Michael Mann pretends to be an involuntary ‘public figure’; Posturing for libel suit filed against Steyn, CEI?

In today’s The-Scientist pity-me piece, Michael Mann goes out of his way to assert is an “accidental” public figure. Why?

He and/or his lawyer may feel that his status as “public figure” will have adverse implications in the libel suit he filed against Mark Steyn and the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

But Michael Mann has been a voluntary public figure since at least 1998. He first volunteered to be a public figure as early as April 22, 1998 when he appeared on NBC Nightly News to discuss his hokey stick study.

You can’t promote yourself and your work in the media and them claim “my critics turned me into a public figure.”

Nice try Mikey.

Here’s the transcript from the NBC appearance:

TOM BROKAW, anchor:
NBC NEWS IN DEPTH tonight, does it seem it’s been warmer than usual where you live? Well, it’s not your imagination. Scientists have figured out ways to trace climate changes over hundreds of years now, and their findings are out tonight. The world, in fact, is getting warmer. Our IN DEPTH report now from NBC’s chief science correspondent Robert Bazell:
ROBERT BAZELL reporting:
Terrible storms, floods, heat waves: Is something unnatural really happening to our weather? The answer is yes. The study out today examines detailed records of the earth’s climate for 600 years.

Dr. MICHAEL MANN (University of Massachusetts): The unusual warmth of the 20th century, and the 1990s in particular, which have been an especially warm decade, are unprecedented over a much longer period of time then we previously have been able to establish.

BAZELL: How do they know? Dr. Michael Mann and his team analyze human historical records–tree rings, glaciers, and all sorts of other evidence from as far back as the year 1400. Their conclusion: The earth has never been as warm as it is now. The reason: We burn things. And everything we burn from a match, to gasoline for cars, to coal for plants that generate electricity, pours the invisible gas carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, where it traps the sun’s heat, the greenhouse effect.

Dr. MANN: This very unprecedented warmth of the 20th century had a–had a–had a very close relationship with the increase in greenhouse gases during the past century.

BAZELL: And the problem is only getting worse. A Department of Energy report out today says greenhouse gas emissions will rise by as much as 80 percent in the next 20 years. So there seems to be little question that the earth will continue to get warmer, probably a lot warmer. But what does that mean for this environment that we all live in? Most scientists agree that oceans will keep rising, and that a warmer atmosphere will hold more water and dump more moisture in storms in both winter and summer, and those storms will get more and more severe all over the world. Of course, no single weather event can be linked to global warming, and no one can say exactly what change will strike what part of the earth.

Dr. STEVEN SCHNEIDER (Stanford University): We’re performing an experiment in this lab. It’s a lab, however, that happens to be earth. And it’s not made up of–you know, of glass and wires; it’s made up of soils and animals and insects and us.

BAZELL: Scientists say some parts of the world could actually end up much better off with more water for farming and less need for heating fuel. Other places could face sustained heat and drought. The only certainty is a rapidly changing climate. Robert Bazell, NBC News, New York.
BROKAW: The study was released today, not coincidentally, to coincide with Earth Day, which President Clinton and Vice President Gore marked by visiting the Appalachian Trail–a section of it in West Virginia. And on other side of the country, 3,000 Los Angeles schoolchildren hit the beaches to pick up litter. They’re expected to haul away several tons of it.

When we come back, are you on overload? Our special series, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. How to balance your job and your life.
Later, the legend of the USS Indianapolis. How one young boy is attempting to correct history, teaching everyone a lesson about justice.

30 thoughts on “Michael Mann pretends to be an involuntary ‘public figure’; Posturing for libel suit filed against Steyn, CEI?”

  1. Mike was lead author of the “Observed Climate Variability and Change” chapter of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Third Scientific Assessment Report published in 2001.
    The mouthpeice for the international government. You can’t be anymore voluntary public figure than that.

    No. What the weazel is angling for is a {relatively}quick quiet dismissal of his complaint in a less formal (not public) setting than a civil court.

  2. There is an irony that’s good
    In Mann’s promotional caper:
    Denying public figurehood
    While interviewed in the paper

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  3. Go to facebook.

    Type Michael e. Mann into the search box.

    You will be taken to the official Facebook page for “Michael e. Mann public figure” – yes Facebook uses that actual phrasing to describe this page.

    Somebody setup that page, controls it, and posts to it pretty much every single day…

    And I don’t think Facebook, put a gun to that person’s head saying “you must create a page about yourself as a public figure.” No, the person who setup that Facebook page did so entirely voluntarily.

    Who would that person be? Oh yes, that would be michael e. Mann himself!

  4. The lawsuits could be interesting as the defense would just prove, once and for all, that Mann is a corrupt researcher stealing taxpayer money. The suit would likely also out the New York Times for participation in the fraud. You would think that the last thing Mann and the NYT would want is the truth outed in court.

  5. How convenient to start counting from the year 1400! Thus they could omit the period of a few hundred years when small communities of Icelanders grew wheat in Greenland. The historical evidence for the warm period in Icelandic/Greenland history is accepted by all. The evidence is overwhelming and beyond dispute.

  6. People who are not wanting to be public figures don’t have Twitter feeds, facebook pages, do magazine and television interviews and put their names on controversial research. Mikey is as public a figure as voluntarily as they come. Trying to weasel out of the down side to be being public just is so endearing–not.

  7. Mann delivered what he was paid to deliver — proof of man-made global warming. OK, not actual facts, just pseudo-reality. He used faked (made up) data, edited data, and adjusted data to produce the result he was paid to produce. But he delivered what he was paid to deliver. Science fiction.

  8. Gertz vs. Welch already established that a so-called vortex public figure – someone who becomes known for voluntarily taking a side in a controversy – is not given the same status as a private figure. Mann will have to prove actual malice, and that’s rather difficult.

  9. Can’t wait for this to hit the courts, just like in Britain and Al Goremiester’s piece of fiction. Mann is about to get a butt kickin’.

  10. Can’t wait for this to hit the courts, just like in Britain with Al Goremiester’s piece of fiction. Mann is in for a butt kickin’.

  11. Mann says he was made a public figure against his will. He says this in public. Via the world’s largest medium. Voluntarily, too.

    Methinks he doth protest too much. In public. On purpose. Sorry bub, you can’t have it both ways.

  12. Mann is typical of this mindset. They know nothing about civility or respect for the truth. Their initial approach is intimidation, it that fails they whine.

  13. Good one, KenW! I like to call them ‘watermelons’ green on the outside, RED to the core! Mann is really just a useful idiot, tho.

  14. The reason is for libel claims the burden of proof is different for public vs private figures. If you are a public figure the burden of proof is placed on the person claiming defimation. If the person is a private figure the burden of proof that it was not defimation is placed on the person making the “defaming” claim.

    An accidental figure would be someone who does not seek the public eye but gets in because of a circumstance that he has only minor control. Eg someone saves someone and it ends up in the news, Someone is the victim of a crime and it ends up in the news.

    I doubt that Mann could claim he is an accidental public figure since he has gone out of his way to go present at public conferences, publish opinion articles in mainstream papers, ask and encourage TV appearances, etc,

  15. ‘… Michael Mann goes out of his way to assert is an “accidental” public figure.’
    should be
    ‘… Michael Mann goes out of his way to assert *he* is an “accidental” public figure.’

  16. And did you see the actual subtitle on the New Scientist article? “Attacks on my work aimed at undermining climate change science have turned me into a public figure. I have come to embrace that role.” Take another look at that last sentence. Bye-bye lawsuits indeed!

  17. Quotiong Monckton: “…the traffic-light tendency (the Greens too yellow to admit they’re really Reds): “….

    that one’s worthy of the highest form of praise: a bumber sticker. Classic.

  18. Seems it’s normal that warm and hot weather are followed by cold and dry environment, so it’s not sth that Mann could manage but just nature.

  19. This: “The earth has never been as warm as it is now” is an obvious falsehoodto anyone who knows any science or has ever heard of the dinosaurs Why didn’t Mann point that out?

  20. Who’s Mary Steyn? There is a guy named Mark Steyn, but I’m sure that’s not whom you had in mind.

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