This is a discussion of the law of defamation as it applies to Mark Steyn. It is by “Ken” at the Popehat website. This seems to be the bottom line:
To have any chance of prevailing, Mann will have to establish that statements accusing him of scientific dishonesty must, even in the context of political opinion blogs, properly be interpreted as specific statements of fact, not statements of opinion. That’s a tough burden. Courts focus on the context in evaluating whether statements should be interpreted as fact or opinion, and increasingly interpret internet rhetoric as opinion rather than fact.
But Ken’s entire discussion is incredible, reinforcing my long held view that one should never get involved with the legal system if it can be at all prevented. Mann is cruisin’ for a bruisin’ which I heartily encourage him to do but when sanity has finally prevailed I suspect he will go nowhere near proceeding with the case. A shame – truth will out, of course – but when he withdraws that will be evidence enough of the rights and wrongs, but if he continues there will be even more evidence and it will be bountiful and luxuriant. May hubris be his guiding light.
And it might be mentioned, as many others have before, that not one second of the six hours of the Presidential and VP debates was devoted to global warming. It is an issue now old, gone and dead, with only we fools in Australia left to carry the financial burden for repairing the planet.