— Reuters (@Reuters) February 15, 2022
Sarah Palin loses defamation suit against NYT for 2nd time in two days, as jury finds unanimously against her
My story for NPRhttps://t.co/3z5fZ8lLCL
— David Folkenflik (@davidfolkenflik) February 15, 2022
… It was a one-two punch for Palin. The unanimous verdict came a day after the presiding judge, U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff, ruled that he would set aside the jury’s verdict — whatever it might be — and dismiss the case. He said Palin had failed to make a sufficient argument that the Times had acted with actual malice to let the case be determined by a jury.
That legal standard of “actual malice,” set in a 1964 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that also involved the Times, requires that the newspaper either knowingly published damning and false information or recklessly disregarded the likelihood that its claims were likely to prove false.
“You decided the facts. I decided the law,” Rakoff told jurors on Tuesday. “It turns out they were both in agreement, in this case.”
The newspaper cheered the verdict, with spokeswoman Danielle Rhoades Ha calling it “a reaffirmation of a fundamental tenet of American law: public figures should not be permitted to use libel suits to punish or intimidate news organizations that make, acknowledge and swiftly correct unintentional errors.”
Palin is believed likely to appeal. Rakoff wanted the verdict to be heard by the appellate court as well. And now, the jury’s verdict for the Times arrays even steeper odds against Palin’s success….
so when you think about it, this is actually better than a real win https://t.co/xsYZKi08Tk
— kilgore trout, cryptopolice chief (@KT_So_It_Goes) February 14, 2022
surprised this isn’t central to the coverage. it’s obvi she’s not spending a penny on her own on no-win case
— Eric Boehlert (@EricBoehlert) February 15, 2022
Me, I’m assuming Peter Thiel is Palin’s new Daddy War-against-democracy-bucks, because there’s been a spate of stories recently about how Thiel has decided to raise his authoritarian profile as a generous GOP donor. But the NYTimes is not Gawker; it seems to me that trying to hit this particular anti-media jackpot for the second time is less a sign of confidence than an it’s-now-or-never desperation throw. Maybe I’m just feeling optimistic!