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John B. OakesJohn B. Oakes
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Yes. I've had lots of arguments with Ivan about, protesting about all sorts of things dealing with advertising, I mean in years before, that had nothing to do with Op-Ed page. I don't remember ever winning one. But in any case, this was one, and it was, all it involved was moving the Taiwan ads elsewhere in the same section, because I think these were all due to run on Sunday. So it wasn't very far. But the issue of the editorial appearing in a Mobil page space on our page, Op-Ed page, just makes me boil even when I think of it now (and the issue has long since been settled in Mobil's favor), because I think it's so outrageous.

And let me say in this connection that I would have been and was the first to say that it was absolutely right, in fact, I pushed this sort of thing - to express the oil company's point of view on the Op-Ed page, and we ran innumerable pieces by presidents of every damn oil company in the world. I don't mean that literally, but I mean, we ran big articles by the head of Gulf. I'm sure we ran them from the heads of half a dozen other oil companies. So there's no question of not wanting that view appearing, but the idea of paid advertising on that page burnt me up.

So, in the late summer of '69, we began cranking this up again, and on September 23, 1969, which is three years later than the previous go-round that I've already referred to, Punch sent a note to Abe Rosenthal, who was by this time managing editor, stating that “John Oakes and I and others have been discussing the possibility of an Op-Ed page for some time. During my absence, I would appreciate it if you could meet with John, and see if you and he can agree on some kind of formula that would make this possible. He has some good ideas, and I would like to see if we could accommodate them.”

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