Previously on Law & Order:
Last Monday, hockey-stick progenitor Michael Mann filed suit in DC Superior Court against me, NR, the Competitive Enterprise Institute and Rand Simberg. I noticed on the press release (published on his Facebook page) that Dr Mann claimed to have been “awarded the Nobel Peace Prize“, and that on the complaint itself we are accused of the hitherto unknown crime of “defamation of a Nobel prize recipient“.
So my colleague Charles C W Cooke decided to call up the Nobel chaps in Oslo and ask them if Dr Mann was, in fact, a Nobel laureate:
Cooke: I was wondering, has Dr. Michael Mann ever won the Nobel Peace Prize?
Nobel Committee: No, no. He has never won the Nobel prize.
Thomas Richard also contacted the Norwegians and asked, “Was Prof Michael Mann ‘awarded’ a Nobel Prize of any sort at any time? Is he a Nobel Laureate as implied elsewhere in his legal brief?” He received the following email from Geir Lundestad, Director of the Norwegian Nobel Institute:
Michael Mann has never been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
In public, Dr Mann is a-huffin’ an’ a-puffin’ that this is just more smears from Koch-funded climate deniers. But, behind the scenes, a lot of quiet airbrushing of the record seems to be going on. Two days ago, his Penn State bio said he had been “co-awarded” the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, now merely that he “contributed… to the award” (whatever that means). Over at Wikipedia, they’re arguing over ever more unwieldy rewrites. Editing a false legal complaint is trickier but by now someone may have snuck into the DC court clerk’s office with a gallon of White-Out and amended “defamation of a Nobel prize recipient” to “defamation of a man who received one of two thousand photocopies of a commemorative thank-you certificate run off at the IPCC branch of Kinko’s”.
So let’s see: A week ago, Michael Mann accused us of damaging his reputation – and seems to have made it a self-fulfilling prophecy. A week ago, he was a “Nobel prize recipient”. Now he’s not. Great work, Mike!
(NB Headline courtesy Dr Phil Jones)