Brandeis student Daniel Mael is no stranger to controversy; whether it be wading into a pro-Hamas rally holding aloft a poster of three murdered Jewish teens or defending human rights activist Ayan Hirsi Ali’s right to speak on campus. So when Mael penned an article on Truth Revolt exposing Brandeis campus leader Khadijah Lynch’s incendiary Tweets lauding the assassination of two New York City Police officers, he expected a strong reaction.
Mael’s article documented Lynch’s explosive online comments in which the Student representative Tweeted “I have no sympathy for the nypd officers who were murdered today” and “lmao, all i just really dont have sympathy for the cops who were shot. i hate this racist fu**ing country.”
An avalanche of demands for expulsion, legal action even physical retribution quickly followed the publication of Mael’s article. Unfortunately for Mael, the threats and opprobrium were primarily directed at him.
An online petition soon popped up accusing Mael of libel, defamation and cyber bullying for merely reporting Lynch’s own words.
Some Brandeis student organizations joined the fray, supporting Lynch’s right to publicly celebrate the police officer’s deaths but challenging Mael’s right to report her remarks. The originator of the provocative public tweets went so far as to threaten legal action should Mael refuse to remove the article. According to Mael, Lynch emailed him the following semi-coherent message:
Its my own personal opinion which I as a private citizen which do not want publicized in any form and if you do not abide my wishes i constitute your disregard as slander.
With legal action being threatened one would presume that Mael would require a decent lawyer in his corner, little did he expect that the world’s most acclaimed trial attorney would jump to his defense. Providing a free legal seminar and statutory smack-down to Mael’s detractors, Alan Dershowitz slowly and patiently explained to Lynch in an article published on NewsMax today that:
Republishing someone’s published words could not possibly constitute slander, libel or any other form of defamation, because you can’t be slandered by your own words. You can, of course, be embarrassed, condemned, ostracized, or “unfriended” by your own words…