In July 2012, The Chronicle of Higher Education (CHE) allowed one if its bloggers, Peter Wood, to equate the Jerry Sandusky child sex scandal to the email investigation conducted by Penn State of noted climate scientist Dr. Michael E. Mann. I, along with many others, sent letters to CHE requesting a retraction and public apology.
Dear Mr. Semas,
The Chronicle of Higher Education (CHE) provides a valuable forum for the exchange of a wide range of opinions on all aspects of higher education. However, I'm sure you'll agree that CHE should not allow itself to be misused as a platform for the publication of defamatory accusations and coordinated attacks on the integrity of honest academic professionals and entire fields of scientific research. Yet, that is precisely how Dr. Peter Wood of the National Association of Scholars (NAS) has repeatedly been abusing his privilege to publish his unfounded opinions in the CHE blog, Innovations.
That Dr. Wood's blog articles tread far outside the bounds of legitimate scholarly disagreement and civil discourse, and into the realm of defamation, was previously documented in the guest article by Dr. John Mashey and Professor Robert Coleman, "Bottling Nonsense, Misusing a Civil Platform," published on August 4, 2011 in Innovations. CHE's decision to allow Dr. Mashey and Professor Coleman to publish their rebuttal to Dr. Wood's scurrilous series of articles on CHE's website (see references below) is commendable, but this has not discouraged Dr. Wood from abusing his privileged position to continue making inaccurate and defamatory attacks on the climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann of Pennsylvania State University (PSU).
In his most recent commentary on the academic field of climate research, a subject about which Dr. Wood has repeatedly demonstrated his ignorance, he again attacks the reputation of Dr. Mann by insinuating that PSU's investigations and exonerations of Dr. Mann's research were as tainted as the recent, notorious cover-up of child molestation at PSU. Referring to the investigation of Dr. Mann, Peter Wood makes the following unsupported and defamatory claim:
This has been a regular pattern followed by Dr. Wood in his articles: he makes unsupported and defamatory accusations and insinuations, then refuses to back them up with any evidence whatsoever. [4,5] This style of ad hominem attack falls far below any editorial or scholarly standards I would hope CHE strives to maintain. Despite being given many opportunities to defend his unsupportable writings in previous postings, Dr. Wood has consistently refused, as in this comment:
Taylor Bennett, C.HG.
 John Mashey and Robert Coleman, "Guest Post: Bottling Nonsense, Misusing a Civil Platform," August 4, 2011 (accessed July 25, 2012 at http://chronicle.com/blogs/innovations/guest-post-bottling-nonsense-mis-using-a-civil-platform)
 Peter Wood, "A Culture of Evasion," July 13, 2012 (accessed July 25, 2012 at http://chronicle.com/blogs/innovations/a-culture-of-evasion)
 Peter Wood, comment to "A Culture of Evasion," July 25, 2012 (accessed July 25, 2012 at http://chronicle.com/blogs/innovations/a-culture-of-evasion/33485#comment-597028418)
 Peter Wood, "Bottling Up Global Warming Skepticism," June 30, 2011 (accessed July 25, 2012 at http://chronicle.com/blogs/innovations/bottling-up-global-warming-skepticism)
 Peter Wood, "Climate Thuggery," July 29, 2011 (accessed July 25, 2012 at http://chronicle.com/blogs/innovations/climate-thuggery)
 Peter Wood, comment to "Bottling Up Global Warming Skepticism," June 30, 2011 (accessed July 25, 2012 at http://chronicle.com/blogs/innovations/bottling-up-global-warming-skepticism/29754#comment-242728995)
 Michael Mann, July 20, 2012 (accessed July 25, 2012 at https://www.facebook.com/MichaelMannScientist/posts/267470906700950)
 Mark Steyn, "Football and Hockey," in National Review Online, July 15, 2012, (accessed July 25, 2012 at http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/309442/football-and-hockey-mark-steyn)
 Rand Simberg, "The Other Scandal in Unhappy Valley," in OpenMarket.Org, The Blog of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, July 13, 2012 (accessed July 25, 2012 athttp://www.openmarket.org/2012/07/13/the-other-scandal-in-unhappy-valley/)
- The CHE banner waves proudly above Wood’s post and on the bottom of page of Wood’s post we see the CHE copyright both of which certainly give the appearance that CHE owns and endorses Wood’s piece.
- In May 2012, The Chronicle fired Naomi Riley for writing The Most Persuasive Case for Eliminating Black Studies? Just Read the Dissertations so apparently CHE does not tolerate attacks on some disciplines but does with others. Why the double standard?