The lawsuit is based on a July 13 article by Rand Simberg, published on the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s blog, titled “The Other Scandal in Unhappy Valley.” It followed an investigation, released this summer, that said some Penn State officials knew of Sandusky’s sexual abuse of minors before he was arrested and chose not to report them to authorities.
The article compared Sandusky to Mann, accusing the the scientist of “molesting data” about global warming. It was later summarized and linked to by the National Review; in that piece, National Review writer Mark Steyn says, “Not sure I’d have extended that metaphor all the way into the locker-room showers with quite the zeal Mr. Simberg does, but he has a point.”
The Competitive Enterprise Institute has since removed the sentences comparing Mann to Sandusky. An editor’s note says two lines were removed.
The lawsuit also names Simberg, an adjunct scholar with the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and the National Review’s Steyn.
Competitive Enterprise Institute attorney Sam Kazman said he doesn’t believe the lawsuit was based in “either law or fact.” Kazman his Web site later removed two lines from the story that compared Mann to Sandusky, but refused to retract any parts of the story that challenged Mann’s scientific work.A link to Rand Simberg's CEI bio can be found here. A previous Think Tank Watch post on CEI dispute can be found here.