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John B. OakesJohn B. Oakes
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issue were very much against it. I was against it. And we did persuade the publisher in this instance not to let his kind of personal involvement with the museum force us to publish something that we really didn't believe was for the best interests of the city.


I take it he had not done so at any other time in the past on any other subject, forced through -?


Let me see. That was in 1971. I think that he really had not. No. This was a rather difficult and special situation, because of his position as trustee of the museum, and I felt there was in fact a conflict of interest here, on his part, just as I always felt that there were conflicts of interest, in the sense of outside directors of the Times trying to get their views onto the editorial page or being critical of the editorial page at times.

I just want to say that I did say to Punch in connection with the museum that I felt that as publisher, he shouldn't force his views over the editorial board on a question like this; and as trustee of the institution, I felt he had an obligation to separate his responsibilities as trustee from those as publisher of the Times, while always recognizing, he actually had the right to do this. And I will say that in this instance, he withdrew his request for this specific editorial that he very much wanted us to run.

This was after the SST (supersonic transport) question, on a totally different issue, that I've referred to before, I believe that this was certainly one of the relatively few times when we cane into a direct conflict between the right of the publisher and the right of the editor.

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