Rand Simberg, the acerbic blogger behind Transterrestrial Musings, is being sued for libel by Penn State climate scientist Michael Mann for a blog post comparing Mann to a convicted child molester.

The lawsuit, filed Oct. 22 in D.C. Superior Court charges Simberg, the Competitive Enterprise Insitute, and the National Review magazine, with six counts of libel and intentional infliction of emotional distress, according to the Washington Post.

The suit is based on a July 13 article Simberg published on the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s website accusing Mann of “molesting” climate data and comparing the scientist to Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State assistant football coach now serving a 30-60 year sentence for the abuse of 10 boys over a 15 year period. 

The Washington Post’s Keith L. Alexander reports:

[Simberg’s article] 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 says the statements in the article were made with “actual malice and wrongful and willful intent to injure Dr. Mann.”

Brian Berger is editor in chief of SpaceNews.com and the SpaceNews magazine. He joined SpaceNews.com in 1998, spending his first decade with the publication covering NASA. He was named senior staff writer in 2004, a position he held...