I'm no lawyer, but believe that for a libel or slander lawsuit to be successful, the plaintiff must prove that the defendants knew what they said was false, and that truth is an absolute defense. Thus, if Michael Mann is foolish enough to proceed in his threatened lawsuit against Minnesotans 4 Global Warming for their Hide the Decline parody video, he will:
1. Need to prove that Phil Jones email to Mann about Mike [Mann's] Nature Trick to "hide the decline" doesn't really refer to Mann "hiding the decline" in the tree ring data, which show decreasing temperatures after 1960.
2. Need to prove that Mann's email to Phil Jones on June 4, 2003, stating "it would be nice to try to "contain" the putative "MWP" [Medieval Warming Period], even if we don't yet have a hemispheric mean reconstruction available that far back” does not show scientific malfeasance.
3. Need to prove that Mann's hockey stick isn't one of the most thoroughly debunked scientific papers of the 20th century
4. Need to prove that Mann himself has not repeatedly deliberately distorted highly critical reviews of his work
5. Need to prove that it is ok for Mann to continue to flip temperature proxies upside down even in his latest papers, even though this egregious error has already been pointed out to him in the past and which he still refuses to acknowledge.
and so on...ad nauseum.
Minnesotans 4 Global Warming hope Mann will proceed with his lawsuit so that the legal discovery process will force exposure of data and methods Mann has still not released and that the official whitewash inquiries refuse to investigate. In the mean time, they have removed Mann's name and produced the new Hide the Decline II video: