Letters to the Editor

Re: Dennis Ross (1/16)

To the Editor: Having been interviewed for the Tina Su/Jenny Chen article on Dennis Ross, and feeling slightly misrepresented by the author’s use of my words, I would like to address several issues. First, my leading comment about Dennis Ross’ speech from a debater’s perspective referred to the technical aspects of his public speaking ability, which the quote “he was very at ease, technically it was very good” did not adequately represent as the reader is not clear what I am referring to: the author’s judicious use of quoting the pronouns in my speech made sense contextually in the interview, but came across as vague and imprecise in the article. Second, and less pedantically, I felt the authors misrepresented my views on the event itself. I had a very positive opinion of Ambassador Ross’s presentation, but in response to the question “What did I NOT like” about the his speech I responded that I was a little turned off by the the [sic] Ambassador’s need to engage the audience by making us raise our hands. The article exaggerated the modality of my displeasure and quoted my response out of context, as an affirmation of Dr. Keller’s views rather than the response to a question on what qualms, if any, I had with the event. Finally, the following quote “He was the point-man during the Clinton-Bush presentation, and he was a bit more balanced in his handling of the real impact, even though he is Jewish” made absolutely no sense, misrepresented my views and even made me appear slightly anti-Semetic [sic]. I do not remember my specific rhetoric, but the points I were [sic] trying to make were simply a). My father told me after the presentation that Ambassador Ross had run point on Middle East foreign policy during the Clinton administration and the first Bush administration, and I was honored to be able to hear such an important figure speak at Andover and b). he came across as moderate and balanced in his assessment of Israel’s and Palestine’s dual obligations towards achieving peace in the region. If the authors had follwed [sic] standard journalism procedure and given me an opportunity to see how I would have been quoted, I would have been able to clarify my views on the matter, and we all would have been able to avoid this unnecessary confusion. Thank you. Best, Alexander R. McHale ’09 The Phillipian stands by its story.