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The Courts The Media

Michael Mann Defamation Suit Against National Review Writer to Proceed 393

From Ars Technica comes this update in the defamation case filed by climate researcher Michael Mann against political commentator Mark Steyn of National Review magazine, who rhetorically compared Mann to Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky and accused him of publishing intentionally misleading research results. "The defendants tried to get it dismissed under the District of Columbia's Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP) statute, which attempts to keep people from being silenced by frivolous lawsuits. The judge hearing the case denied the attempt and then promptly retired; Mann next amended his complaint, leading an appeals court to send the whole thing back to a new trial judge. Now the new judge has denied the SLAPP attempt yet again. In a decision released late last week (and hosted by defendant Mark Steyn), the judge recognizes that the comparison to a child molester is part of the "opinions and rhetorical hyperbole" that are protected speech when used against public figures like Mann. However, the accompanying accusations of fraud are not exempt:"
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Michael Mann Defamation Suit Against National Review Writer to Proceed

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  • It's okay to call someone a child molester but not a fraud or a thief?


    • by khasim ( 1285 )

      It's okay to call someone a child molester but not a fraud or a thief?

      It's one of those weird legal things. He wasn't actually accusing him of molesting children. He was saying that he was AS BAD AS a person who molests children.

      But I agree with you. It's all an attempt to conflate person A with person B's crime in the opinion of the public (people who have not researched this).

      • He was saying that he was AS BAD AS a person who molests children.

        Which says nothing of Mann but does give the rest of us a perfectly accurate view of Mark Steyn and National Review magazine.

  • ...
    who couldn't think worth a dyne,
    he accused the one Mann,
    who has Truth in his plan,
    and we hope the court rules him a slime.

    It's the best I can do on short notice - but there's not much else we can do as long as long as his advertisers keep making money.

  • So I'm really glad Mann is standing behind his work.

  • Climate change... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I've had my view on the whole climate change/global warming thing for a while. First up, I accept that temperatures have risen on average in recent times. The numbers are holding up to scrutiny, although very recent numbers may be suggesting we've hit a plateau, depending who you believe.

    Where there doesn't seem to be a strong consensus is whether it's entirely man-made (I'm awaiting the flames to start on that commment...). We know Earth's climate has gone through cycles (medieval warm period, little ic

    • by Layzej ( 1976930 )

      Where there doesn't seem to be a strong consensus is whether it's entirely man-made

      This review of scientific literature found that 97% of papers that took a position agree that warming is man made: http://skepticalscience.com/97... [skepticalscience.com]

  • If some journalist for Mother Jones got into legal trouble, I'm pretty sure they'd have his back. But the National Review just throws people aside when it's convenient. It would be one thing if what Steyn argued (that global warming is BS) wasn't conservative dogma, but it is. He pretty much just strongly worded their position.

  • by rbrander ( 73222 ) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @07:57PM (#46076301) Homepage

    This isn't about whether the (very) widespread claims that current evidence supports 'global warming', it's about whether Mann committed scientific fraud.

    For instance, George Bush's commander really did think of Bush the way a fake letter (put forth by CBS as real) said he did; presumably the faker was frustrated by his inability to get that fact in the news, so he resorted to fraud, no doubt thinking that the real truth made it morally OK. But he still committed fraud, and the news that the secretary who would have typed the letter if it were real, said it was the commander's opinion, even as she debunked the letter was quite lost in the scandal over the fraud.

    So global warming could be real, and Mann still a fraud, or it could be all a huge mistake by thousands of scientists, and Mann NOT a fraud, simply in possession of data that was mistaken or didn't mean what he thought.

    Steyn is no doubt happy about the trial, because it will give him grounds to subpoena great heaps of Mann's work, looking for the same thing that the climategate E-mail thieves looked for: any kind of out-of-context quote they can find that they cam drum up into a "scandal" - a fraudulent one, of course...

  • SLAPPstick Farce by Mark Steyn January 25, 2014 http://www.steynonline.com/601... [steynonline.com]
    "Meanwhile, in the same period [the two-year anti-SLAPP hearing], Dr. Mann has been brandishing his hockey stick out on the campaign trail against Republican candidates. In Virginia, he appeared in the Democrats' attack ads against Ken Cuccinelli, and helped get Clinton's bagman Terry McAuliffe elected governor. When his candidate Mark Herring also prevailed over the GOP in the attorney general's race, Mann crowed and published tweets from his acolytes congratulating him on "two fresh notches on your hockey stick."
    Global warming is apparently not a bipartisan research effort, but more of a Democratic National Committee sponsored science project which initially was given National coverage by Al Gore.

We don't know who it was that discovered water, but we're pretty sure that it wasn't a fish. -- Marshall McLuhan