The Corner

Accidentally on Purpose

National Review and I have a court date next month for Big Climate honcho Michael Mann’s defamation suit against us for hooting at his hockey stick. I gather that, in America, the crucial point of law is that it’s very difficult to defame a public figure, as Jerry Falwell and many others have discovered. So I was interested to note this recent verbal tic from Dr. Mann. From the May 8th Daily Press of Newport News, Virginia:

“I’ll often characterize myself as a reluctant and accidental public figure,” he said.

He’s right! I had no idea how often he does characterize himself as a reluctant and accidental public figure. Here he is on May 1st at the Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Association:

Mann called himself “a reluctant and accidental public figure in the debate over climate change.”

And here’s the press release for his April 22nd speech at Dickinson College:

Mann will discuss the topic of human-caused climate change through the prism of his own experiences as a reluctant and accidental public figure . . .

March 28th at the College of Wooster:

He described the recent scientific history of climate change research and then how he became an “accidental public figure” . . .

And the day before in The Scientist:

I’ve become an accidental public figure in the debate over human-caused climate change.

And in the March edition of The Yale Alumni Magazine:

Now 47, bald and with flecks of gray in his goatee, he has become, as he puts it, an “accidental public figure.”

Etc. Never before has anyone worked as tirelessly as Dr. Mann to promote his accidental celebrity, or given so many interviews to insist what a shrinking violet he is, or volunteered quite so often to announce he’s an “involuntary public figure” — in the same way that he volunteered to make himself a Nobel Laureate, which also turned out to be an unfortunate accident.

Quick question: Name the other two authors of Dr. Mann’s famous “hockey stick” paper.

Golly, they’re not even accidental public figures. Sometimes accidents don’t happen.

Steve Milloy is tracking Dr. Mann’s voluntary involunteering here. Meanwhile, if you’d like to chip in to our legal defense fund, feel free. There’s already a bunch of other donors — you know how people like to gather at the scene of an accident.

Mark Steyn — Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist.

Most Popular


The End of Hong Kong as We Know It

The protests in Hong Kong have been going on for more than four months now, and no matter how the current crisis concludes in the coming days or weeks, it will mark the end of Hong Kong as we know it. The protests started in response to an extradition bill that was proposed by the city’s Beijing-backed ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Hillary Ruins the Plan

Editor’s note: Andrew C. McCarthy’s new book is Ball of Collusion: The Plot to Rig an Election and Destroy a Presidency. This is the first in a series of excerpts.  There really was a collusion plot. It really did target our election system. It absolutely sought to usurp our capacity for ... Read More

Another Pop-Culture Christian Loses His Faith

It’s happened again. For the second time in three weeks, a prominent (at least in Evangelical circles) Christian has renounced his faith. In July, it was Josh Harris, a pastor and author of the mega-best-selling purity-culture book I Kissed Dating Goodbye. This month, it’s Hillsong United songwriter and ... Read More

An Insider’s Guide to Italian Insults

The tragicomic irony of Chris Cuomo’s pugilistic outburst earlier this week — cursing and physically threatening a man for taunting him with a reference to the movie The Godfather — is that the CNN anchor reinforced the usual tropes about Italian Americans. We are all wise-guys, goons, and Mafiosi, just ... Read More