Mark Steyn fights on to protect our unalienable right to free speech.
Should hockey-stick huckster Michael Mann's interminable lawsuit against me succeed, it would be the worst setback for the First Amendment in half-a-century. Such unlikely Steyn allies as NBC, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, etc, all agree on that – in their amicus briefs. But actual editorials on this case have been far thinner on the ground. Indeed, the biggest difference between the hockey-stick huckster's suit and the Canadian Islamic Congress' attempt to criminalize my writing north of the border is that (by comparison with the CBC, The Globe & Mail et al) mainstream US media editorialists have been entirely silent. So I was pleased to see this piece from the editors of The New York Post, headlined “DC Court of Appeals' Global Warming Decision Threatens First Amendment”:
As Americans were preparing to trade Christmas presents last week, the DC Court of Appeals was moving to take a gift away: Americans' right to free speech.
The court ruled that Penn State climatologist Michael Mann's defamation suit against National Review and the Competitive Enterprise Institute can go to trial. That should send shivers down the spines of anyone who cares about open debate and challenges to scientific findings.
Mann's suit claims bloggers Mark Steyn, on NR's site, and Rand Simberg, on CEI's, defamed him when they slammed his global warming research, particularly his famous hockey stick graph…
The Post notes that both Mr Simberg and I were making “statements of opinion” and that, “under the First Amendment, Americans can express their opinion”. That's true – or it was until Judge Vanessa Ruiz and her colleagues came along. Her ladyship's view that, once an “expert” body has ruled on a subject, freeborn citizens are obliged to accept that ruling and shut the hell up is perverse and repugnant.
But the Post also adds:
And, after all, who's to say the authors are wrong?
Which is my position. I believe the hockey stick is fraudulent – which is why I stated that it's fraudulent. I've said it's fraudulent in major publications in the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia, inter alia, since the end of the 20th century – without any slapdash jurists in those countries presuming to say that I had no right to do so.
For the record, I did not write that Mann himself is a fraud, although I'm happy to prove that in court. As that is what the sclerotic and diseased husk of DC justice apparently requires of me, I wish they'd get on with it – as I've been petitioning for over three years. The Post concludes:
The First Amendment, NR notes, is designed specifically to safeguard the right “to express caustic criticism of scientific theories that purport to resolve hot-button political controversies on matters as sweepingly consequential as the extent and cause of global warming.”
By opening the door to curbs on that right, the court does the nation a huge disservice.
I thank all those readers committed to ensuring that a malodorous ideologue doesn't get away with hijacking the First Amendment. If you're interested in keeping me in the game until this outrageous case comes to trial, well, I wrote a whole book on this subject.