"I was very angry." That was the answer from Michael Mann, Plaintiff, when questioned on the stand by Mark Steyn, Defendant, about Mann's response to a D.R. Tucker via email on October 24, 2012, under the subject line: "Doctor Dropout Calls You a 'Fake Nobel laureate'".
"My hope is that we can ruin this pathetic excuse for a human being through this lawsuit. He has been libeling and lying his whole life. We will put an end to it."
"I was very angry," concluded Day 7's eventful and spirited questioning of the Plaintiff, Michael Mann (which will continue bright and early Monday morning). We could wish the Court would post the recording online for those who were not able to watch, but we'll do our best to distill it here.
The day began with the Defendants' attorneys questioning Mann line by line, exhibit by exhibit (yes or no only, please) to show that the Plaintiff had not — in 12 years — found one person who could, under oath, testify that the "statements at issue" had led him or her to believe that Mann was, in fact, similar to Sandusky (i.e., the basis of Mann's whole case) or that Mann had experienced any financial repercussions (to drive home yesterday's cross-examination).
And speaking of just one person. That one person in the Wegmans, who had allegedly stared at Mann with such repugnance more than a decade ago that the episode shook Mann to his core, was the subject of great debate today. The exchange is too good not to share (edited for brevity, kind of).
Mark: The only other evidence of damages so far introduced pending the arrival of Dr. Abraham in the next few days - this is the supermarket in which what you described as an older gentleman gave you a mean look, as you said yesterday, or expressed revulsion as you told Ms. Weatherford this morning, correct?
Mann: That's one very memorable example that I've described to the Court.
Mark: Well, it is memorable because you remember it 12 years later?
Mann: It was that memorable.
Mark: I have no idea what constitutes a mean look in a supermarket aisle. Can you tell us more about what it was like?
Mann: I find it hard to understand that question. Are you really asking me what a mean look looks like?
Mark: Well, it's a mean look that expressed revulsion. So can you describe it a little more? You remembered it for 12 years.
Mann: I think everybody in this room probably can imagine what I'm describing here. I think we've all experienced something like that at one point in our lives. I imagine you have.
Mark: So it's just fixed in your mind as a general look of revulsion. Do you remember what aisle the mean look took place in?
Mann: I'm happy to answer the question because I do have a vivid sense of where I was in the Wegmans department store. The precise aisle, I'm not sure. But when you come in the front door, you have the fruit section and the vegetables and then the deli on one side of the supermarket and then on the other side of the supermarket you have various standard cereals, milk. We were probably two thirds of the way through our family shopping when this happened. And we would work ourselves from the left side to the right side. So I would guess, I think, there are 12 aisles. We were probably somewhere around aisle nine.
Mark: Excellent. Excellent. Truly excellent answer there... I thought that was a good answer. Let's say for the sake of argument you were in the pet food aisle and you were standing there. How do you know the mean look was not because you were blocking the guy because you were dithering between the Fancy Feast Gourmet Tuna and the Fancy Feast Salmon Delight?
Mann: Because that sort of experience would not generate the sort of look. And, again, I would just say that I think we all at some point in our lives have probably experienced something like that. It's very memorable to me. I have a visual image. That's why I can tell you actually where we were in the supermarket approximately, because I have a very vivid image. It was that profound an event. And it was profound for me because it crystallized something that I had experienced more broadly. This was the most vivid and most memorable example of it because I was with my family, we were doing something that we looked forward. I looked forward to every week, shopping with my young daughter and my wife. It was a family experience. It was the only thing that we would all do every week. And I had this unpleasant experience while I was taking part in what was supposed to be one of the most pleasurable experiences that I have as a father and a husband.
Mark: I was just trying to establish some causation between the mean look and me and Mr. Simberg. When did this encounter occur?
Mann: Again, I don't have a precise date. It happened in the wake of the awful allegations that were made against me. We shopped typically on Saturdays, so it would have been a Saturday presumably in... late July, August.
Mark: You testified you felt like a pariah. Do you continue to use this particular supermarket?
Mann: I spend my weekends often in Philadelphia. I'm now teaching at the University of Penn. So I often miss our family shopping day in the Happy Valley because much of my time is in Philadelphia.
Mark: Until you moved to your new university in Philadelphia, did you continue to use this particular supermarket?
Mann: It's the supermarket that we use as a family.
Mark: So even though you felt like a pariah in there, you [were] back the following weekend? You said you did this on Saturday?
Mann: In general, I stopped it. It wasn't long thereafter that it stopped being a family event. Now in part as our daughter got a little older, she didn't think it was cool to be spending her Saturdays shopping with her parents, and that's part of it. But I think probably that experience really sort of damaged... I think it damaged that for me. It was no longer the pleasurable experience that I was used to having.
Mark: So you went to another supermarket instead?
Mann: No. My wife would typically, thereafter, do the shopping at Wegmans on Saturday or Sunday.
Mark: Was she not bothered by the mean look?
Mann: First of all, the mean look was directed at me. I was the one who felt like a pariah. I don't think my wife necessarily herself feels like a pariah. I think she's aware of the fact that I am perceived as one in some quarters.
So the one person in the whole, wide world that looked at Mann with revulsion due to the "statements of issue" was 12 years ago in a Wegmans. Unknown to the Plaintiff, the Defendants, unknown to everyone.
PS — Memo to Elon Musk, according to the good doctor, "Twitter is no longer very family friendly, but [he] still [tries] to respect some codes of decency."
Speaking of Twitter, from Rush's brother, thank you, David.
Big-time rooting for Mark Steyn. Shut these fear, mongering psychos down. https://t.co/3xEerxN0y3— David Limbaugh (@DavidLimbaugh) January 24, 2024
If you're just a regular guy like Mark, the past 12 years of this case hasn't been cheap. So, please keep the notes coming - we read each and every one. And if you can, consider joining the Mark Steyn Fan Club and/or get your very own Liberty Stick.