After Ward 1 aldermanic hopeful Mike Jones ’11 provided a quote to NBC Connecticut to dismiss the controversial “Scouting Report,” he later asserted in a e-mail to the Women’s Center on Friday that his statement had been misrepresented.
In an article published Friday morning by the local news station, Jones appeared to excuse the creators of the “Scouting Report,” a circulating e-mail that rates the attractiveness of a number of freshman females. He was quoted as saying: “They’re college kids. Everybody is entitled to a mistake. I just hope the list doesn’t hurt anyone who’s on it.” Now, Jones — who had been interviewed as he was standing in front of Phelps Gate and who had not been identified in the article as a political candidate — maintains that his quote was taken out of context.
“Within the context of the article, and as I am sure that you can see, I am portrayed as an apologist of the e-mail’s original authors,” Jones wrote in his e-mail to Women’s Center Constituency Coordinator Rhiana Gunn-Wright ’11 on Friday. “That portrayal is wholly and completely inaccurate.”
Jones wrote that his statement was in response to a specific question about whether he was surprised that the “Scouting Report” incident occurred at Yale. Because he said he has witnessed numerous acts of racism and sexism on campus in his two years at Yale, he had answered that the e-mail had not surprised him.
Jones added in a Sunday interview: “Just because I wasn’t surprised doesn’t mean I found it appropriate, or that I wasn’t outraged by [the e-mail].”
Gunn-Wright said Jones immediately made it clear to the Women’s Center that he was outraged by the “Scouting Report” e-mail. Jones was one of the first men to sign up to lead a discussion group for the “Let’s Talk About Sex” event held by the Women’s Center Sunday afternoon, she said.
Jones said he does not plan to contact the station for a correction of the article. Still, the NBC Connecticut article may have a lasting negative effect on Jones’ political career — after winning the Ward 1 endorsement vote in April, Jones is the frontrunning student candidate in November’s general election.
Alexandra Hess ’12, a participant in Sunday’s “Let’s Talk About Sex” event, said her eight-person discussion group conferred about Jones’ quote. Hess said the members of her groups were dismayed at the “boys will be boys” attitude evident therein. No one in the group knew that Jones’ quote was perhaps a misrepresentation, Hess said.
“People were just upset that it seemed that he wasn’t taking [the “Scouting Report”] seriously,” Hess said. “We want our authority figures to stand up for us.”