The lawyer writing for the NBC website says Sarah Palin probably feels like she was jobbed by Judge Jed Rakoff, and the lawyer understands that feeling, but . . .
First, Palin had a high bar to clear, suing a newspaper as a public official.
With that said, the judge did not dismiss her suit after hearing the evidence presented by her side, and the defense of The New York Times. As he could have.
Instead, he allowed the case to go to the jury, and then announced he would dismiss the case if the jury came back with a guilty verdict.
What the F Is that? Jury nullification?
Many “legal observers” said this was highly unusual, and while the lawyer writing the NBC analysis, Danny Cevallos, tried to “explain” it away legally, the subhead gave it all away — the judge did what he did to make it harder for Palin to appeal to, say, the U.S. Supreme Court, which might feel differently than Rakoff, who was appointed by President Bill Clinton.
Cevallos himself raises the issue of the judge putting his thimb on the scale, but then dismisses it.
Beg to differ, counselor. It seems very plain what the judge was up to, and it was not justice. As it happened, the jury found in the Times’ favor, which was expected because of the high bar I have mentioned.
The Times screwed the pooch when an errant editor inserted phrases into an editorial, defaming Palin.
It got through the checking process, but when it was brought to the attention of the Times, it issued a correction the very next day, which is what newspapers are obligated to do when they make a mistake. You correct, and you apologize for the mistake.
The bottom line was that Palin could not prove actual malice on the part of the Times.
When Palin’s suit was rejected, the MSM jumped all over the story. In Palin, the MSM always had a woman they could safely ridicule.
Another story MSM did not jump all over was when special counsel John Durham last week filed a pretrial motion. The explosive content was mostly wrong or old (not the same as wrong) according to the Times.
The Wall Street Journal, conversely, found that Donald J. Trump actually was spied on. Right-wing outlets went berserk because it involved Hillary Clinton, a woman they could safely ridicule.
So who’s right?
First, a brief filed in court is an accusation. It is “proof” of nothing. Think about the two impeachments. They were accusations that were rejected by the Senate.
The result was, like it or not, exoneration.
Why Democrats keep referring to Trump as the “twice impeached” president is beyond me. It points to their failure to get a conviction.
Was Durham’s filing newsworthy?
To me, yes. Think of how accusations (that were not sustained) against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh were splashed all across front pages and cable news outlets. How about the never-ending (and unproven) stories about Trump’s collusion with Russia?
Think of the play that got. Then think about the Hunter Biden laptop, a legitimate story by the New York Post that was actually banned from the internet. That was, and is, a story.
I admit a bias here. I have been a journalist my entire life and I always come down on the side of more information, not less. I always come down on the side of free speech and against Political Correctness. I also know the MSM leans left, and those who deny it are either lying or deluded.
For the record, the Wall Street Journal and Fox News lean right, as does most local talk radio, to balance the left NPR.
According to the Dunham filing, the 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign effort to compile dirt on Donald Trump reached into protected White House communications.
Remember — that is an accusation, not proof.
But given how accusations (think of the #MeToo movement — all women must be believed) are handled by today’s media, yes, you are entitled to ask if there is a coverup going on.
And accused media outlets must be ready to defend their decisions.