Skip to main content

Michael Mann is a well known scientist who works for Penn State.  About a year ago a blogger for the Competitive Enterprise Institute suggested that because of the scandal in the athletics department, the university might be covering up malfeasance by Michael Mann.  These accusations were then repeated at the National Review.  Comparisons were made between an accused pedophile at Penn State and Michael Mann himself, and they went on to accuse him of scientific fraud.  They included phrases such as "data manipulation," and "scientific misconduct."

In short, they didn't just say he was wrong.  They said he was lying.

Michael Mann sued for defamation last year.  The National Review moved that scientific fact is elusive and amounts to opinion and attempted to have the suit thrown out of court.  On July the 22, the judge denied their motion, and he did so in such a way that suggested that he considers Michael Mann's case to be pretty strong.  

The court did not agree, concluding that "the evidence before the Court, at this stage, demonstrates something more and different than honest or even brutally honest commentary." Elsewhere, it noted that, as phrased, the columns' argument "questions facts—it does not simply invite the reader to ask questions." All told, the columns "are not pure opinion but statements based on provably false facts" (a footnote notes that "the court does not view this as a very close case").

Quote taken from Ars Technica.

In general, the decision suggests that there is a reasonable chance that Mann can show the "Defendants disregarded the falsity of their statements and did so with reckless disregard." The ruling notes that the organizations have called for Mann's investigation multiple times; "if anyone should have been aware of the accuracy (or findings that the work of Plaintiff is sound), it would be the [National Review] Defendants." Thus, continued attacks on Mann may be construed as a reckless disregard for the truth.
Typically, the response by the National Review to Michael Mann's lawsuit was to threaten him in a public post on their magazine.
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.

And this is where you come in. If Mann goes through with it, we’re probably going to call on you to help fund our legal fight and our investigation of Mann through discovery. If it gets that far, we may eventually even want to hire a dedicated reporter to comb through the materials and regularly post stories on Mann.

My advice to poor Michael is to go away and bother someone else. If he doesn’t have the good sense to do that, we look forward to teaching him a thing or two about the law and about how free debate works in a free country.

Essentially they are threatening to use the suit to go through all his papers, and suggested that while the lawsuit goes on they will no doubt defame and slander him again.  The threat does not appear to have deterred him.  The next hearing is scheduled in September.

I plan on following the case and I'm waiting for them to attack him again.  I'd like to ask those people with more presence then I have here to be ready to counter what they print with the truth.

Unfortunately, magazines like the National Review essentially don't have journalistic standards, and relentless attacks from that quarter sometimes silence scientists who wish to do nothing more then show the results of the research to the public.  It is important that we do not let them get away with it.

Originally posted to Martian Expatriate on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 03:45 PM PDT.

Also republished by Climate Change SOS, EcoJustice, Climate Hawks, and DK GreenRoots.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Meteor Blades, N in Seattle, Mike S, claude, Thumb, ginabroom, JekyllnHyde, Alumbrados, Ed in Montana, Chilipalmer, Joe Bob, Mimikatz, Sylv, DeminNewJ, dwellscho, Mogolori, Chi, Radiowalla, lowkell, lanshark, grollen, copymark, AaronInSanDiego, Liberal Thinking, importer, Powered Grace, lost, PeterHug, Bob Love, bosdcla14, Emerson, karlpk, OtherDoug, Shockwave, LynChi, cotterperson, liz, Jim in Chicago, genethefiend, Troutfishing, mslat27, celdd, eeff, Pompatus, HootieMcBoob, freelunch, expatjourno, JLFinch, alain2112, missLotus, TracieLynn, kalihikane, whenwego, ask, KMc, roses, ivote2004, jalbert, fumie, Iberian, antirove, jeffbot, Chrisfs, wader, revsue, RLF, kharma, psnyder, ManhattanMan, Farugia, Miss Jones, pat bunny, 2laneIA, Noodles, westyny, yet another liberal, mnguitar, DSC on the Plateau, Chirons apprentice, Calidrissp, piniella, Timbuk3, lcrp, wordwraith, Lilith, FlyingToaster, zerelda, Curt Matlock, Mosquito Pilot, Albanius, boran2, Sybil Liberty, mm201, Gowrie Gal, Brecht, Skennet Boch, humphrey, kbman, Bluesee, marina, radarlady, Tinfoil Hat, jrooth, denise b, LakeSuperior, gerard w, caul, Erik the Red, sc kitty, corvo, Alice Venturi, dewtx, ChemBob, juliesie, stagemom, Brooke In Seattle, YucatanMan, Laurence Lewis, FutureNow, owlbear1, bleeding blue, SaraBeth, Sun Tzu, stevemb, most peculiar mama, RichterScale, Sandino, Yamara, PinHole, Tool, AnotherMassachusettsLiberal, Ozzie, WisePiper, Rusty in PA, sodalis, sillia, Hannibal, peacestpete, mightymouse, Land of Enchantment, bently, xaxnar, begone, Mother Mags, Born in NOLA, tommymet, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, Themistoclea, profundo, raptavio, AoT, blueoasis, MJ via Chicago, aloevera, StrayCat, philipmerrill, boatsie, sceptical observer, doinaheckuvanutjob, Turbonerd, onionjim, lazybum, doingbusinessas, Dianna, shaharazade, Eikyu Saha, bstotts, bartcopfan, Nulwee, OHdog, Pandoras Box, Aaa T Tudeattack, tegrat, ammasdarling, One Pissed Off Liberal, pgm 01, out of left field, hooper, Habitat Vic, Russ Jarmusch, Cat Whisperer, Bob Guyer, tgypsy, camlbacker, devis1, aravir, jds1978, nicteis, Van Buren, Wino, FishOutofWater, terabytes, certainot, joedemocrat, davehouck, artisan, letsgetreal, wilderness voice, millwood, hopi13, CT Hank, Wreck Smurfy, Don midwest, Assaf, TomP, Empower Ink, gizmo59, rmonroe, Mike Williams, JDWolverton, mconvente, gzodik, left turn, kimoconnor, kingneil, wayoutinthestix, chakadog, spacejam, zerone, 6412093, Sixty Something, Youffraita, Ronald England, skohayes, Buckeye Nut Schell, treesrock, KJG52, VL Baker, monkeybrainpolitics, Calamity Jean, Lujane, TomFromNJ, Cassandra Waites, RandomNonviolence, pickandshovel, Jeff Y, envwq, mofembot, petulans, matching mole, Karl Rover, HarpboyAK, Mayfly, sydneyluv, WearyIdealist, toom, SolarMom, CIndyCasella, hope4usa, JBL55, LaFeminista, number nine dream, Glacial Erratic, greengemini, divineorder, RenMin, cantelow, LeftOfYou, petral, elziax, asym, Keith Pickering, Munchkn, IreGyre, sfarkash, Little Flower, jfromga, kingfishstew, davespicer, joe from Lowell, citisven, Leftcandid, LookingUp, Larsstephens, Words In Action, ruscle, Just Bob, cezariusz, rb137, p gorden lippy, T Maysle, The Jester, serendipityisabitch, blueyescryinintherain, marsanges, piers, SeattleTammy, Anima, mookins, Lost and Found, Garfnobl, RJP9999, cordgrass, pixxer, Jaimas, SoonerG, nirbama, kenwards, Otteray Scribe, cocinero, Oh Mary Oh, nosleep4u, wrpereir, indubitably, no way lack of brain, Onomastic, Maximilien Robespierre, redlum jak, kerflooey, Lost Left Coaster, Liberal Capitalist, bgblcklab1, slowbutsure, Mr MadAsHell, Cintimcmomma, FarWestGirl, lexalou, Nicci August, lupinella, molunkusmol, marleycat, badscience, thomask, muddy boots, KVoimakas, SueM1121, enhydra lutris, PhilJD, poliwrangler, VTCC73, stevie avebury, ratcityreprobate, Miggles, zenox, too many people, RLMiller, SouthernLiberalinMD, DawnN, BlueDragon, livingthedream, quill, Eowyn9, anodnhajo, Williston Barrett, Siri, IndieGuy, Eric Nelson, barkingcat, 2thanks, congenitalefty, Horace Boothroyd III, martinjedlicka, This old man, jan4insight, belinda ridgewood, radical simplicity, BRog, New Minas, wxorknot, bryduck, avsp, rat racer, FrY10cK, AverageJoe42, CitizenScientist, Glen The Plumber, T C Gibian, wasatch, James Wells, this just in, Robynhood too, Arilca Mockingbird, Hammerhand, nthelurch, Lily O Lady, Blue Bell Bookworm, Chaddiwicker, nomandates, John Crapper, Panacea Paola, Canid Micturate, atana, countwebb, The grouch, argomd, Witgren, SixSixSix, aresea, unfangus, Alhambra, ggfkate, JosephK74, northerntier, Icicle68, ET3117, k9kiki, NonEuclidian, Kombema, lbl1162, TheDuckManCometh, effdot, hamjudo, patbahn, Darwinian Detritus, Ellamenta

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site