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John B. OakesJohn B. Oakes
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On the problems that we had with American Electric Power and clean coal and Donald Cook, what happened was that Punch was pushed into intervening on the side of American Electric Power. This was in 1974, when he tried to get us to run an Op-Ed - asked me to explain how we have an air pollution editorial that American Electric Power strongly objected to, and the publisher stood by the editorial, let me say, but he did urge that we have Cook write an Op-Ed piece, and we had a big hassle about that.

The Marco Island thing was in 1975.


You opposed the idea of letting Cook express himself on -?


Not because we had not given - not because I didn't want that point of view expressed at all, but we felt that, in this particular case, I opposed it (and I might say parenthetically that Charlotte Curtis, the [Op-Ed page] editor, opposed it even more strongly than I did, but I was strongly against it too), because I felt that we could not throw Op-Ed open to people simply to answer editorials. The letters department was open for answers to editorials, and was used all the time. But I wrote in a memo to Punch, who had asked specifically that we have Cook, in effect, answer our editorial on the Op-Ed page, I felt that it would be wrong to allow that because that would set a precedent in which the Op-Ed page could become subject to simply being a vehicle for answers to editorials, and this was not at all the idea of the Op-Ed page.

Now, it was also true that, at least in my view, and this raises a whole other question, which I also was quite concerned about, in my view, while I felt that the Op-Ed page was an

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