After twelve years of pseudo-jurisprudential bollocks in the town where justice goes to die, the long awaited (if merely the initial) trial of Mann vs Simberg & Steyn is finally staggering to its close. Greetings from the diseased and depraved capital city of the United States!
Week Four will commence at the DC Superior Court at 9am today in Courtroom 132, the luxurious space into which we have been promoted after a fortnight in the sweatbox of Courtroom 518. As always, Amy K Mitchell will be here at the close of business with her evening Court Report, and Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer will have another of their acclaimed trial dramatisations.
If you seek a sane alternative to Michael E Mann's global-warming "hockey stick", our handsome limited-edition trial souvenir, the SteynOnline Liberty Stick, has, alas, sold out. But there's always a personally autographed copy of my book on what over a hundred of his fellow scientists make of Mann, "A Disgrace to the Profession" - or a SteynOnline gift certificate.
On Sunday, there was a flurry of motions from Plaintiff's counsel. Given that John Williams usually spends the weekends at his golf club, this suggests that Defendants' motions for Judgment as a Matter of Law, which are usually a bit pro forma, have rattled Mann's lawyers sufficiently to prod them into trying to do an end-run round their failure to make a case. Their last motion on Sunday evening was a demand for a new nine-page verdict form (based on California law). Significantly, they (and not yours truly) are now the ones demanding that the jury be permitted to consider strictly nominal damages - ie, they'll settle for guilty plus a buck.
Two things can be deduced from this last-minute development:
i) They get that their case is in big trouble; and
ii) As John Hinderaker tells Howie Carr below, they're not working on contingency, and thus in need of a big cash award. As John suggests, some big dark-money sugar-daddy - Tom Steyer or George Soros: that size - has been picking up the tab these last twelve years.
As for me, no dice. Go Rudy or go home.
~I was very grateful last week for a strong Minnesota contingent in court, including Mark Steyn Cruisemate Michele Bachman and Powerline's John Hinderaker with his wife Loree. On his first night in town, after the usual daily courtroom post-mortem and some conversational detours into the fifth Marquess of Lansdowne and whatnot, John casually mentioned that his offices had been firebombed.
"Wait, wha..?" I said. John heads the Center for the American Experiment, which shares its space in Minneapolis with two other conservative groups. Just before John and Loree left for DC, arsonists broke into the building and attempted to burn it down. He had yet to mention it in public because he had been waiting for the two federal agencies involved, the FBI and the ATF, to make a public announcement. When the days passed and there was no press conference, John decided to go public himself:
Arson won't slow us down.
New footage and update from our President John Hinderaker here: pic.twitter.com/a3lUnSUKtq— Center of the American Experiment (@MNThinkTank) February 2, 2024
At least one Democrat representative in Minnesota (Andy Smith) thought arson attacks on conservative groups was pretty funny, before finding it prudent to delete his tweets. The city's somnolent monodaily, of course, did its best to ignore the story. But beyond the state line there was a lot of interest:
Today I was interviewed by two radio shows in Boston, one in Chicago, one in Phoenix and one in Minneapolis; by a Twin Cities television station; by Minnesota Public Radio; by a Greater Minnesota radio network; and by a reporter from National Review. Tomorrow evening I will be on television in Australia. On Monday I have scheduled a video with Liz Collin of Alpha News, Hugh Hewitt's radio show, and Bill Bennett's podcast. On Tuesday I will be on the Dennis Prager Show. And no doubt more will be scheduled between now and then.
Among John's radio hits was the New England colossus Howie Carr, who also found time to press him on the Mann vs Steyn trial. Click below to listen:
John Hinderaker: firebombed by Leftists and the Mark Steyn trial | 2.2.24 – The Howie Carr Show Hour 2 https://t.co/e0HJQnNwn8— Mark Steyn (@MarkSteynOnline) February 3, 2024
There is a finer line than you'd think between lawfare and warfare. The aim is to make politics, as that term has been understood for centuries, impossible. In America, they're well advanced toward that goal.
~Speaking of politics, constitution-wavers should read this.
~It must be almost two decades back that I first called Tim Blair the Great Australian Wag. We have both had a few health issues in recent years, but I associate him with happy times and hope one day to be well enough to visit the Lucky Country again. His column in Sydney's Daily Telegraph includes this choice exchange from the Steyn trial:
[Mann] falsely claimed that when Prof Curry was a PhD student she slept with her professor. In court, he was forced to admit every fact in the email was false...
MANN: "Yes, I readily acknowledge I got those facts ... wrong." Mann declined to apologize to Prof Curry or her husband who were both in court.
STEYN: "In fact, the upshot of your ... email is one of the oldest slurs against successful women, isn't it? That she just slept her way to the top?"
It doesn't take much to provoke Mann. All you need to do is take issue with his precious hockey stick, and the angry academic absolutely unloads...
Nice to see big-selling Aussie newspapers consider that exchange worthy of note. The Washington Post hasn't said a word about the trial, and dispatched a reporter to court only last Thursday (Day Eleven).
~By common consent, Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer's daily dramatisations (with eminent Hollywood actors) of the DC court proceedings have been one of the undoubted highlights of the trial. It earned Ann an invite to the latest edition of Anthony Watts's Climate Roundtable, this week guest-hosted by the Heartland Institute's Jim Lakely. Click below to watch:
~In other trial news, my first and second Statements of Claim against the UK media censor Ofcom have been accepted for judicial review by the High Court of England. The King's Bench Division will hear the case in March. So, after a quick post-Mann break for the Mark Steyn Caribbean Cruise, I will be jetting into London for yet another courtroom appearance. Many readers have inquired about how to support this latest Free-Speech Lawsuit of the Month, this time over Ofcom's throttling of honest discussion of the Covid and the vaccines. Well, there are several ways to lend a hand, including:
a) signing up a friend for a Steyn Club Gift Membership;
b) buying a near-and-dear one a SteynOnline gift certificate;
d) lavishing upon your beloved a once-in-a-lifetime Mark Steyn Caribbean Cruise.
With the first two methods, one hundred per cent of the proceeds goes to a grand cause - and, in the rest, a significant chunk thereof. And, in all cases, you or your loved one gets something, too.
~Notwithstanding the strains of a trial going on longer than was promised, we had a very busy weekend at SteynOnline, starting with Mark himself back in the chair for our Clubland Q&A. Acclaimed Australian actor (and sometime voice of the Geico Gekko) Thomas Bromhead recreated Steyn's end of the courtroom contretemps on Ann & Phelim's daily podcast, and Rick McGinnis's Saturday movie date opted for a unionized musical - Doris Day in The Pajama Game. On Sunday Amy K Mitchell filed her Weekend Update, and Steyn's Song of the Week celebrated (sort of) Groundhog Day.
If you were too busy spending the weekend obsessing over the Taylor Swiftboating conspiracy, we hope you'll want to check out one or three of the foregoing as a new week begins.