Previous | Next
422423424425426427428429430431432433434435436437438439440441442443444445446447448449450451452453454455456457458459460461462463464465466467468469470471472 of 512
-- the most ruthless man in the world.
We have to remember that Abe Rosenthal was on staff at that moment.
Yes, yes, that's right. Well, I spent quite a bit of time in the next few days being quite
distressed by what was apparently the determination to force me out at least sixteen months
before my normal date of retirement. That is, forcing me out on January 1st of '77, which was
only eight months away and was a full sixteen months earlier than I would have retired in the
normal course of events.
I didn't like the implications of that. I thought it looked as though I were being forced out. I
was very much distressed by that. I even confronted Punch with the specific question of
whether there was the slightest dissatisfaction on his part with the way I had run the editorial
page for the last fifteen and a half years. He said, “Of course not.” I pointed out to him that
the editorial page had vastly risen in prestige during that period. Punch absolutely denied
that he had any fault to find whatsoever with my management of the editorial page, insisting
that if he didn't give Frankel my job right away, as compensation for losing out to Rosenthal,
Frankel would quit the Times -- which I did not then and do not now believe. I do believe that
Punch was acting under pressure from Wall Street and other sources -- which of course he
never admitted -- that I was running a too liberal editorial page that was driving Wall Street --
and a couple of New York Times outside directors -- crazy.
What Punch was offering me, I suppose as sort of consolation, was what turned out to be a
really great thing for me, and that was the opportunity after my prospective departure from
© 2006 Columbia University
Libraries | Oral History
Research Office | Rights and
Permissions | Help