I've been tied up with court matters this week, so I've only just seen the photograph at right, spotted by a reader on Michael Mann's Facebook page, and part of a campaign by a group called "I Heart Climate Scientists" to send love and "carbon-offset roses" to the Mann in their lives last Friday, Valentine's Day: "Show the Mann some..." What is that red thing? A malformed tree ring?
Ever obliging, David Appell orders up two dozen roses and a box of truffles:
It is too bad that the Michael Mann v Mark Steyn case doesn't involve Shirley Temple or Buddy Epsen -- where clearly Steyn's real passions lie. Steyn might then actually have a chance of winning.
Unfortunately for him, it's about defamation and it's about science, about which Steyn knows little. And he demonstrates this with every post he makes on scientific topics.
Sorry to hear Mr Appell isn't passionate about Shirley Temple, but musical tastes differ. I believe David was lead singer of the Climate Girls when they had their big hit with "It's Reigning Mann, Hallelujah!" (Incidentally, when I told Steve Madely on the radio that mine would be the first legal defense in the history of American jurisprudence to be funded by sales of my disco version of "A Marshmallow World", I didn't expect Scaramouche to take it literally.)
Speaking of defamation, Robert Tracinski returns to the fray with a column whose headline captures well Dr Mann's view of these matters, "Free Speech for Mann, But Not for Thee":
As I have explained elsewhere Mann is attempting to legally punish any attempt to "question his intellect and reasoning"â€”that's from the DC Superior Court, which preposterously backed his argumentâ€”on the grounds that Mann's scientific claims have been investigated by multiple government panels, which have exonerated him.
This claim, by the way, is already falling apart.
Mr Tracinski goes on to quote Judith Curry, a very brave woman who has been appallingly treated by the boorish Dr Mann and his cultists:
You would think that someone who is so sensitive about people criticizing or defaming himself, that he would be very careful about defaming and insulting others. Sometimes it seems like Mann spends half his day suing people for defaming him, and then the other half of his day defaming others on Twitter.
I've written previously about Mann's defaming me as a "serial climate misinformer" and "anti-science." In recent weeks he has gone after Anthony Watts, Patrick Moore (founder of Greenpeace), and Bill Gatesâ€¦.
Mann's defamation of me (a climate scientist) is of particular relevance in context of Mann's case against Steyn, in light of the recent ruling:
"Accusing a scientist of conducting his research fraudulently, manipulating his data to achieve a predetermined or political outcome, or purposefully distorting the scientific truth are factual allegations. They go to the heart of scientific integrity. They can be proven true or false. If false, they are defamatory. If made with actual malice, they are actionable."
Seems to me that "serial climate misinformer" and "anti-science" qualify as defamatory, and it's difficult to imagine that the statements were not made with malice.
Indeed. And look at it the way David Appell does: If a distinguished scientist is capable of having his professional reputation damaged by a mere Shirley Temple fan, how much worse must the damage be when the scientist is defamed by a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society and so-called Nobel Laureate?
Meanwhile, at PJ Media, Kathy Shaidle uses the 26th anniversary of Hustler vs Falwell to discuss Mann vs Steyn, and how attitudes to free speech have changed drastically in a mere quarter-century. Back in Larry Flynt's day:
The average American â€” nay, Westerner â€” nevertheless clung to a noble, romantic "Atticus Finch"/"let the heavens fall" ideal of justice.
One was more likely then than now to hear someone declare, almost primly, their willingness to "defend to the death" another's offensive speech.
A lot has changed since 1988.
Quite so. As a concept commanding universal support, free speech is in serious retreat, to the point where one of Mann's groupies is happy to argue that, for really important issues like "climate change", free speech has to take a hike.
I'm getting a bit sick of that line. With that in mind, earlier today I filed my Answer to Plaintiff's Amended Complaint. A lot of it's very boilerplatey and eye-glazing but I think you'll find it gets more interesting toward the end.
(You can read Dr Mann's Amended Complaint - the one he filed to correct his fraudulent assertion that he is a Nobel Laureate - here.)