“Mark Steyn makes motion to dismiss Mann’s libel claim“ (201-01-24). Anthony Watts suggests that
“noted human righters activist” right-wing zealot Mark Steyn’s defamation of Dr. Michael Mann was an act of moral bravery. Don’t block the freedom of speech “sunlight” that only right-wing demagogues can give! Also, Steyn’s motion to dismiss the libel claim is NOT trying to wriggle off the hook of his own actions.
Steyn’s defence lawyers ditching him is just proof that there’s no more defending needed, right? As citizen-lawyer Anthony says eyes firmly locked in the mirror, that;
Mann would be a fool to pursue the case further, but then again, his ego is often so large that I surmise the state department of transportation must be forced to put out orange traffic cones ahead of him when he travels, so I doubt it will happen.
Strip away all the posturing, self-serving invocation of free speech, rabid contempt for legal process and the specific judges ruling in this matter and what’s left?
Steyn, and Anthony’s readers, think that Dr. Mann is a “public figure” and therefore they have the right to fabricate and spread any utter bullshit about him or his repeatedly confirmed research that they please. And oh, do they please.
My take on this is that Mark Steyn, Rand Simberg, the National Review and the Competitive Enterprise Institute have designed their attacks on climate science to take advantage of every legal fig leaf they can pull together to shield them from responsibility for their lies and misrepresentations. Now that they’ve been caught they are complaining hypocritically about the legal system that was their best weapon. Sucks to be them, but maybe they can scuttle back under their rock.
That Anthony Watts and company are convinced Steyn and friends should be able slip off the hook on a technicality says much about their own ethical foundations.
So how did it turn out? Steyn’s motion was rejected by the judge.
“For many of the reasons discussed in Judge Combs Greene’s July 19 orders, to state as a fact that a scientist dishonestly molests or tortures data to serve a political agenda would have a strong likelihood of damaging his reputation within his profession, which is the very essence of defamation.