Michael Mann Sues Conservative Groups for Libel
World-renowned climatologist and Penn State professor Michael Mann has a beef to pick with two right-wing organizations. In July, the Competitive Enterprise Institute and The National Review likened Dr. Mann to Jerry Sandusky. Now, the scientist wants retribution.
Backstory: Three years ago, hackers leaked private emails between Mann and professors from the Climate Research Unit at East Anglia University in the United Kingdom. Climate change deniers allege that the communications reveal an international conspiracy to advertise man-made global warming. After lengthy investigations from the British authorities, the EPA, and Penn State University, the researchers were by all definitions exonerated — except by those with tin foil hats.
Conservative deniers cling to the notion that Michael Mann manipulated his findings that the world was getting warmer. A day after the Freeh Report’s release, the Competitive Enterprise Institute released a scathing editorial on an administrative cover-up at Penn State over Michael Mann. In addition to calling Penn State’s internal investigation into the scientist “hogwash,” CEI said Mann paralleled the former defensive coordinator because “Mann could be said to be the Jerry Sandusky of climate science, except for instead of molesting children, he molested and tortured data.” The National Review later linked to the op-ed, and said that the author “has a point.”
Unsurprisingly, no one likes to have him/herself likened to a child predator. Michael Mann filed a lawsuit yesterday against the prominent magazine and the think tank because the two “maliciously accused (Mann) of academic fraud, the most fundamental defamation that can be levied against a scientist and a professor.” The six counts that Mann is suing for include libel and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The amount of the damages has not been announced and the trial is expected to begin in January. Yes, Penn State has another January trial to anticipate.
Although CEI withdrew the statement from its website, it has yet to apologize to the climatologist. The National Review said that Mann’s case was “utterly lacking in merit.”