“We will sweep to victory,” National Review Editor Rich Lowry said with a laugh Friday night when asked about the impending defamation lawsuit against his magazine.
FishbowlDC caught up with Lowry on the suit at the Omni Shoreham hotel, where National Review‘s annual “Institute” summit took place this weekend. The event hosts conservatives in media and politics to discuss the status and future of the Republican Party.
The suit was filed by Dr. Michael Mann, a professor at Penn State, against National Review and one of its writers, Mark Steyn, last July for a column Steyn wrote which was critical of Mann. In the column, Steyn alleges Mann attempted to cover up data damaging to the science behind global warming. Steyn also compared Mann to Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State football coach convicted of child molestation.
Late last year, the conservative magazine’s publisher Jack Fowler began soliciting donations to battle the suit via NR‘s website. “As many of you know, National Review is not a non-profit — we are just not profitable,” he wrote. “A lawsuit is not something we can fund with money we don’t have.” The goal was to raise $150,000. By the end of December, the site reported that it raised $129,000.
“I think it’s a completely bogus lawsuit,” Lowry told FBDC… “I think he felt insulted by what Mark Steyn wrote. Most of us would just write back, write a response and leave it at that. Unfortunately he has sued. It’s a very weak suit. And I don’t think it’s going to go anywhere.”