The Volokh Conspiracy

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Should Sarah Palin's Masked Singer Appearance Be Admissible in Her Libel Trial Against the N.Y. Times?


The N.Y. Times' proposed trial exhibits include:

81   3/11/2020   Masked Singer Video—Reveal

Inadmissible, say Palin's lawyers, saying they "will be asserting objections on January 17, 2022" to this document (and many others). From the N.Y. Daily News (Noah Goldberg):

The former Republican candidate for vice president has asked a judge to keep her shocking March 2020 reveal as a contestant on "The Masked Singer" from jurors who will render a verdict in her defamation trial against The New York Times.

Footage of Palin singing "Baby Got Back" by Sir Mix-a-Lot while wearing a blue-and-pink fuzzy bear costume should not be shown to the jury because it would cause "unfair prejudice and confusion," lawyers for the former Alaska governor argued in a Manhattan Federal Court filing Monday.

"The bear is part of my nickname growing up, and the whole mama bear thing," Palin explained on the show after taking off her mask.

It will be interesting to see what the Times' theory of relevance here is; but the story just struck me as so outré that I had to note it. Thanks to the Media Law Resource Center MediaLawDaily for the pointer.