The martyrdom of Mark Steyn

I envied him for getting sued by Michael Mann. But now he needs all the support we can give

James Delingpole
The Spectator [UK]
15 February 2014

When I first read, many months ago, that the notorious US climate scientist Michael Mann was suing the notorious right-wing bastard Mark Steyn for defamation, I admit that I felt a little piqued.

Obviously a libel trial is not something any sane person would wish to court; and naturally I’m a massive fan of Steyn’s. Nevertheless, after all the work I’ve dedicated over the years to goading Mann, I found it a bit bloody annoying that Steyn — a relative latecomer to the climate change debate — should have been the one who ended up stealing all my courtroom glory.

What made me doubly jealous was that this was a case Steyn was guaranteed to win. In the unlikely event it came to court — which I didn’t think it would, given Mann’s longstanding aversion to any form of public disclosure regarding his academic research — the case would fall down on the fact that defamation is so hard to prove in the US, especially when it involves publicly funded semi-celebrities who are expected to take this sort of thing on the chin.

Since then, though, much has changed. It now looks — go to for the full story — as if Steyn is going to be up there on his own, fighting and financing his case without the support of his magazine, National Review; that the outcome is not as certain as it seemed at the beginning; and that this hero deserves all the help we can give him.

Why? Well, the fact that I even have to explain this shows what a cowardly, snivelling, career-safe, intellectually feeble, morally compromised age we inhabit. By rights, Mann Steyn should be the 21st-century equivalent of the Scopes monkey trial, with believers in free speech, proponents of the scientific method and sympathetic millionaires and billionaires all piling in to Steyn’s defence with op eds, learned papers, and lavish funds to buy the hottest of hotshot lawyers…



The article continues at The Spectator.


Related:    The Hinderaker-Ward Experience  Episode 64: Mark Steyn vs. The Hockey Stick. (MP3)

…Topics include how this relates to the larger movement by the Left in attempting to silence dissenters, the whims and depredations of the American legal system, how this has affected Mark’s relationship with National Review, and ways Mark’s admirers can help him in his defense.   These topics may sound heavy, but they’re handled with Mark’s characteristic élan and light-hearted touch…



Michael Mann defamation lawsuit — calling on the judge to apply the law of the case doctrine

A new filing in climate scientist Michael Mann’s defamation lawsuit against National Review and the Competitive Enterprise Institute would keep in place earlier rulings by the Court denying Defendants’ motion to dismiss and move the case forward from there. Meanwhile, lawyers for co-defendant Mark Steyn, whose writing is a subject of the defamation charge, have dropped him as a client…



Mumbo-Jumbo for Beginners

A propos the big campaign here to fight off Michael Mann’s assault on free speech, several readers have asked me directly and also inquired in comments on NR’s fundraising post below what the appeals court judges’ ruling actually means in English. I agree that it’s helpful, when one is soliciting donations for a legal campaign, to provide an update on how the battle’s going, so I don’t know why one of NR’s editorial staff could not have posted the court order with an accompanying explanation. But what it means is this…


How to support Mark Steyn’s legal defense

…it’s not much of a First Amendment that requires a bazillion dollars in legal fees and a half-decade vow of silence to enjoy the security thereof — all while the plaintiff’s using his freedom of speech to knock off your political allies.

I don’t think much about the First Amendment these days. As a practical matter, it’s simply not feasible in a global media market to tailor one’s freedom of expression to the varying local bylaws. So I take the view that I’m entitled to say the same thing in Seattle as I would in Sydney or Stockholm, Sofia or Suva. But, were Dr. Mann to prevail, it would nevertheless be the case that his peculiarly thin skin and insecurities would enjoy greater protection under U.S. law than they do in Britain, Canada, Australia, and other jurisdictions. It would thus be a major setback for the First Amendment…




Update:   Debate over climate change gets heated  (video)

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