Remember Climategate, the fake scandal concocted by climate change deniers using stolen emails that were quoted out of context? Michael Mann, the British climate scientist who got the worst of it, is suing two right wing blogs for libel:
Mann sued both The Chronicle and National Review, saying that the publications had defamed him and damaged his reputation. The publications filed motions to dismiss the lawsuit, which were heard by Washington D.C. Superior Court Judge Natalia Combs Greene last week.
Greene ruled that Mann’s claims can go forward. She added that Mann’s case was likely to succeed “on the merits.”
“Plaintiff is a member of the scholarly academy and it is obvious that allegations of fraud could lead to the demise of his profession and tarnish his character and standing in the community,” the judge wrote.
We note that writers for both publications merely compared Mann, who teaches at Penn State, to convicted pedophile Jerry Sandusky. But they did not actually call him a pedophile. Mann’s defamation claim ‘is likely to succeed on the merits’ based on this mere comparison to a known pedophile, whereas Brett Kimberlin is suing a handful of right wing bloggers for actually calling him a pedophile. And contrary to assertions you may see on Twitter or in those same right wing blogs, Kimberlin’s case is also likely to succeed “on the merits,” too.