Review editor on radio

by Alexander R. Edlich | 11/8/93 6:00am

Dartmouth Review Editor in Chief Oron Strauss '95 defended his newspaper in a radio interview last night and lashed out at College administrators for "deliberately distorting" the north campus development project.

Strauss, in an hour-long program on WDCR, the College's AM radio station, said his newspaper is one of the three most important college newspapers in the country. He said The Review is not an "evil paper."

Strauss said hatred toward The Review is an example of bigotry and censorship.

The off-campus, conservative weekly newspaper faced several allegations of racism, sexism and homophobia in the last two years. Strauss denied those allegations.

"The controversial negative image aspect of The Review doesn't scare me. I don't think The Review has as negative an image as some might say," Strauss said. "Granted it's not the cool thing to do to read The Review always, but ... there are a great number of closet Review readers."

Throughout the show, program moderator John Strayer '96 tried to pin Strauss down on questions about The Review's political message and its writing. Strauss rebutted and interrupted the questions, several times cutting Strayer off in mid-sentence.

Strauss said his conservative views come from being a first-generation American. He said working for The Review stigmatizes him, but that once people get to know him they realize he is a nice person.

He said students prejudge his newspaper because College administrators paint a bleak portrait of The Review's accomplishments. He said opponents of The Review are a minority on campus.

"People make themselves violently angry. I don't think the paper makes them violently angry," he said. "The only hate on this campus is that directed at The Dartmouth Review."

Strauss defended the conservative newspaper by attacking its critics.

"You can't attack a reporting of the news, you can't attack the heart of The Review because the heart of The Review is very solid. Of course these protests are bumbling because these people are bumbling," Strauss said.

"They have no logical basis for what they're saying and the very essence of what they are saying is, 'I hate hate.' And there's something logically wrong with that statement."

Strauss said the College and President James Freedman have unsuccessfully tried to get rid of the paper by suspending Review writers, "grossly distorting facts" and lying.

He said the administration's latest stance is to ignore The Review and to "pretend we're not here."

Strayer asked Strauss about the differences between editorials and news articles in the paper. Strayer said it was hard to tell the difference between and cited two examples.

Strauss said he does not think the articles editorialize and said it was a common journalistic practice to speculate.

"I think our news stories are news stories and there have been editorialized news stories, but ... [even choosing which] story to report is a subjective decision," he said.

Strauss said the College administration told The Review there were no plans for a physical expansion, but that the editors discovered the plans the next week. He added that Freedman wouldn't speak to them about it.

Freedman "is not going to talk to you in an interview, but ... all you have to do is talk to him in office hours. You don't need the specific format of an interview to find these answers," Strayer said.

Strayer asked Strauss about the string of articles The Review has run regarding the College's expansion.

"The underlying concern is the way the administration handled it from the beginning ... They never answered any questions and they never gave any definite responses," he said. "The College's handling of it was very sly."

He said the College would look more like a university with a second Green, which is slated to run from behind Baker Library to Maynard Street, in front of the old Mary Hitchcock Hospital.

Strayer also asked Strauss about the future of the Greek system. Strauss said, "President Freedman does not understand Dartmouth. When President Freedman wakes up every morning, he does not see Dartmouth College -- he sees Dartmouth University."