June 28th, 2017

Sarah Palin sues the NY Times

for defamation:

Former Governor of Alaska and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is suing the New York Times for defamation over a recent editorial tying one of her political action committee ads to a 2011 mass shooting that severely wounded Arizona Democrat Gabby Giffords and killed six people, including a 9-year-old girl​, The Post has learned​.

The Manhattan federal court lawsuit, filed Tuesday by lawyers Kenneth Turkel, Shane Vogt and S. Preston Ricardo, accuse​s​ the Gray Lady of having “violated the law and its own policies” when it accused her — in a “fabricated story” — of inciting the 2011 attack by Jared Lee Loughner.

The Times editorial that can be easily found appears to be the corrected version rather than the original. The relevant portion of the corrected version reads this way:

Was this attack [the Scalise shooting] evidence of how vicious American politics has become? Probably. In 2011, Jared Lee Loughner opened fire in a supermarket parking lot, grievously wounding Representative Gabby Giffords and killing six people, including a 9-year-old girl. At the time, we and others were sharply critical of the heated political rhetoric on the right. Before the shooting, Sarah Palin’s political action committee circulated a map that showed the targeted electoral districts of Ms. Giffords and 19 other Democrats under stylized cross hairs. But in that case no connection to the shooting was ever established.

But if no connection to the Giffords shooting was ever established, then why mention Sarah Palin at all? Clearly, an equivalence is implied in the editorial between the overt and obvious political motivations of the Scalise shooting and the Giffords shooting (in which 6 people were actually killed, making it far worse in its consequences) despite the complete and utter lack of political motivations for Giffords’ shooter Loughner.

Bad as that is, the original Times editorial was much worse. It read [emphasis mine]:

In 2011, when Jared Lee Loughner opened fire in a supermarket parking lot, grievously wounding Representative Gabby Giffords and killing six people, including a 9-year-old girl, the link to political incitement was clear. Before the shooting, Sarah Palin’s political action committee circulated a map of targeted electoral districts that put Ms. Giffords and 19 other Democrats under stylized cross hairs.

Pretty pernicious stuff, and completely untrue. Readers will picture a graphic of the actual politicians, including Giffords, as being targets. But that was never the case and furthermore has long been known to have never been the case. And far from the link being “clear” between that “incitement” and the shooting, there was no link whatsoever, except as manufactured by the Times and other liberal outlets and pundits. The Times’ correction revises the specifics about the crosshairs, and takes away the reference to an explicit link between the PAC’s graphics and the Giffords shooting, but leaves the implication of a link untouched.

No wonder Palin is suing. But I don’t think she’ll win. Maybe she doesn’t expect to; maybe she just wants to highlight the devious duplicity of the Times. I don’t think the suit will succeed because the standards for defamation of a public figure are so very high, and this involves a PAC rather Palin herself anyway.

20 Responses to “Sarah Palin sues the NY Times…”

  1. Llwddythlw Says:

    As Andrew Klavan keeps saying, “The New York Times, a former newspaper.”

  2. Richard Aubrey Says:

    I hear she’s got Hulk Hogan’ s attorney.

  3. Big Maq Says:

    Good for her!

    Just is just the type of thing Charles Murray advocates. lawfare.

  4. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “the standards for defamation of a public figure are so very high” neo

    When blatant, outright lies are without consequence, no incentive exists for the lawless to comply with the law.

    Palin suing for $75,000 is nothing but does protect her from accusations that she’s suing for the money. Nothing short of NYT’s editors going to jail will deter future lies.

  5. y81 Says:

    I think Palin has a decent case, based on the first version of the Times story, which is pretty clearly untrue and was clearly based on the editorialist’s vague recollection of misguided accusations rather than any actual research. That is surely within spitting distance of reckless disregard for the truth, which is equivalent to actual malice for libel law purposes.

    The correction may not be admissible, but it doesn’t obviate liability for the original false statement either.

  6. eeyore Says:

    This clip from “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” seem to describe the medias’ explanations for the news they publish in error. Especially John Candy’s answer, “Yes I do.”

  7. Frog Says:

    Bravo for Palin, about whom there is much to admire.
    As to Neo’s doubt about her winning, outright and hateful, despicable lies are lies indeed.
    So our political figures have placed themselves in a bizarre situation, Neo, by setting the “standards for defamation [of them] so very,very high”?
    A biting, hateful, vicious, lying press is like a dog of similar characteristics: it must be muzzled. A price must be paid. Otherwise it kills people, even little children.
    Where did Hutchinson get his vicious ideas? Why, from the demagogic press. Neo, will you counter that we cannot do anything about that? Then why are you a therapist? Why then does the entire panoply of mental health providers exist?

  8. AMartel Says:

    I think there’s plenty of evidence of malice on the part of the NYT. Those silly progressive congressladies who cry sexism because some terrible man stops them from being rude and unprofessional on the job have experienced nothing even close to the sexist contempt shown to Sarah Palin. And yet she persists…

  9. AMartel Says:

    The problem with this lawsuit is damages – she’s already been so beat-down in the media that this seems like nothing by comparison.

  10. J.J. Says:

    The motivation of the NYTs is clear. The shooting in Virginia of Republican Congressmen was done by a left wing zealot and politically motivated. They had to show that this sort of thing had previously been done by a right wing zealot who was egged on by that right wing zealot, Sarah Palin. That their details were incorrect would not be noticed by the LIVs and the progressives would not care. So, they didn’t care. Now, with any luck, it may cost them some money or (even better yet) they may be forced to print a front page retraction and apology.

    Along the lines of mendaciousness by the left is this new focus group tested phrase – “President Trump is the subject of a criminal investigation.”
    I just heard that one floated by Julian Epstein, a Democrat operative. Expect to hear it often in the coming days.

  11. AesopFan Says:

    Richard Aubrey Says:
    June 28th, 2017 at 5:32 pm
    I hear she’s got Hulk Hogan’ s attorney.
    * * *
    Now if she can just persuade his bank-rolling defender to sign on.

    “Billionaire Peter Thiel, a co-founder of Paypal and current Facebook board member, paid $10 million to help finance lawsuits against Gawker Media, including the Bollea lawsuit. He called his financial support of Bollea’s case “one of my greater philanthropic things that I’ve done.”[32] Gawker published an article on Thiel, outing him in 2007.[33][34]”

  12. GRA Says:

    The crucifixion of Palin by the MSM is simple: she’s everything the left hates and everything not that they admire. Her educational background isn’t elite or impressive. She has a “hick” accent. She supports the nuclear family. She holds to traditional morality and ethics. And she’s white.

  13. I R A Darth Aggie Says:

    I don’t think the suit will succeed because the standards for defamation of a public figure are so very high

    In the absence of actual malice, yes.

    Printing something that is actually malicious? that’s what unprotected speech looks like, NYTimes.

  14. T Says:

    Neo,

    Ann Althouse seems to be in your camp, stating that Palin will probably not, nor should she win this case. Glenn Reynolds, OTH, noted that he believes Palin has a strong case. Differing opinions, including yours, all from very credible individuals.

  15. AesopFan Says:

    T Says:
    June 29th, 2017 at 1:29 pm
    Neo,

    Ann Althouse seems to be in your camp, stating that Palin will probably not, nor should she win this case. Glenn Reynolds, OTH, noted that he believes Palin has a strong case. Differing opinions, including yours, all from very credible individuals.
    * * *
    Which is why we have trials with discovery, cross-examination, and judges who know the law and apply it impartially (well, sometimes).

    IMO, Palin may not even care if she wins: she’s kicking the NYT down the playing field just like they did her, and that may be enough satisfaction.
    Winning would be icing on the cake.

  16. The Other Chuck Says:

    The NY Times? Palin should have sued Andrew Sullivan whose fetish against her was pathological. I believe his unseemly obsession and subsequent proof it was untrue is part of what drove him to stop blogging, and after some deep introspection.

  17. Ymar Sakar Says:

    I believe his unseemly obsession and subsequent proof it was untrue is part of what drove him to stop blogging, and after some deep introspection.

    Soros probably gave him an offer he couldn’t refuse.

    Looking for new talent is what Soros operatives do.

    And the NYTimes probably does have evidence that can be discovered for all the rest of the Left’s agents. They were too stupid enough to start up and participate in JournoList.

  18. Ymar Sakar Says:

    As for Alt House, I seem to remember she was the one that voted for Hussein, once or twice. Maybe she thinks Palin shouldn’t win for the same reason she thought hussein should win.

  19. Richard Aubrey Says:

    If I get this correctly, the editorial in question stated as fact certain things the NYT had already declared to be not true.
    Can an institution be presumed to “Know” that which some if its employees do and some not?

  20. Richard Saunders Says:

    Ironic that Palin should sue the New York Times, because the case of New York Times v. Sullivan which made it, for all practical purposes, impossible for a public figure to sue a newspaper for libel. I’d love to see that decision reversed, so she could sue, but there is no possibility of that happening.

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