Sarah Palin Sues New York Times, Claiming Editorial Defamed Her

Tomas Mccoy
June 29, 2017

But it appears that she has learned to occasionally peruse national publications since then, as the former Alaska governor filed a defamation lawsuit Tuesday against the New York Times in response to an editorial that linked her to the 2011 shooting of Democratic Representative Gabby Giffords.

Palin's lawsuit alleges the Times "violated the law and its own policies" in the editorial and criticizes the newspaper for not mentioning Palin by name in its correction.

Palin is seeking damages to be determined by a jury at trial, according to the New York Post.

Before the January 8, 2011 massacre, Palin's PAC had published a map with crosshairs, as in a gunsight, over Giffords' congressional district and those of 19 other Democrats.

The lawsuit focuses on the knowledge of the Times' editorial board. A spokeswoman for the Times says it "will defend against any claim vigorously".

In the stunning opinion piece from the New York Times editorial board, they said the crazed gunman Jared Loughner was influenced by a map with gun crosshairs above electoral districts. It originally accused Palin of "political incitement" which led to the shooting of Giffords, as well as six others, in 2011.

"The Times appreciates that in the increasingly competitive digital media landscape in which it finds itself, attacking Mrs. Palin brings an economic benefit to its business", the suit claims.

It could be argued that The Times corrected the editorial more out of a desire to avoid legal action and to silence the backlash, rather than to set the record straight. When Sarah Palin's contract with Fox News ended in 2015, FiveThirtyEight found that her favorability rating was at an all time low, even among Republicans.

"Yes, Republican personalities and officials in the wake of Barack Obama's election had spoken openly about "Second Amendment remedies" and being "armed and dangerous" and 'revolution, ' but it was not possible to connect the dots between that irresponsible talk and the Tucson shooter", he continued. The Times alleged that Mrs. Palin's "incitement" of Loughner's crime was "clear" and "direct". That requires a publisher or speaker to know the statements are false and publish them anyway - or to act with a reckless disregard for their veracity.

Investigators later said Loughner, who is serving a 140-year sentence for the mass murder, became fixated on the lawmaker well before Palin entered the picture. Following the uncertainty of this linkage, Times rendered and apology and corrected the issue.

Ever since the landmark case of New York Times v. Sullivan, it has been almost impossible for public figures to win, even though their good names have been roundly trashed by certain mendacious news organizations (which, I realize, is redundant).

Other reports by Ligue1talk

Discuss This Article