Previous | Next
188189190191192193194195196197198199200201202203204205206207208209210211212213214215216217218219220221 of 512
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
© 2006 Columbia University
Libraries | Oral History
Research Office | Rights and
Permissions | Help