November 30, 2017
The Mooch has hurt feelings
by Taylor Sperry
If you’ll recall, Anthony Scaramucci (who refers to himself in the third person as “The Mooch”) was White House communications director for a hot second this summer. He was fired shortly after he called up New Yorker writer Ryan Lizza one night in July and said Reince Priebus (then Trump’s chief of staff) was “a fucking paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac,” along with some other not-so-nice things about Steve Bannon (then Trump’s chief strategist).
At the time, Scaramucci offered as apology “I sometimes use colorful language,” but he seems to have since drifted away from the sticks-and-stones school of communication.
He’s now threatening to sue the Tufts Daily, a student newspaper at his alma mater, and one of its writers, Camilo A. Caballero, who wrote two op-eds calling for the university to remove Scaramucci from the board of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. According to Maggie Astor at the New York Times, Caballero called Scaramucci “an unethical opportunist… who sullies the vision of the university” and cited a Tweet that could be construed as sympathetic to Holocaust deniers.
The ACLU of Massachusetts has (rightly) come to the school’s and Caballero’s defense, stating, per Astor, “public figures alleging defamation must prove that the statements in question were false and made with malicious intent.” In a letter to Scaramucci’s lawyer, representatives from the ACLU wrote, “We respectfully submit that Mr. Scaramucci’s litigation threat is without merit” and “may indeed raise serious legal questions under Massachusetts law, including under that Massachusetts Civil Rights Act.”
Some of us may prefer slightly more “colorful language” for The Mooch, but agree with the ACLU’s sentiments all the same.
Taylor Sperry is a former Melville House editor.