U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff of Manhattan stated that he would order Palin’s lawsuit to be dismissed after the jury has concluded deliberating.
A federal judge in New York City said Monday that Sarah Palin’s claims that she was defamed and vilified by The New York Times for incorrectly linking her to an Arizona mass shooting that almost killed former Rep. Gabby Giffords, were dismissed Monday.
Palin was governor of Alaska at the time she rose to fame as the GOP presidential nominee. She claimed that her reputation had been damaged after Sen. John McCain of Arizona picked her to be his running mate .
U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff of Manhattan said he would not order Palin’s lawsuit to be dismissed, but that he would enter his order once her jury has finished its deliberations. Reuters reported.
Rakoff stated that he expected Palin’s appeal to be heard and that the appeals court would benefit greatly from knowing the verdict of the jury.
This was Palin’s second legal defeat in her ongoing fight against the New York Times.
Palin sued the Times for the first time in 2017. It published an editorial about a shooting at a congressional team practice in Virginia in 2017, which injured Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) and several staffers as well as lobbyists.
The editorial, entitled “America’s lethal politics”, was written by the editorial board. It seemed to make a connection between Giffords’ shooting in 2011 and promotional materials created by a Palin-linked organization.
This particular excerpt was what drew Palin’s ire.
“Is this an indication of how vicious American politics have become?” Probably. The link between political incitement and the shooting of Representative Gabby Giffords in a supermarket parking lot in 2011 was evident when Jared Lee Loughner opened fired, killing six people including a 9-year old-girl. Sarah Palin’s political-action committee circulated a map with targeted electoral districts before the shooting. This put Ms. Giffords, along with 19 other Democrats, in stylized crosshairs.
The Times corrected the story shortly thereafter, stating that “no such connection was established” between political rhetoric (and 2011 violence).
James Bennet, the editor of the editorial page at that time, issued an apology.
However, Palin , whose public gaffes made her a punchline for many Americans, sued The Times.
Palin was doubted by legal experts, including her own attorneys, right from the beginning. This is because it’s difficult for public figures to prove they were libeled.
Palin lawyer Shane Vogt stated in an opening statement that “we come to this case having our eyes wide open, keenly conscious of the fact we’re fighting a uphill battle.”
Palin must prove not only that the Times’ claims are false but that Palin also operated with “actual malice” meaning that the newspaper published the claim without it was false.
In 2017, Palin sued the Times for defamation. A federal judge dismissed the case.saying that the Republican firebrand failed to prove that the newspaper knew it had published false statements before correcting them quickly.
Palin was represented by two Tampa-based, Florida-based lawyers. Vogt Turkel and Kenneth Turkel helped Terry “Hulk Hogan”, Bollea win a massive libel case that bankrupted Gawker.
Tech billionaire and Trump supporter Peter Thiel funded the Hulk Hogan lawsuit. Palin refused to disclose who paid for her defamation lawsuits.
Palin said that she felt powerless in Manhattan federal court. “I knew that. You know, if you wanted to raise your head and get the word out about untruths printed in the newspaper, once more, I knew that I was up against Goliath and that collectively I felt like David.”
Palin, however, admitted that she still appears on Fox News regularly and could possibly run for office again. However, she could not explain why she felt personally hurt by the editorial.
Palin said, “I cannot name the names of my friends and those who know me who hid away, no.”
Palin was the headlinebefore the trial began. It was revealed that she had eaten at a Manhattan restaurant that attracts celebrities two days before she tested positive for Covid-19.
Palin refused to be vaccinated and continued to eat out in New York City despite federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines which recommend that anyone who tests positive for Covid self isolate for five days, “even if they don’t have symptoms”.
Eric Adams, New York City’s Mayor, urged New Yorkers to test for Palin.