Knoxville + Palin = 625,000 Returns

Palin Hacking Trial Brings Star Power to Knoxville (Yawns Too)

The star power generated by the trial -- that is, the onetime Republican vice presidential candidate and her family -- was countered by yawn-inducing technical testimony. Defense lawyer Wade Davis tried to show that the hacked e-mail account was accessible to others and not used solely for private messages, the AP reported. In pretrial motions, he also cautioned about Sarah Palin's possible influence on jurors in conservative eastern Tennessee, citing her involvement with the Tea Party movement.

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning even got tangentially into the act. Former Palin aide Frank Bailey, of Anchorage, Alaska, said he set up Palin's e-mail account after John McCain picked her as his vice presidential running mate. After discovering an intrusion in September 2008, Bailey said he "built a password out of ‘Peyton Colts'" at his wife's suggestion. "Just like Peyton Manning?" asked Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Waddle. Bailey admitted he didn't make the connection at first, but just about everyone in Knoxville would have. Manning was a star for the University of Tennessee Volunteers before going pro.

—Tom Diemer,, April 23, 2010