Sarah Palin Defamation Suit Against New York Times Postponed After COVID Infection

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While jury selection has begun on the defamation lawsuit brought by former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin against the New York Times, the beginning of the trial has been moved back slightly to February 3 after Palin tested positive for COVID-19.

Palin’s suit against the ‘paper of record’ case stems from a 2017 editorial about a map put out prior to the 2012 midterm election by Palin’s political action committee, Sarah PAC, which targeted several vulnerable congressional districts of Democrat members of congress who had voted in favor of Obamacare.

The PAC used graphics featuring crosshairs on the map of the districts – one of which turned out to be Arizona’s 8th Congressional District, held then by Rep. Gabby Giffords, who was later shot and nearly killed.

In the lawsuit, Palin’s lawyers claim that the New York Times editorial, “falsely stated as a matter of fact to millions of people that Mrs. Palin incited Jared Loughner’s January 8, 2011, shooting rampage at a political event in Tucson, Arizona.”

Sarah Palin to face off against New York Times in defamation trial Monday https://t.co/KoAP8SdTcw pic.twitter.com/OAkbh64dKI

— New York Post (@nypost) January 23, 2022

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Palin ‘Inciting’ Violence

In 2011, former Rep. Giffords was shot by Loughner. Twenty other people were also injured in the attack.

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The Times had corrected the editorial that linked Palin to the violent acts involving Giffords and others, and for “mischaracterizing” the ad Palin’s PAC put out with the crosshair map.

This judge should be removed from Sarah Palin’s trial immediately. Many vaccinated people have caught it too. Catching it is not stopped by the vaccine. We got vaccinated because it helps with the outcome. https://t.co/DmkteSnFl0

— Carmine Sabia (@CarmineSabia) January 24, 2022

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The Bar To Reach

While the Times has claimed that the statements made about Palin were “an honest mistake” that happened as a deadline drew near, in order for Palin to win the lawsuit, it must not only show the Times admitting wrongdoing, but must also prove that ethe paper acted with malice.

Whether or not the legal bar is a high one to be reached will be fought in court.

However, media treatment of Palin, a former governor of Alaska known for at times taking on her own party, seemed to portray her as someone who was ill-informed and not qualified for the job of Vice President.

A now infamous interview with Katie Couric appeared to be instrumental in cementing that view.

“It’s huge that it’s going to trial. These cases often times are dismissed early on in the proceedings,” said fmr. Acting Attorney General @MattWhitaker46 of fmr. Alaska Governor Sarah Palin’s libel case against The New York Times going to trial, on Monday’s “Wake Up America.” pic.twitter.com/TGtmcUCjad

— Newsmax (@newsmax) January 24, 2022

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Back in August, Sarah Palin hinted that she may challenge Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, who is up for re-election in 2022. Palin said of a possible primary challenge to Murkowski, “If God wants me to do it I will.”  

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