Sarah Palin v. NYT, The Leopard Opera, the Museum of Graffiti
A court battle challenging the freedom of the press. A popular Italian novel turned opera will be performed by the Frost School this weekend. Plus, graffiti — is it art?
On this Thursday, March 3 edition of Sundial:
Sarah Palin v. NYT
A recent verdict from a federal court questions how much freedom journalists have to make mistakes.
Former governor of Alaska and Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin accused the New York Times of defaming her.
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The lawsuit was over an editorial that wrongly linked her to a 2011 mass shooting in Arizona that left six people dead and several injured, including former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.
“She has to prove that the New York Times acted with what's called actual malice, which means they published it knowing that it was false. In other words, they lied, or they published it with utter reckless disregard,” said Samuel Terilli, an associate professor in the University of Miami School of Communication and former legal counsel to the Miami Herald.
“Sarah Palin and her lawyers simply failed to carry her required burden of proof.”
U.S. District Court Judge Jed Rakoff dismissed the case. And he announced that dismissal before the jury even came to a verdict.
The case had again put the spotlight on the price news outlets should pay for getting something wrong. It’s a sentiment that has gained momentum in recent years, with some wanting journalists face more consequences for their mistakes — even honest mistakes.
But stricter laws against the press will also have its repercussions.
“It'll contract the news and the commentary that's available to every one of us because many media organizations, many journalists will be much more gun shy. It will have a chilling effect,” Terilli said.
The Leopard Opera
A Sicilian aristocrat living through changes in the Mediterranean island during a revolution is forced to reluctantly adjust to a modern world — that's the story about a prince known as The Leopard. It's based on the 1958 novel "Il Gattopardo" by Giuseppe Tomasi Di Lampedusa.
The famous Italian novel, turned film, is now an opera. The story is being told by the Frost School of Music Opera Theater and the Frost Symphony Orchestra.
The production's music director, Alan Johnson, and Frost faculty Kim Josephson, who stars in the title role of The Leopard, joined Sundial Thursday to talk about the story's meaning.
"You see him resistant to change," Josephson said of the Leopard's character. "And … well, what every man comes to learn is that, hey, the only thing that you can count on is change. And he goes through these transformations."
The story of The Leopard unfolds with performances on March 5th and 6th at the South Miami Dade Cultural Arts Center in Cutler Bay.
The Museum of Graffiti
Count how many tags and graffiti designs you see on the way to work or home every day.
What do you think about when you see those drawings and writings? Do you think it’s vandalism? Do you think it’s art?
The question is a big reason the Museum of Graffiti exists in Wynwood.
“[Artists] had to go to Europe, to Germany, to Holland to make a living for themselves because they were understood there. Those galleries, those museums, knew it was art in the '80s. Americans are still asking questions like ‘is this still art?’ when it's been always been art … I think it's kind of a silly question,” said Alan Ket, co-founder of the museum.
He compares some of these artists to some African American artists like James Baldwin and Jimi Hendrix, who had to go overseas to find success and acceptance for their art.
The museum is reopening in a bigger location Thursday.
“We are opening with a timeline that will be part of our semi-permanent exhibition that will tell the history of Wynwood,” said Allison Freidin, who also co-founded the museum.
“It's important for us to remind our visitors who come every day that this was not always just a mural park or the largest outdoor gallery in the world. It was once home to folks from Puerto Rico who called this home, who built businesses here, who built communities here.”