Note: Updated for clarity.
In my last post, I quoted from several people involved in the Capehart Imbroglio. Today I was threatened by an anonymous poster that I was committing libel. Here is the post and my response:
There is a lot wrong with what Rex wrote. First, IF I have committed libel, then so have numerous faculty members who made false statements to the press about Capehart, Wright, and a whole host of people.
However, second, I have not libeled anyone. As public employees, everyone is fair game. They are doubly fair game if they make statements to the press. I have made comments on their comments, not on their person. If indeed, people do not want judgements cast on their public pronouncements, then they should not make public statements.
The real problem it seems to me is I disagree with a majority of the faculty and staff.
Another non-sequitur is people like “Rex” charge that since I am not a lawyer I cannot reliably judge when a public body has broken the law. This is especially odd given people who are also not lawyers–like presumably “Rex”–are making claims that I don’t know what I am talking about because I am not a lawyer. So, a non-lawyer sets up the framework for condemnation without having the very skills they assert disqualifies me. This is utter nonsense. The law is public for a reason—so anyone can read it and live freely. While I am not a lawyer, I am also not stupid, and unlike my critics, have taught Constitutional Law. What the Faculty senate did was break the law–at least twice. It is not libel to note that. It is also not libelous to note my opinion on that fact. It is not libel to note that their violation of another person’s rights (whether Robin or Emily Capehart) was illegal and despicable.
Do I think each person is awful personally? No. Do I think their public acts are? Yes, most definitely. There is a difference.
Let me make this next point very clear: If I have written anything that is wrong, I will correct it. If I have erred, I will correct the record, and offer a public apology. I am literally serious about correcting any instance where I have incorrectly misquoted a public pronouncement.
To date, no one has brought up a single point contradicting the public pronouncements of what happened. Not one. I have only received threats in anonymity from people like Rex–a curious name choice since it’s Latin for King. That edges close to wire fraud, if not internet harassment and cyber bullying.
For those who disagree with me, I welcome a public debate. If you think I am wrong, say so and do so under your own name.