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From T. Bogg: Dr. Michael Mann, Professor of Meteorology with Joint Appointment with the Department of Geosciences and Director, Earth System Science Center, at Penn State University, has filed suit against NRO, and writers Mark Steyn and Rand Stimberg for their statements regarding him and his research, in particular but not limited to comparing him to child molester Jerry Sandusky:

Remember back in August when NRO’s Mark Steyn wrote a post at The Corner  where he called Penn State climate scientist Michael Mann’s work “Fraudulent” and then, riffing off of a Rand Simberg (remember when Simberg almost used to be “a thing” as a blogger?) post, Steyn added this:

    If an institution is prepared to cover up systemic statutory rape of minors, what won’t it cover up? Whether or not he’s “the Jerry Sandusky of climate change”, he remains the Michael Mann of climate change, in part because his “investigation” by a deeply corrupt administration was a joke.

Mann threatened to sue and demanded a retraction and apology. The response from Rich Lowrey was seemingly written without the advice of someone who knows how to write something.

In common polemical usage, “fraudulent” doesn’t mean honest-to-goodness criminal fraud. It means intellectually bogus and wrong. I consider Mann’s prospective lawsuit fraudulent. Uh-oh. I guess he now has another reason to sue us.

Usually, you don’t welcome a nuisance lawsuit, because it’s a nuisance. It consumes time. It costs money. But this is a different matter in light of one word: discovery.

If Mann sues us, the materials we will need to mount a full defense will be extremely wide-ranging. So if he files a complaint, we will be doing more than fighting a nuisance lawsuit; we will be embarking on a journalistic project of great interest to us and our readers.

Oops. He did.

The complaint is contained in this PDF.

Now the defendants are squealing for contributions. I'd be willing to give them my two cents worth.


What would you contribute to the NRO's defense fund?

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| 53 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (10+ / 0-)

    fouls, excesses and immoderate behavior are scored ZERO at Over the Line, Smokey!

    by seesdifferent on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 12:24:19 PM PST

  •  SLAPP motion to dismiss was filed. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I'd put money on that motion prevailing, but I'm no expert this area or anything.  

    there was a decent post @ popehat on this a few days ago, and an interesting comment from someone from Public Citizen.

  •  Isn't this OFN? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    johnny wurster, koNko

    He filed on October 22nd.  

    There's been some countermotions since then but nothing of real import.

  •  I'm dense. What does this mean? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The response from Rich Lowrey was seemingly written without the advice of someone who knows how to write something.
    Made sense to me.
  •  I'm dense also (although a scientist) (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NotGeorgeWill, koNko

    I am having to do my own research to find out what NRO is and what this is all about. A few hints might help, for those of us not already intimately familiar with the matter.

    Those who do not understand history are condemned to repeat it... in summer school.

    by cassandracarolina on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 01:33:19 PM PST

  •  How will Mann prove damages? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    That's my main question.  The complaint doesn't detail what the specific financial harm is.  Did he lose speaking fees, or promotions as a consequence of the defamatory claims?  Maybe he can demonstrate that there has been harassment and/or security threats, but he hasn't lost a job as a consequence of the attacks, and I think it's unlikely that anything published in the NRO or CEI has hurt his professional standing.  With someone like Shirley Sherrod and the Breitbart case, she lost her jobs as a direct consequence of defamatory claims.

    On the other hand, the failure of NRO and the CEI to issue either a retraction, or substantial correction probably hurt any defense against a charge of actual malice, which is an element of the case that Mann will need to prove as a public figure (e.g. in addition to demonstrating the falsity of the claims, which is probably the easiest part of his case.)

  •  Oh, you mean *that* NRO. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cassandracarolina, KenBee

    I thought you meant the National Radio Observatory or the National Reconnaissance Office, neither of which would have any logical reason to diss our good buddy Michael.

    Is restraint of or interference with scientific research activities, including statistically verifiable changes in grant support, consistent with "harm"?  Not sure I'd be able to claim any other kind of damages in his case.  But he's got to be sick of the crazies ruining his life.  He didn't exactly ask for that part of "academic freedom", you know.  Few of us do.

    Just another clueless scientist here.  I'll go back into my hole/office now.  Sorry to interrupt.

    (-7.62,-7.33) Carbon footprint 12.6 metric tons. l'Enfer, c'est les autres.

    by argomd on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 03:20:46 PM PST

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