David Appell Botches Story, Tries to Blame It on Tony Heller Exposed

This post is in response to David Appell’s post, “About TonyHellerExposed,” where he makes an unsuccessful attempt to out me. He also called me a liar. So let it be known he took this fight public first. Even world class climate change denier’s like me have a reputation to uphold.

So what’s got our good friend David all worked up? Well, basically he screwed up a story and instead of owning up to his mistake, he’s trying to pin it on me. Here are the boring details for the record.

Back on August 16th, I posted this story about how climatologist Judith Curry pulled some quotes from Mark Steyn’s new book which attacks Michael Mann. The post featured the following quote copied straight from Curry’s blog:

Phil Jones: Keith [Briffa] didn’t mention in his Science piece but both of us think that you’re on very dodgy ground with this long-term decline in temperatures on the thousand-year timescale. It is better we put the caveats in ourselves than let others put them in for us.

Again, this is exactly how the quote appeared on Curry’s blog and it’s still there now. Here’s how I introduce the quote in my post:

The first mined quote from this email is one [sic] a mined quote used in Steyn’s book and repeated and highlighted by Curry on her blog.

I’m saying here that Curry took a mined quote from Steyn and repeated it in her blog. I don’t know how it is presented in Steyn’s book, I’m just taking it right from Curry’s blog and taking her word that this was how the quote was presented in Steyn’s book. My whole blog post is centered much more on Curry’s use of the quote, not Steyn’s.

So then later in the day I get into a little Twitter war with Mark Steyn. In a tweet to me, Steyn tells me he used a fuller quote from Phil Jones’ email and the shorter quote does not reflect what was in his book. So I then dutifully update the post to reflect Steyn’s statement to get it into the record. You can see my update dated August 16, 6:58 pm on the blog post. As I said in my update, if what Steyn said was accurate and he did, in fact, use a more complete quote, that meant that Curry quote mined Steyn’s quote mine which made the quote about Mann look even more sinister. That would be pretty shitty of Curry.

Now fast forward three days to August 19th. David Appell runs with my story. His headline was “Mark Steyn, Judith Curry Doctor a Climategate Email to Michael Mann.” However, he totally missed my updates which point out that Steyn claims he used a fuller quote. That’s not my fault. Appell screwed up. My update was there a full three days for him to see. David should have seen my update. That he didn’t see it or chose to ignore it is not my fault.

So then Steyn comments on Appell’s blog stating the same thing he pointed out to me, that he used a fuller quote in the book. David Appell then reports Steyn’s statement on his blog shortly thereafter insinuating that I had botched things.

I made a comment early the next on Appell’s original blog post about the issue to call his attention to the fact that I had an update on my blog to reflect Steyn’s statement back on the 16th. I also commented on his second story about the matter and explained the same thing.

Appell never responded to or acknowledged my comments. But the fact is my updates where there for him to see. He missed them. If he wants to believe I botched things when it was actually him, ok, whatever. I’ll be the fall guy. What do I care?

But now Mr. Appell has taken to going around calling me a liar on Judith Curry’s blog. Really? I tweeted Mr. Appell to express my dismay but didn’t hear anything back. So I took to email:

Subject: Please retract your “liar” comment on JC’s blog
From: Michael LaFlamme <922.paul@gmail.com>
To: david.appell@gmail.com

As I’ve tried to explain to you several times now in comments on your blog,
I did not lie about Steyn’s quote.

First, when Steyn told me on Twitter that he had, in fact, published the
full quote in his book, I posted an update on my blog. See

I clearly posted this at the top and bottom. I can’t help it if you didn’t
see those updates. That’s not my fault. Those updates were posted long
before you went to press with your blog post.

Secondly, it was Curry [that] misrepresented Steyn’s quote on her blog post. Why
you think I should be held responsible for that is beyond me.

Appell replied:

No, I won’t retract.

Your post was inaccurate and wrong. It was a big mistake for me to ever trust you. Never again.

Then I said:

You didn’t even consider what I wrote. You’re just being a stubborn because you botched what I had put right in your face. I posted the update that was right there for you to see. You fucked up, not me.

To which Appell replied:


Whatever update you posted, it was too late for me. You were wrong in the very first place. There was no basis for what you said about Steyn, which is to say, you lied.

And then I said:

That’s not even my real name [referring to his blog post attempting to out me as Michael LaFlamme]. So, wrong again.

And no, tt [sic] wasn’t too late for you. I posted that update about Steyn’s tweet to me on 8/16 at 6:58pm. Your blog post went up 8/19 at 10pm. You had 3 days to see it. Not my fault. Entirely yours.

I took the quote straight from Curry’s own blog: http://judithcurry.com/2015/08/13/mark-steyns-new-book-on-michael-mann/. Her misquote is still there. Not even any ellipses in there. I didn’t lie about shit. I took the quote from he [sic] blog which she claimed was in Steyn’s book. If there’s anybody who lied, it’s her. How you don’t understand that is beyond me.

You are covering up your own mistake by attacking me. You don’t have much integrity if you can’t admit to botching something that was right in front of you.
And finally, Appell closed with:
That’s not even my real name. So, wrong again.

Not surprised. You’re a master liar.

You’re on the shit list. Leave me alone.

Last thing, Mr. Appell: regarding your claim that I made a “dirty and personal insult against Judith Curry,” with this post. You have completely ignored Steyn’s very thinly veiled homophobic attack on Mann and Laden, nor have you reported on Steyn’s disgusting attempt to paint Michael Mann as a misogynist in the same blog post as the homophobic attack. You also missed Curry’s endorsement of said blog post. And now you mistake my blindingly obvious parody of Curry and Steyn—two people who are always laughing at Michael Mann’s sensitivity and taking the position that we need to throw political correctness out the window—as an insult to Curry. Mr. Appell, in my humble opinion, you are an insult to the world of professional journalism.

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