Rand Simberg

Beaten with his own hockey schtick

Mann Made Hoax

Michael Mann is going down, exposed as a fraud and charlatan after initiating legal action for defamation against Mark Steyn.

Like many who pursue litigation to protect their reputation it has ended in tears and his reputation in tatters. Now he faces bankruptcy, beaten with his own hockey stick.

Massive counterclaims, in excess of $10 million, have just been filed against climate scientist Michael Mann after lawyers affirmed that the former golden boy of global warming alarmism had sensationally failed in his exasperating three-year bid to sue skeptic Canadian climatologist, Tim Ball. Door now wide open for criminal investigation into Climategate conspiracy.

Buoyed by Dr Ball’s successes, journalist and free-speech defender,Mark Steyn?has promptly decided to likewise countersue Michael Mann for $10 million in response to a similar?SLAPP suit?filed by the litigious professor from Penn. State University against not just Steyn, but also the National Review, the Competitive Enterprise Institute and Rand Simberg. Ball’s countersuit against Mann seeks “exemplary and punitive damages. ” Bishop Hill blog is running extracts of?Steyn’s counterclaim, plus link.

Mann?s chief undoing in all such lawsuits is highlighted in a quote in Steyn?s latest counterclaim:

?Plaintiff continues to evade the one action that might definitively establish its [his science?s] respectability – by objecting, in the courts of Virginia, British Columbia and elsewhere, to the release of his research in this field. See Cuccinelli vs Rectors and Visitors of the University of Virginia…?? Read more »

The Perils of Defamation Action

People mistakenly think that when you sue someone for defamation that the case is run like it is for criminal cases. They aren’t, in fact they are a suckers trap.

You see what happens is the plaintiff gets to say they think they have been defamed and where…after that the case is handed to the defendants to explain as fulsomely as possible why it is they think what they think about the plaintiff. The plaintiffs invariably lose, or if they do win are hopelessly destroyed by the close examination of every conceivable honest held belief as to why the?defendant?believes what they have said to be true.

Take ?Michael Mann…the inventor of the hockey stick fraud in climate science, ?and his ill-conceived defamation action against Mark Steyn and national Review:

Meet the plaintiff: Penn State climatologist Michael Mann.

Meet the defendants: writers Mark Steyn, Rand Simberg, National Review and the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Professor Mann claims to have been defamed by the defendants for attacking his work and making fun of him after embarrassing emails were released to the public in the scandal known as ?Climategate.?

The professor found this sentence written by Steyn to be particularly offensive:

?Mann could be said to be the Jerry Sandusky of climate science, except that instead of molesting children, he has molested and tortured data in the service of politicized science that could have dire economic consequences for the nation and planet.?
Pretty good, huh?

But Professor Mann found it not the least bit amusing. He demanded that Steyn?s snappy critique be removed from the NRO website and when it wasn?t, he sued.

I say, Professor Mann is not the Jerry Sandusky of climate science. I say he is the Jerry Falwell.

A few decades ago, it was the Falwell who sued Hustler magazine and its owner Larry Flynt for publishing a satirical ad claiming that Falwell was an alcoholic and the first time he had sex it was in an outhouse with his own mother.

Like Professor Mann, Rev. Falwell was not amused either. He sued Flynt for emotional distress and he actually won $150,000. But the Supreme Court overturned the award, citing Hustler?s First Amendment right to make gross fun of a public figure.

For defending his free speech rights all the way to the Supreme Court, Flynt was hailed a great First Amendment defender. An Oscar-winning film (?The People vs. Larry Flynt?) was made about his life, portraying the pornographer Flynt as a hero, and Falwell as a sanctimonious and thin-skinned loser.

And that is what I expect will be the outcome in this case, though a movie being made about it seems unlikely.

Of course on the way through the media becomes involved,?stories?are written, that which the plaintiff has fought to stay out of the limelight is dragged even more into the spotlight, and at the end of the day everything is published and made public.

The only other reason to pursue cases like this is to try to financially damage the defendant on?the?way through…but again that is fraught with risk…the defendant may well be award costs and damages of his own to pursue at his leisure…and if the case is particularly ill-conceived then the plaintiff risks being declared a vexatious litigant…especially if they have a history of foolhardy and losing actions.

Still fools like Michael Mann do charge in…

×