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Not Heaven

In response to:

Winners and Losers at the 'Times' from the September 25, 1980 issue

To the Editors:

There is not much with which I can disagree in Murray Kempton’s brilliant review of my Without Fear or Favor [NYR, September 25] except, perhaps, his introductory proposition that there is, alas, not much difference between the Times of Adolph S. Ochs, of Arthur Hays Sulzberger and of Arthur Ochs Sulzberger.

But there is.

It is fair, I believe, to argue that Mr. Ochs never knowingly offended or went against what he perceived to be the interests of Government, specifically, American government. Patriotic and supportive of Government (including the Dulles brothers) as was Arthur Hays Sulzberger he drew a line and never after the incident of Guatemala and Sydney Gruson was he cozzened into playing patsy to the CIA.

As for Mr. Sulzberger’s son, Arthur Ochs, the present publisher, he it was who approved publication of the Pentagon Papers, the various Times exposés of the CIA (flawed, to be sure, but the best ones going at the time) and after and despite the “bugging” colloquy with William Colby, quoted by Murray, published Sy Hersh’s superb Glomar Explorer exposé which was the subject of Colby’s call to punch.

The Times is not heaven. Never will be. No one would want it to be. But it has taken giant steps. It has been for years our most responsible paper. I am confident that it will continue to grow in courage and independence.

Harrison E. Salisbury

Taconic, Connecticut

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