Our review reveals that the magazine has published statements that are fully protected under the First Amendment. There is no need for National Review to remove or retract the post.
Dr. Mann complains about two statements: 1) that as "the man behind the fraudulent climate-change 'hockey-stick' graph," he is "the very ringmaster ofthe threering circus" on climate change; and 2) that he "could be said to be the Jerry Sandusky of climate science, except that instead of molesting children, he has molested and tortured data in the service of politicized science that could have dire economic consequences for the nation and planet." Neither ofthese statements is actionable. Moreover, if Dr. Mann decides to pursue this matter, he and his research would be subjected to a very extensive discovery of materials that he has fought so hard to protect in other proceedings. Such materials would be required for National Review to defend itself.
Which is pretty much what everyone said when word of the threatened suit hit the internet.
The Review's lawyers also seem to be admirably well read:
Politicians, scientists and journalists have also continued to question Dr. Mann's tactics in defending the "hockey stick" graph, particularly in light of the thousands of leaked e-mails about the controversy that have painted him in a less than flattering light. See, e.g., Andrew Montford, The Hockey Stick Illusion: Climategate and the Corruption o/Science, Stacey International, 2010; James Delingpole, Opinion, "Climategate 2.0," Wall St. J., Nov. 28, 2011. In referencing the "Climategate" e-mails, Congressman Darrell Issa did not mince words: "[I]t's very clear that those people played fast and loose with both the truth and our money." Darren Goode, "Issa calls for 'relook' at climate science," The Hill, Sept. 23, 2010. Mr. Simberg and Mr. Steyn have simply come to the same conclusion that many others have in the past decade - that Dr. Mann's research may not be scientifically viable.