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Fake Nobel laureate Michael Mann’s lawsuit against National Review took an interesting turn yesterday. The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, the National Press Club, and a bunch of Big Media organizations (including Dow Jones, the Los Angeles Times, NBC Universal, Politico, the Washington Post and pretty much every bigfoot except the wimps at the New York Times) filed an amicus brief (amici briefs?) with the District of Columbia Court of Appeals:

Pursuant to DC. App. R. 29, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, through undersigned counsel, respectfully submit this brief as amicus curiae in support of appellants Mark Steyn et al, and Competitive Enterprise Institute et al.

Before you get too excited, they’re not supporting me and NR in respect of global warming, Dr Mann’s cockamamie hockey stick, his self-awarded Nobel Prize or anything else, but only in our right to appeal the Superior Court’s rejection of our motion to dismiss under the D.C. SLAPP statute. Nevertheless, it shows that they, unlike Judge Combs Greene in her slapdash decision, understand that at its heart this is a case about core free-speech issues. That’s not the way Dr Mann wants it presented.

Twenty-four hours later, the ACLU also filed an amicus brief in support of NR and our fellow defendants and against what they call “the intimidating effect such lawsuits can have on free speech.” And they’re very strong on a couple of key points — that what they call “the value protecting of free speech on issues of public interest” is paramount, and that in suits like these the litigant’s goal is not to win or lose but “to intimidate the advocate ‘into silence.’” That will not happen with NR.

Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, aside from killing medieval clams, Dr Mann’s fellow warm-mongers are attempting to close down the “denialist” think-tank founded by former Chancellor of the Exchequer Nigel Lawson. It’s a timely illustration of how Mann & Co. prefer a debate in which only one side gets to participate. The ACLU et al. just made that a little more difficult for him.

We’ll win this thing — but, if you can chip in a few bucks, we’d be most grateful. Or come see Jonah, Jay, Kevin, Jim, and me in Boston next Wednesday. To counter Dr Mann’s ever more droopy hockey stick, I promise to bring a super-duper “liberty stick” to give away.

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

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