A Tufts University student recently questioned a Fletcher School for Law and Diplomacy advisory board member’s competency. Camilo Cabellero published a pair of op-ed pieces in a student newspaper, The Tufts Daily, criticizing Anthony Scaramucci. Scaramucci subsequently wrote a cease-and-desist letter to the student and newspaper demanding an apology, threatening to sue them on the grounds of defamation should they refuse to comply. The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts defended Caballero by claiming that because the article was labeled as an op-ed, it could not be construed as defamation. Scaramucci argued that certain allegations in the piece, namely that he is an “unethical opportunist,” were stated as fact.
The ACLU claim that Scaramucci is attempting to rob Caballero and The Tufts Daily staff of their First Amendment right to free speech. Scaramucci has since resigned from his position on the school’s advisory board, claiming that he did not want to involve the university in scandal but still demands a formal apology.With his lawsuit threats, Scaramucci has imperiled the freedom of speech and press. Student news organizations are an important source of information because they provide hyper-local news that is rarely found elsewhere in today’s world. To censor what these newspapers publish is completely inappropriate.