Michael E Mann, inventor of the global-warming "hockey stick" and self-garlanded Nobel Laureate, is a public figure. That is an important legal distinction in his interminable defamation suit against me, but it is also true in a broader sense.
Not every scientist or professor is a public figure, but a scientist who writes celebrity columns for The Huffington Post and The Guardian, and appears in campaign commercials for powerful politicians, and stars in a big-budget James Cameron telly series with Matt Damon and Jessica Alba, and writes a book not about science per se but about an epic global struggle for truth and justice with him as the embattled hero can hardly claim he wants to be left alone with his Bunsen burners.
So Dr Mann is a public figure.
The problem - both for his lawsuit and for his long-term mental health - is that he's temperamentally unsuited to be one. As Miss Alba could surely explain to him, celebrity - even minor celebrity - requires a certain resilience. "Divas" such as Barbra or Celine are said to be "temperamental", but in fact, considering what someone somewhere is saying about them at every moment of the day, they're remarkably insouciant, letting it roll off them like water off the proverbial ducky. They're certainly not scouring the Internet all night long for every perceived slight - unlike some neurotic, insecure, huffy old queens we could mention. For example:
After an Amazon reviewer calls Mann "thin-skinned", Mann encourages his followers to "report abuse"
Quod erat demonstrandum. The usual Twitter laugh riot ensued, if not quite to the same impressive level of risibility as his #AskDrMann hashtag debacle.
Mann's approach to disagreement is consistent across his various platforms. If he's on his Facebook page and sees even a mild, polite, friendly criticism from a fellow believer in anthropogenic global warming, you'll get "promptly banned and blocked". If he hosts an ask-me-anything Q&A session on Twitter, he threatens in advance that impertinent whippersnappers will be "blocked & reported". If he hears that you found his book whiny, self-serving and unreadable, you'll be reported for "abuse". And, if all that fails, he sues.
On that last matter, he might yet win, and I will be over and out. Such is the crapshoot of US justice, especially in a choked toilet of a system like the District of Columbia's. But, even so, Mann is unsuited even for minor celebrity among the climate cultists, insisting on a level of deference that's patently absurd anywhere this side of Pyongyang. Yet Kim Jong-Mann barks on, banning and blocking, blocking and banning. If you look at the hockey stick as a blocky stick, showing the number of people blocked by scientists in the last millennium until Mann came along in the late 20th century, then suddenly it all makes sense.
As for lousy reviews on Amazon, that's a routine feature of contemporary publishing. My own new book isn't even out yet, but, as I noted the other day (scroll down), "it's already attracted the much-coveted Amazon one-star review!" That's how real men like yours truly shrug off a negative review, and, when the screamingly camp Shirley Temple fan is the manliest man in the fight, you know the other fellow has a problem.
So, instead of shrugging it off, Mann demanded that the review calling him "thin-skinned" be deleted. Which it was. Tom Nelson again:
#ThinSkinnedGate: After Mann's crying, this negative review was removed from Amazon's site: http://www.amazon.com/review/R29FKLW0C0CYM8/ref=
For a while. Until someone at Amazon realized that, if the level of fawning prostration Dr Mann demands were to be the only kind of review permitted, the entire function would be useless to readers. So the review went back up, which Mann took as evidence of "an organized assault":
And this Amazon review of #HSCW is back after being removed once already by Amazon. Have at it folks. There appears to be an organized assault on the #HSCW Amazon page right now. New legitimate reviews would be very welcome!
Really? If it would help, I'm happy to wander over to Amazon and give a five-star review to page 235 of Dr Mann's book, in which he states that "our own work did not fall within the remit of [Lord Oxburgh's] committee, and the hockey stick was not mentioned in the report". The more I read page 235 of the book, the more its sparkling and scintillating prose, suffused in a rare integrity, seems to dance off the very page - at least when compared with page 12 of Mann's most recent court pleading, in which he claims he and his unmentioned hockey stick were completely "exonerated" by this self-same Lord Oxburgh and his committee.
Speaking of Mann's court pleadings, The Prussian draws attention to this passage:
Responsible media reviews, including the Columbia Journalism Review, have described the defendants' attacks against Dr. Mann as "deplorable, if not unlawful." Responsible scientific publications, including Discover Magazine, have described these attacks as "slimy," "disgusting," and "defamatory." [...] Similarly, the scientific publication Discover Magazine described the attacks as "slimy," "disgusting," and "defamatory."
The Prussian observes that "scientific publication" is usually taken to mean "peer reviewed technical publication":
This is basic. I remember being told, in so many words during my first year at University that, popular science magazines, newspapers, blogs, or your Aunt Mabel do not count as scientific publication. Only peer reviewed literature counts.
Discover Magazine is a responsible scientific publication the way that Michael Mann is a Nobel Laureate.
I wouldn't know about that. But way back in February, in my own Answer and Counterclaims to Mann's Amended Complaint, page five states that Steyn...
30. Denies the allegations in Paragraph Thirty, especially the allegation that obscure unread losers at whatever "Discover Magazine" is are in any sense "respectable and well-regarded journalists".
Indeed. Mann's court pleadings are such a mountain of falsehoods that in their own most recent brief my co-defendants CEI wrote (page five):
Of the eight reports that Mann says "exonerated" him, three do not even mention his name once, and six involved no investigation at all of his research or conduct. Of the two reports that do concern Mann, one did not investigate the charge for which he claims to be "exonerated" - falsifying data - and the other dropped its investigation of that charge at an early stage, without examining Mann's research or practices.
Mann's discussion of these materials is so misleading as to seriously call into question his and his counsel's candor to the Court. In these circumstances, it would be well within the Court's discretion to order Mann and his counsel to show cause why they should not be sanctioned for misrepresentation of the record and for unreasonably imposing litigation costs on Defendants.
I think that's what Mann would call "reporting abuse".
~If you'd like to support my pushback against Kim Jong-Mann, you can do so by swanking around town in our exclusive range of Steyn Vs The Stick trial merchandise, or by buying a loved one one of our new SteynOnline gift certificates or by checking out all the other fun stuff - books, CDs, mugs and more - over at the Steyn store.
Because, when the going gets tough, real men don't whine like a big ninny about one-star reviews on Amazon, they just push their Christmas disco CD even harder.
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