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John B. OakesJohn B. Oakes
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In fact, ironically enough, I think I am the person that started the Times taking any position in primaries. We normally never used to take a position in primaries at all, on the grounds that we were not a party paper. And I felt that this was wrong, given the dominance of the Democrats in New York, that if we wanted to have any effect at all it would be perfectly proper for us to take positions in primaries, sometimes, when it seemed desirable, but by no means as a rule, though I always did feel we had to take position on major offices in the election.

So I said to the publisher that in this case, it seemed to me that since neither of us felt that it was - since we didn't entirely agree on the candidates, and since neither of us seemed to feel particularly strongly, that one or the other of them had to win, I felt the best course for the New York Times in this primary would be not to take any position at all, and the publisher agreed, and I went off on vacation.

Without going into the details, which as a matter of fact were quite dramatic -


Why not?


All right, then, I'll go into the details. During - in occasional conversations, one or two conversations with the publisher while I was on vacation, telephone conversations (I was up on the Vineyard), I got the feeling that he was getting more and more inclined to support Moynihan. At one point he said to me, “Well, I'm going to see what I - I may try to sketch out something.” Made some vague remark to the effect that he might think of supporting Moynihan. I reiterated that I thought far the best thing would be for us not to

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