Sarah Palin Takes The Witness Stand

( Sarah Palin, the former Republican Governor of Alaska and John McCain’s 2008 vice-presidential pick, took the stand last Wednesday in her defamation lawsuit against The New York Times.

Palin gave the jury an idea of what her family life in Alaska is like, and how she became involved in Republican and conservative politics. She spoke for roughly 20 minutes towards the end of the day at the Manhattan federal court. She spoke after New York Times editor James Bennett, a defendant in the case, testified for much longer.

Palin then returned to the court on Thursday where she got into the details of her case. Specifically, she described how the left-wing newspaper hurt her reputation after they published a story in which they linked her campaign messaging to a mass shooting.

In order to succeed in the case, Palin – who is a public figure – will not just need to prove that the statements made by the New York Times reporter and editor were incorrect, but that the claims were made with observable malice. This requirement is specific to public figures, and makes her argument a little harder.

Palin told jurors how she “holds down the fort” for her family in Alaska. She talked about how she was surprised to be picked as a vice-presidential candidate back in 2008.

In Bennett’s testimony, he admitted that what he did was wrong and characterized it as a “terrible mistake.”

“We are human beings. We do make mistakes,” he said.

His claim that it was a mistake is the crux of his argument that what he did was not defamation. If he didn’t act with malice, it means Palin can’t win.

Palin has sued the Times for an unspecified sum in damages. The suit was filed in 2017 and relates to an editorial that compared her campaign rhetoric to the shooting that happened during a Congressional baseball team practice game in Washington, D.C.

The jury is expected to give its verdict soon.