Damon Linker for The Week asks "Is National Review Doomed?" touching on the lawsuit brought against the legendary conservative magazine by climate scientist Michael Mann:
The lawsuit has not been going well for the magazine. In July, Judge Natalia Combs Greene rejected a motion to dismiss the suit. The defendants appealed, and last week D.C. Superior Court Judge Frederick Weisberg rejected the motion again, opening the door for the discovery phase of the lawsuit to begin. ...
Now, the lawsuit may well be dismissed down the road. But the longer it continues, the more likely it becomes that Mann will eventually prevail, either by forcing an expensive settlement or by prevailing in court and winning a substantial penalty from the defendants.
It's doubtful that National Review could survive either outcome. Small magazines often lose money and only rarely manage to break even. They certainly don't have substantial legal budgets, let alone cash to cover an expensive payout.
Last time TheBlaze Blog checked in on the lawsuit National Review had raised nearly $150,000 in solicited donations to fight it. Near that time, the magazine's editor Rich Lowry told the media blog FishbowlDC that the suit was "very weak" and "wasn't going anywhere."
What about all that defense money? Is it gone?
Linker makes no mention of it in his column at The Week. We've requested comment from him.
Jack Fowler, publisher of National Review, told TheBlaze Blog that if National Review loses the case, "it would be damaging monetarily" but he denied it would close down the magazine.
"We're not a mom-and-pop store," Fowler told us. "We're a magazine that's engaged in, let's say, interesting rhetoric. We have (legal) insurance, as does any other magazine that has the slightest bit of common sense."
Fowler said Linker didn't contact him before writing his piece at The Week. "I don't know where The Week gets off thinking we're going to go under," he said. "We do raise money for the case because, as typically happens, you hire attorneys, they represent you at a certain rate and sometimes that rate is not what the insurance company will agree to cover."
He continued: "I can't speak as to why The Week, which itself seems to be in (financial) trouble, why-- as if they have some crystal ball or some spy camera looking in our book-- it's just preposterous."
Fowler maintained that National Review will come out on the winning side of the case.
See also: "Climate Change vs. Free Speech" on our contributor's page.