Sarah Palin’s defamation lawsuit against the New York Times begins Media news

The former candidate for vice president of the Republican Party of the United States is fighting a “tough battle”, her lawyer told jurors in a courtroom in New York on Thursday.

Sarah Palin’s lawyer told jurors Thursday that the former Republican candidate for vice president of the United States and governor of Alaska is waging a “tough battle” as her defamation lawsuit against the New York Times began in a case she could test. long-standing protection for the American media.

In his opening remarks to the jury, Palin’s lawyer, Shane Vogt, said his client planned to demonstrate the newspaper’s “history of bias” toward her and other Republicans.

Palin, 57, sued the Times in 2017 over an editorial that incorrectly linked her political rhetoric to the 2011 Arizona massacre, which killed six people and seriously injured US President Gabby Giffords.

The controversial wording was added by former editor of the editorial page James Bennett, who is also accused. The Times quickly corrected the editorial.

“What am I trying to achieve?” Justice for those who expect the truth in the media, “Palin told reporters as he entered the federal court building in Manhattan.

The trial comes after two U.S. Supreme Court justices and some legal scholars recommended reconsidering the remarkable 1964 Supreme Court ruling in the New York Times v. Sullivan case, which made it difficult for government officials to prove defamation.

Palin signaled that he would challenge this precedent on appeal if he lost.

“We are clearly aware of the fact that we are fighting a tough battle,” Vogt told the jury.

“We are not trying to win your vote for Governor Palin or any of her policies, but instead find the Times responsible for an ‘particularly horrific and debunked’ editorial,” Vogt said.

The contested editorial, entitled “Deadly Politics of America,” was published on June 14, 2017, following a shooting in Alexandria, Virginia, that wounded Steve Scaliz, a member of the Republican leadership of the House of Representatives.

The editorial questioned whether the shooting reflected how vicious US policy had become.

It was then said that “the link to political incitement is clear” when a man named Jared Lee Loner opened fire in the 2011 shooting after Palin’s political fundraising committee released a map showing Gifford and 19 other Democrats under “stylized cross”.

Bennett added the language to a draft prepared by a Times colleague and said he did not intend to blame Palin.

Vogt described Bennett as a “highly educated career journalist” who knew the words he added were incorrect, but did not change them.

Sarah Palin, a 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate and former governor of Alaska, is on trial for her defamation lawsuit against the New York TimesSarah Palin, a 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate and former governor of Alaska, is on trial for her defamation lawsuit against the New York Times at the United States Courthouse in the Manhattan area of ​​New York. [Jane Rosenberg/Reuters]

“He had his story and he stuck to it,” Vogt said.

The Times said his swift correction, removing what Bennett added, reflected a lack of real malice.

The start of the trial was postponed until January 24, as Palin tested positive for coronavirus. Palin has publicly said he will not receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

To win, Palin must offer clear and convincing evidence that the Times acted with “real malice,” meaning that he knew the editorial was fake or recklessly disregarding the truth.

She is seeking unspecified damages, saying the editorial damaged her reputation. The Times has not suffered a defamation lawsuit in more than half a century.

The Supreme Court judges who called for a review of Sullivan’s precedent are conservatives Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch.

Thomas said there is little historical evidence to suggest that the actual standard of malice stems from the original significance of the First and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

Gorsuch said the standard offers an “iron subsidy for publishing lies” in a landscape increasingly populated by media that can spread sensational information without considering the truth.

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