Sarah Palin’s defamation trial against the New York Times (over a 2017 editorial) was set to begin on Monday. This is the same trial where Palin fought against the jury being able to see this footage of her singing “Baby Got Back” while wearing a bear (?) costume. There’s no telling whether that would have happened today, if at all, but we won’t know the answer to that pressing question anytime soon because the trial has been postponed due to the former Alaska governor contracting COVID.
If that news sounds familiar, well, there’s a reason for that. Palin, who recently proclaimed that she’d be vaxxed “over my dead body” has caught Covid already. She’s gone back and forth on the whole pandemic mess, backtracking on her briefly pro-vaccine stance. Last March, she proclaimed herself to be pro-mask and pro-vax while telling people that “anyone can catch this.” Well, Palin (like Glenn Beck) caught it twice.
The trial was expected to begin with jury selection Monday morning, but U.S. District Court Judge Jed S. Rakoff told his Manhattan courtroom that he had learned Sunday night that Palin had tested positive on an initial test. “She is, of course, unvaccinated,” he noted.
After she took another test on Monday morning, Rakoff rescheduled the trial for Feb. 3.
The case is a notable one, not only for the potential introduction of a former VP candidate rapping a Sir Mix-A-Lot song but also because this is a major test of First Amendment/freedom-of-the-press protections. As Washington Post notes, it’s also the first libel case (versus the NYT, that is) to hit a courtroom in 18 years. However, the case sure is seeing a lot of obstacles in getting to that courtroom.