Palin resumes court battle with Times after COVID illness

Feb 2, 2022, 11:05 PM | Updated: Feb 3, 2022, 11:02 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — Sarah Palin’s libel suit against The New York Times went to trial Thursday in a case over the former Alaska governor’s claims the newspaper damaged her reputation with an editorial linking her campaign rhetoric to a mass shooting.

The trial is a rare example of a jury deciding the validity of a persistent refrain from Palin and other Republicans: That a biased news media is willing to bend the truth to make conservatives look bad.

Palin, a onetime Republican vice presidential nominee, told journalists as she arrived at the courthouse that she was looking for “justice for people who expect truth in the media.”

A lawyer for The Times, David Axelrod, told jurors the editorial was primarily about gun laws, not Palin, and was not a “political hit job.”

Opening statements to the jury were initially scheduled for last week, but were postponed when Palin tested positive for COVID-19.

The trial is happening on The Times’ home turf, in Democrat-friendly New York City, but Palin attorney Shane Vogt asked jurors in his opening statement to put aside any personal opinions they might have about Palin’s politics.

“We come to this case with our eyes wide open and keenly aware of the fact we’re fighting an uphill battle,” Vogt said. “Give us a fair shot. We’re not here trying to win your votes for Governor Palin or any of her policies.”

Palin will be the trial’s star witness. She’s seeking unspecified damages.

Axelrod, an attorney for the Times, acknowledged the newspaper made a factual mistake in the editorial, but said it was not malicious and the paper “acted as quickly as possible to correct that mistake.”

Palin sued the Times in 2017, accusing it of damaging her career as a political commentator with an editorial about gun control published after U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, a Louisiana Republican, was wounded when a man with a history of anti-GOP activity opened fire on a Congressional baseball team practice in Washington.

In the editorial, the Times wrote that before the 2011 mass shooting in Arizona that severely wounded former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords and killed six others, Palin’s political action committee had contributed to an atmosphere of violence by circulating a map of electoral districts that put Giffords and 19 other Democrats under stylized crosshairs.

In a correction two days later, The Times said the editorial had “incorrectly stated that a link existed between political rhetoric and the 2011 shooting” and that it had “incorrectly described” the map.

The disputed wording had been added to the editorial by James Bennet, then the editorial page editor. At trial, the jury would have to decide whether he acted with “actual malice,” meaning he knew what he wrote was false, or with “reckless disregard” for the truth.

Bennet has said he believed the editorial was accurate when it was published.

A judge put off the trial last week to give an unvaccinated Palin time to get over any possible COVID-19 symptoms. Away from court, she caused a stir by being sighted dining out in Manhattan after her positive test results were made public.

Palin, 57, has publicly said she won’t get the vaccine.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

In comeback, Sudo wins women’s title at July 4 hot dog race

NEW YORK (AP) — In a decisive chowdown comeback, record-holder Miki Sudo won the women’s title at the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July hot dog eating contest Monday after skipping last year’s frank fest because she was pregnant. “I knew I was excited to come back, but the feeling that you get once you’re actually […]
9 hours ago
Martin Garcia, owner of gift and décor store Gramercy Gift Gallery, poses for a photo at his shop,...
Associated Press

Add rent to the rising costs bedeviling small businesses

NEW YORK (AP) — The rent has come due for America’s small businesses and at a very inopportune time. Landlords were lenient about rent payments during the first two years of the pandemic. Now, many are asking for back rent, and some are raising the current rent as well. Meanwhile, most of the government aid […]
9 hours ago
FILE - Republican Gov. Brian Kemp waves to supporters during an election night watch party, May 24,...
Associated Press

Ousters, upsets halfway through 2022 primary election season

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — More than halfway through a tumultuous primary season, voters have rendered verdicts in a number of contests, many of which featured candidates arguing they best represented a continuation of policies favored by former President Donald Trump. While not on the ballot himself, Trump has played a role in several races, with […]
9 hours ago
Yellow tape marks bullet holes on a tree and a portrait and flowers create a makeshift memorial on ...
Associated Press

US: Shot that killed journalist likely fired from Israelis

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. officials have concluded that gunfire from Israeli positions likely killed Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh but that there was “no reason to believe” her shooting was intentional, the State Department said Monday. The finding, in a statement from State Department spokesman Ned Price, came after what the U.S. said was inconclusive […]
9 hours ago
A shoe was abandoned in front of the shopping centre Fields, closed for at least a week after Sunda...
Associated Press

Motive likely not terror-related in ‘brutal’ Danish shooting

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — A gunman who killed three people when he opened fire in a crowded shopping mall acted alone and apparently selected his victims at random, Danish police said Monday, all but ruling out that the attack was an “act of terrorism.” Authorities filed preliminary charges of murder and attempted murder against a […]
9 hours ago
FILE - In this Aug. 28, 2019, photo, a guard stands in the intake area at the Adelanto ICE Processi...
Associated Press

Immigration detention facility near empty in California

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A sprawling, privately run detention center in the wind-swept California desert town of Adelanto could house nearly 2,000 migrants facing the prospect of deportation. These days, though, it’s nearly empty. The Adelanto facility is an extreme example of how the U.S. government’s use of guaranteed minimum payments in contracts with private […]
9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Christina O’Haver

BE FAST to spot a stroke

Every 40 seconds—that’s how often someone has a stroke in the United States. It’s the fifth leading cause of death among Americans, with someone dying of a stroke every 3.5 minutes.
...
Arizona Division of Problem Gambling

Arizona Division of Problem Gambling provides exclusion solution for young sports bettors

Sports betting in Arizona opened a new world to young adults, one where putting down money on games was as easy as sending a text message.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

ADHS mobile program brings COVID-19 vaccines and boosters to Arizonans

The Arizona Department of Health Services and partner agencies are providing even more widespread availability by making COVID-19 vaccines available in neighborhoods through trusted community partners.
Palin resumes court battle with Times after COVID illness