There was a reason that Dante consigned hypocrites to one of the deepest, darkest reaches of hell in the Inferno. Hypocrites and hypocrisy writ large have, throughout history, caused more damage than almost all others. They believe they have carte blanche to do or say whatever they want — for fame, money, power, name the vice — but those same rules don't apply to their own lives. History has tried to educate the present with the thousands upon thousands of essays, books, and profiles dedicated to the subject, but those who have the most to gain ignore the wise counsel and advice of the past.
Which brings us to today in court. The Plaintiff has tried to argue that his reputation and income was, if not ruined, significantly impacted by the "statements at issue." The last three weeks have borne out the opposite, with the latest salvo resulting in the Defendants' counsel filing for a Rule 50 judgement which would have the case dismissed before it gets to the jury as a matter of law.
Pending that ruling, what happened today? Two witnesses for the Defense took the stand to testify how the good doctor knowingly spread rumors, attacked critics, and publicly, dare we say, defamed both fellow scientists and public figures. The Plaintiff's counsel had no choice but to try to convince the jury, during cross examination, that Dr. Judith Curry had succumbed to big oil to make a living post-academia (the horror) and that Steve McIntyre had never requested the one specific spreadsheet that held all of the hockey stick data that makes everything make sense (not that we the audience, or more importantly, the jury, has seen it either).
In the heat of ClimateGate, Dr. Curry called on her colleagues to employ restraint. This resulted in her being called by the Plaintiff in the then-widely read Huffington Post a "serial climate disinformer." Being labeled a "disinformer" didn't work though, so it was time to play the Scarlett Letter card. Before the #MeToo era, that accusation sadly worked all too well, and at the time the good doctor spread those rumors — the aughts — it might as well have been 1642.
The following literally had to be stated and asked in Court today:
Dr. Judith Curry: Michael Mann knew who I was. My name appeared in one of the ClimateGate emails that Mann sent. He knew who I was. I mean, when this story was changed or altered to portray me as a graduate student, to my mind, the implication that I was, you know, just a woman sleeping my way to the top. And if you're a professional woman, this is about the worst thing that anyone can say about you. It discredits your accomplishments and it gives people permission to ignore you.
Defense Counsel: Dr. Curry, did you ever get any of your tenured faculty positions or department chairs or awards or publications or anything else because you slept with somebody?
Dr. Judith Curry: No.
Let that sink in: "If you're a professional woman, this is about the worst thing that anyone can say about you. It discredits your accomplishments and it gives people permission to ignore you."
This is what Dr. Curry described today as "Hockey Stick Warfare."
And that is why the hypocrites received one of Dante's harshest punishments.
The trial remains in Room 132 of the DC Superior Court. If you have it within your ability to support Mark, please consider becoming a member of the Mark Steyn Club as the Liberty Stick has sold out due to your support! Those wishing to support Mark can also take out a SteynOnline gift certificate.