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John B. OakesJohn B. Oakes
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also wrote a paragraph or two in favor of Abzug, whom I wasn't all that enthusiastic about, but I thought that I had to support somebody under these circumstances.

I dictated the letter, and all this took a lot of time on the telephone. Even before I'd gotten off the phone, I was still connected with the New York Times in New York - I spoke to Gruson about it, who was acting for the publisher at that point, and he, as I remember, didn't think I could run that letter and turned me over to the publisher, who by this time had gotten a copy of it, and who I suppose had been advised by Gruson that we couldn't run that letter, it was too strong a letter. And in fact Punch, in our then long discussion at about 6:30 at night by this time, said that it was too strong a letter and that he really felt that I couldn't publish that letter.

I was very upset about that. He said, “We'll talk about it tomorrow. Maybe you can just run a disclaimer saying that you are not in favor of the editorial.”

But it was too late anyway by this time to get the letter onto the page, and so that letter did not appear, in conjunction with the editorial on Friday morning. But I walked into Punch's office Friday morning (having gotten back to New York about 2 a.m.) and said that I really felt that I had to have some kind of disclaimer, because I thought that this editorial was a disgrace to the New York Times and I was not going to be responsible for it.

We ended up by his agreeing to running my letter that actually did appear the following day, Saturday, at the head of the Letters column, which was simply one or two sentences

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