After almost ten years, the lawsuit initiated by Dr. Michael Mann against National Review has finally been dismissed. Mann is infamous for his, long debunked, Hockey Stick chart used to justify human-caused climate change. The scientist filed his court action against NR after refusing to give in to Mann’s demands that a 2012 blog post authored by Mark Steyn criticizing Mann’s work be removed and the publication publicly apologize.
Unfortunately, Mann also filed similar lawsuits against Mark Steyn and the Competitive Enterprise Institute, whom Steyn quoted in his write-up, and they are still ongoing. However, one law professor familiar with the case expects Steyn and CEI’s lawsuits to have similar outcomes.
Dr. Mann, however, issued a statement on his Facebook page about the judge’s decision:
“We are currently evaluating the decision. We note that the decision was reached on a technical issue related to the interpretation of what has become a controversial statute that shields blog sites from defamation liability in some cases.
In no way does the court decision adjudicate the truth or falsity of the defamatory statements at issue. National Review did not prevail on the substance of this lawsuit.“
It is certainly possible Mann could appeal the judge’s ruling since the other lawsuits are based on similar claims and still continuing. But the judge did dismiss the Mann’s suit against NR because he concluded the defamation claim was not true.
A truly fitting outcome would be what National Review‘s editor in chief, Rich Lowry, was quoted saying about demanding reimbursement for court costs from Mann:
“Let’s just say if I were him, I’d be very worried about this possibility.”
As Mark Steyn has noted, this is not the first time Michael Mann has sued parties for defamation. Despite losing multiple times, Mann’s tactic usually involves dragging out his court action in hopes of bankrupting his opponent(s) and then having his suit dismissed or it is dismissed by the judge. Thankfully, in this instance, it could end up costing Mann more rather than the parties he is suing.
Image by Okan Caliskan from Pixabay.