. OakesJohn B. Oakes
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(then or since), because we were really right down here to the essence of what the integrity of an editorial page should be. And it was clear that we were not in complete agreement.

Now, unfortunately, and certainly absolutely without any, not only any intention, but I never dreamed that this conversation would be reproduced verbatim in part. It was picked up in More magazine, and identified as a conversation between the editor and publisher of the Times - and while I would not retract one single word of it, I felt absolutely, it represented my own position, which I was completely satisfied with, even though it obviously was not precisely the view of the publisher of the Times - I must say that I was very distressed to see that come out in public, I felt that it really did make the publisher look not too good. And this was something that I imagine the publisher himself probably was upset about, although he never seemed to be. He never said - no.

But I got into this one because it really did epitomize what certainly was an undercurrent of conflict, even in our basic view of what the editorial page should be. And I think that it was this kind of feeling that I was not - that I was really too independent, and my views were too independent of the specific interests of the Times as a business corporation, that made it quite easy for the publisher, when he saw the opportunity, to ask me to step down from the editorship of the paper, a year and a half before I would have had to because of mandatory retirement. I think that this was a fundamental - perhaps he didn't even realize it himself. I don't know. But I think that this problem was unquestionably the factor in his unease with me in the position where I was, and growing unease, as the economic situation of the New York Times got very, very tenuous and very difficult in the middle seventies.

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