A few months ago, I received a threat letter from a lawyer representing Dawn Eden telling me that I was henceforth forbidden from mentioning her in print. This cease-and-desist threat said if I mentioned Dawn in print again, she would bring charges against me for criminal stalking. So, of course, my response almost immediately was to mention Dawn in print.
Within a day, she served me with papers to appear in Washington, D.C., Superior Court, Domestic Violence Division no less. Dawn and an ambulance chaser named Will Cubbedge charged me with criminal stalking for—get this—writing a Crisis column about her and mentioning her on social media. That’s right. Dawn says Tweeting is criminal stalking.
The judge was having none of it. He concluded that Dawn is a public figure and that my coverage of her in columns and on Twitter is constitutionally protected. More importantly, he said none of what I have published about Dawn came anywhere close to stalking. Stalking, after all, must include things like physically following, threatening, or, at least, some kind of direct contact. The judge concluded, quite correctly, that journalism is not stalking. If it were, Dawn would be guilty herself. Her charges were so absurd that merely minutes into her testimony, the judge interrupted and asked, “Does any of this [blather] have anything to do with stalking?”