Michael Mann's lawsuit against the CEI and the National Review is going forward. Key lines from the judge:
Plaintiff has been investigated several times and his work has been found to be accurate. In fact, some of these investigations have been due to the accusations made by the CEI Defendants. It follows that if anyone should be aware of the accuracy (or findings that the work of Plaintiff is sound), it would be the CEI Defendants. Thus, it is fair to say that the CEI Defendants continue to criticize Plaintiff due to a reckless disregard for truth. Criticism of Plaintiff's work may be fair and he and his work may be put to the test. Where, however the CEI Defendants consistently claim that Plaintiff's work is inaccurate (despite being proven as accurate) then there is a strong probability that the CEI Defendants disregarded the falsity of their statements and did so with reckless disregard.
What this means as regards Mann's chances for success, I have no idea, beyond the obvious fact that this decision improves them, since if the case were thrown out, it would have been something of a setback. (That is by the way precisely the sort of top-flight legal analysis you can't just find anywhere.) At any rate, I'm surely in favor of allowing as broad a scope for Freespeech as possible, but libel is, well, libellous. (We are on fire with the insight.) And accusing someone of fraud based on nasty wingnut fever-swampery, aimed at destroying someone's reputation, well, that's not Freespeech fair-game "opinion" flinging.
No response yet from the Corner, though if you want to know why the Anthony Weiner sexting hubbub is all a plot to force Lady Liberty to kneel down before Sharia Law, feel free to examine this eminently sensible piece by the always levelheaded Andrew McCarthy.