August 14, 2014

FREE SPEECH: ACLU, news organizations back National Review, think tank in climate libel case.

A who’s who of news organizations, as well as the American Civil Liberties Union, have sided with the conservative National Review and the free market Competitive Enterprise Institute in a libel lawsuit brought against them by climate scientist Michael Mann.

Mann contends that the magazine and the think tank both libeled him by publishing articles alleging that he has intentionally manipulated climate data. Both defendants are seeking to have the case dismissed under a statute that prevents nuisance lawsuits intended to silence critics. The matter is currently before the D.C. Superior Court.

In an amicus brief filed Monday, the ACLU and news organizations urged the court to reverse a lower court ruling that the statute didn’t apply in this case. They argued that it would be a blow to freedom of the press should Mann prevail. . . .

The ACLU was joined in the brief by the Washington Post, Fox News, NBC Universal, USA Today publisher Gannett Co., Bloomberg, Time, the Tribune Publishing Co., the Seattle Times and various professional organizations including the American Society of News Editors, the National Press Club, and the Society of Professional Journalists, among others.

Mann certainly acts like a man with something to hide, in one forum after another.