Search transcripts:    Advanced Search
Notable New     Yorkers
Select     Notable New Yorker

John B. OakesJohn B. Oakes
Photo Gallery

Part:         Session:         Page of 512

appropriate vehicle for expression of every sort of opinion, including of course specifically opinions in opposition to those of the Times, I thought that it would be fatal, I thought that it would be destructive of the Op-Ed page simply to throw it open to people who wanted to answer a specific editorial in the Times.

As I pointed out to Punch, we certainly had opened the Op-Ed page to the views of business people. I thought it was quite wrong to allow Cook in this particular case, who had been running huge ads making the same point in the Times as a matter of fact, to just repeat his very well known views as an Op-Ed article.

We had run, incidentally, both before and since, many, many Op-Ed pieces by business leaders, whether the head of General Motors, head of Gulf, Mobil, God knows how many of them, but as I said to Punch, I wouldn't mind at all running a letter from Mr. Cook, but as I said to him, it would have to be shorter than the sixteen-page letter that I had received from him a few days before.

So that was the issue. And I'll say again that the publisher yielded on that.

There may be one more point in this whole connection that I should add. In 1976, we got a letter, he got a letter from one of his directors, an executive of Morgan Guaranty Trust, strongly objecting to an editorial that we had on banking reform. This was at the time of all the revelations about banks having over-extended themselves. The publisher, which is perfectly proper, sent the letter on to me. But here, I myself - which I shared, by the way, with our economic editorial man - here again, I felt that Mr. Cross, the director, as I felt

© 2006 Columbia University Libraries | Oral History Research Office | Rights and Permissions | Help