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Sarah Palin tests positive for Covid, delaying New York Times libel trial | sarah palin


Sarah Palin has tested positive for the coronavirus, delaying her libel trial against the New York Times until next month.

Jed Rakoff, the US federal judge presiding over the case in Manhattan, announced the results of the election of the former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice president on Monday.

“She, of course, is not vaccinated,” the judge said.

Two years into a pandemic that has killed more than 865,000 people in the United States, resistance to vaccines and other public health measures is common on the political right.

Palin has urged her supporters not to get vaccinated. In December, he told an audience at a conservative event in Arizona: “It will be on my dead body that I will have to give myself an injection. I won’t do that. I will not do it, and better not touch my children either.

Her tested positive last March, advising supporters to wear masks.

His first positive test before trial in New York was a test at home, Rakoff said. After another positive test, Rakoff announced that jury selection would not be delayed.

“Since she’s tested positive three times, I’m going to assume she’s positive,” Rakoff said.

Rakoff said court rules would allow Palin to return to court on February 3, even if she still tests positive, as long as she doesn’t have symptoms. If you have symptoms, on February 2 you can be assessed by a doctor who provides services in court.

Palin, 57, says a 2017 Times editorial falsely linked her to a mass shooting in Tucson, Arizona.

The editorial was published after a shooting in Alexandria, Virginia, in which Steve Scalise, a member of the House Republican leadership, was wounded.

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The Times said the Tucson shooting, in which six people were killed and a Democratic congresswoman, Gabby Giffords, was seriously injured, came after Palin’s political action committee circulated a map that put 20 Democrats, including Giffords, under a “stylized crosshairs,” and that “the link to political incitement was obvious.”

Palin objected to language that James Bennet, a former Times editorial page editor, added to a draft prepared by a colleague. She contends that the added material fit Bennet’s “preconceived narrative” and that, as an “experienced editor,” he knew and understood the meaning of his words. She is seeking unspecified damages, but according to court documents, she has estimated $421,000 in damage to her reputation.

The Times corrected the editorial to remove any connection between the political rhetoric and the Arizona shooting. Bennett has said that he did not intend to blame Palin.

a spokesman for time he told CNN:: “We published an editorial on an important topic that contained an inaccuracy. We set the record straight with a correction. We are deeply committed to fairness and accuracy in our journalism, and when we fall short, we publicly correct our mistakes, as we did in this case.”

Many argue that Palin deserves criticism for using dangerous rhetoric, if not in direct relation to the Tucson shooting.

On Sunday, gun control activist Shannon Watts saying: “In 2010, Sarah Palin created a target list with the sights of a gun on the districts of members of Congress. While that campaign may not have been directly related to the Tucson shooting, it helped create today’s culture of political threats and violence.”

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But on the right, many hope the Palin case will lead to a review of the high standard for proving defamation of American public figures, a goal cherished by Donald Trump, among others.

Freedom of the press is enshrined in the first amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ratified in 1791. The Supreme Court adopted the “actual malice” standard, which makes it difficult for public figures to win libel suits, in 1964, in the historic New York Times v. Sullivan decision.

Two justices on the current conservative-dominated Supreme Court, Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch, have suggested revising that standard, and Palin has said she will challenge Sullivan’s precedent on appeal if she loses at trial.

Most observers expect him to lose, especially since the paper was quick to admit its mistake. But the Times faces an embarrassing few days in court.

Benjamin Zipursky, a Fordham University law professor, told Reuters that Bennet’s “emergency mode or immediate panic mode” upon learning what happened strongly suggested he had not realized any mistake.

“Negligence or carelessness, even gross negligence, is clearly not good enough for Palin to win,” Zipursky said.

But Bill Grueskin, a former senior editor at the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg News, who now teaches at Columbia University, he told NPR: “It will be a great theater.

“You’re going to have Sarah Palin on the stand. You’re gonna have some of the best people at the Times At least from the opinion section. I don’t see how that can stop being interesting.”

Grueskin also said that when it comes to right-wing attacks on press freedom, the case “could add fuel to the fire.”

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Roy Gutterman, a professor of law and communications at Syracuse University, told Reuters: “This is a potentially dangerous area. If we give public officials the green light to litigate editorials they disagree with, what’s the end of it?”




www.theguardian.com

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