I recently asked the question, "How stupid do they think you are?" because popular "skeptic" Anthony Watts claimed he hadn't accused anyone of fraud after sending an e-mail which said:
In my last telephone conversation with you, I stated (paraphrasing) that “I believe you folks aren’t doing anything fraudulent, but you are doing what you feel is correct science in what you believe is a correct way”.
After seeing the desperate tricks pulled in Karl 2015 to erase “the pause” via data manipulation, I no longer hold that opinion. You needed it to go away, so you prostituted yourselves, perhaps at the direction of higher ups.
Today I have a follow-up on the same question. Only, instead of Watts, I'm curious how popular figure for the "skeptic" cause, Mark Steyn, thinks you are.
You see, Steyn has been sued by Michael Mann and others for supposedly libeling him. Amongst other things, a person named Rand Simberg said:
Mann could be said to be the Jerry Sandusky of climate science, except that instead of molesting children, he has molested and tortured data in the service of politicized science that could have dire economic consequences for the nation and planet.
That's pretty distasteful. Steyn didn't condemn it, instead, he tacitly supported it by saying:
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.
But that isn't important for today's topic. For today's topic, I want to focus on something Steyn said just yesterday. While complaining about the lawsuits Mann has filed, Steyn said this yesterday:
Mann complains how outrageous it is to compare a scientist of his eminence with Jerry Sandusky. Actually, nobody compared him to Jerry Sandusky: Rand Simberg compared the whitewash of Penn State's investigation into Sandusky with the whitewash of Penn State's investigation into Mann, and he was right on both counts.
Steyn says "nobody compared [Mann] to Jerry Sandusky" even though the lawsuit is largely over a quote which says, "Mann could be said to be the Jerry Sandusky of climate science." The comparison couldn't be more clear.
Does that matter to Mark Steyn? I don't know. He's been dealing with this lawsuit for a couple years now. I would like to think he is at least somewhat familiar with the text the lawsuit is over. If he is, there's no excuse for what he said. Only the dumbest of dumb person would read, "Mann could be said to be the Jerry Sandusky of climate science" and conclude "nobody compared [Mann] to Jerry Sandusky."
Did Steyn not read the text the lawsuit is over? Did he forget what it said? Is he trying to rewrite history to pretend he didn't help promote a comparison of Michael Mann to a child molester? Does he think his readers are so stupid they'll fall for something he knows is completely and obviously untrue?
I don't know. All I know is you have to be the biggest idiot ever, or totally insane, to believe what Mark Steyn has just said.
Update: Steyn has updated his article to include this note:
*CORRECTION: In fairness, Rand Simberg did write that Mann "molested and tortured data" and therefore could be said to be "the Jerry Sandusky of climate science". My apologies: I was posting on the hoof. My point was that Mann was offended by being associated with a sexual predator by analogy, when he's actually been far more closely associated with one professionally.
It's good to see a prompt correction on this point. I'm still baffled as to how the mistake ever happened though. Steyn often likes to make jokes about how he thought the courts could handle a case over a 250 word article in under 250 weeks. Given he makes such a point of how few words there were and how much time has been devoted to them, you'd think he'd have some idea of what his article actually said.
Oh well. I really am glad the correction was made. I do have a question though. It seems the correction was likely made because of my post/tweets about this topic. Is it normal to not only not give credit to the person who pointed out a mistake, but to not even inform them of the correction? I know that was a common point with Climate Audit where climate scientists would correct mistakes Steve McIntyre pointed out without acknowledging he found the mistakes or informing him of the corrections (or sometime, that a correction was even made).
I thought it was wrong then. I kind of feel it is wrong here too. I don't know though.