Michael Mann took the stand for the third day at the trial of his own making to start Week 3. Mark's cross-examination continued in full force today. By the end of the day, Mann's lawyers were clearly flustered as illustrated by their attempts to rebut Mann's own testimony (in vain).
C.S. Lewis (yes, that C.S. Lewis) once said, "Hell begins with a grumbling mood, always complaining, always blaming others." We witnessed a lot of blame in Room 132 of the DC Superior Court today, so hell must be near.
As Mark detailed in exhibit after exhibit, Mann, despite his protestations to the contrary of double-checking (nigh, triple checking) his work and always ensuring that he has facts right each and every time, had to resort time and again to the common refrain, "it was an honest mistake."
What mistakes you ask?
Well, let's start with Mann's own deposition — the deposition that was signed under penalty of perjury. Mann failed to disclose all persons who he believed had "communicated false statements of fact about you or your work that caused damage to your reputation, as well as the statements."
Mann's response: "It fell through the cracks. It was an honest mistake... there were hundreds of pages." Hundreds of pages? This from the man whose entire profession (and career) is contingent upon hundreds of, if not thousands, points of data? And those other persons? Well, they "didn't have nearly the reach" as Mark and the other defendants.
The discrepancy in the alleged decline in the Plaintiff's grant funding submitted in his own documentation admitted as evidence? "It was the lawyers."
The distortion of Hockey and Football, one of the "statements at issue," in Mann's book in which the word "mad" was added to a direct quote attributed to Mark, as in, "Mad Michael Mann was the man behind..." Oh, that is a "typo." No wait, it was "the editors."
Mann is never to blame. He is innocent. Perfect, if one will.
Let's turn to Mann's emails, which in discovery included the following gem about Judith Curry:
"... folks here were relieved to see her go. I don't know all the details. What I do know is that Peter Webster was a married faculty member and Judy Curry was a graduate student. Affairs, ugly divorce, et cetera, yada, yada. Webster and Curry left together... to the relief of everyone I know here who was around then. mike."
Except the woman in question wasn't actually a graduate student, but was in fact another faculty member. Mann admitted: "These are rumors I was passing along" (lovely), and his "facts could be wrong," AND wait for it... "she is what I would a call a serial misinformer when it comes to science."
Ah ha. So spreading rumors of an affair in academic circles if you're Michael Mann — on purpose — to discredit someone who doesn't agree with you to ruin their reputation isn't defamation? Got it.
Finally, ICYMI — This evening, Bill McGurn in the Wall Street Journal writes, "This is lawfare. The message is: If you don't like a critic's tweet or blog posts, just drag him through the courts. It's especially sweet if someone else foots your bill." Read the full column here.
National Review is also tracking the trial, with coverage here.
And Mark's Opening Statement can be found here.
Notes from the Mark Steyn Club
"[Mark] will be in my prayers." — Jeff S.
Sandra sends in this reminder reminiscent of Federalist 14: "Mr. Steyn's adversaries are availing themselves of a prevailing prejudice with regard to the radical right in order to supply by imaginary difficulties the want of those solid objections which they endeavor in vain to find" with this wish, "I send my love. I am praying daily for your health, Mr. Steyn, specifically that you get stronger ever day, and that this trial will end in a victory for free speech."
Be sure to keep watching the trial tomorrow, now in Room 132 at the DC Superior Court. And if you are so inclined, please consider supporting Mark with your very own — signed by Mark — Liberty Stick, or through the Mark Steyn Club. Lastly, keep those messages coming in, we love each and every one!