Reported by Peter Hasson | Associate Editor | 6:43 PM 06/27/2017
Sarah Palin is suing The New York Times for defamation, according to documents filed in federal court Tuesday that were obtained by The Daily Caller.
The lawsuit has to do with an editorial the NYT ran on June 14 that falsely smeared Palin as inciting the 2011 shooting of Democratic Rep. Gabby Giffords by a mentally ill man. There is no evidence to support the NYT’s implication that Palin played a role in inciting the Giffords shooting. (RELATED: NYT Uses GOP Shooting To Falsely Attack Sarah Palin With Debunked Conspiracy Theory)
“Mrs. Palin brings this action to hold The Times accountable for defaming her by publishing a statement about her that it knew to be false: that Mrs. Palin was responsible for inciting a mass shooting at a political event in January 2011,” Palin’s suit states.
“Specifically, on June 14, 2017, The Times Editorial Board, which represents the ‘voice’ of The Times, falsely stated as a matter of fact to millions of people that Mrs. Palin incited Jared Loughner’s January 8, 2011, shooting rampage at a political event in Tucson, Arizona, during which he shot nineteen people, severely wounding United States Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, and killing six, including Chief U.S. District Court Judge John Roll and a nine-year-old girl.”
The lawsuit states that the paper “published and promoted its Editorial Board’s column despite knowing that the linchpin of its ‘sickening pattern’ of politically-incited shootings was the false assertion that Mrs. Palin incited Loughner to murder six people, among them a child and federal judge, and seriously wound numerous others.” (RELATED: NYT Has Been Pushing Palin-Giffords Falsehood For Years)
It goes on to state: “As the public backlash over The Times’ malicious column mounted, it responded by making edits and ‘corrections’ to its fabricated story, along with half-hearted Twitter apologies–none of which sufficiently corrected the falsehoods that the paper published. In fact, none mentioned Mrs. Palin or acknowledged that Mrs. Palin did not incite a deranged man to commit murder.”
Palin claims the editorial “exceeded the bounds of legality, decency and civility by publishing the false and defamatory column.” She is seeking a minimum of $75,000 in damages.
The full lawsuit can be seen below.
In the NYT’s editorial, which has since been updated, the editors claimed there was a “clear” link to incitement between Jared Loughner’s attempted assassination of Giffords, and a map Palin had created that placed crosshairs over districts that Republicans needed to flip in the 2012 election. No such link exists.
CNN’s Jake Tapper pointed out in response to the NYT editorial that “even way back in Jan 2011 we knew that Loughlin’s obsession began 3 years before the Palin map.” Tapper made that same exact point back in 2011 when he worked for ABC.
After harsh criticism in the media, the NYT finally added a correction that read: “An earlier version of this editorial incorrectly stated that a link existed between political incitement and the 2011 shooting of Representative Gabby Giffords. In fact, no such link was established.”
The NYT editorial followed the attempted mass assassination of Republican lawmakers by a left-wing Bernie Sanders supporter, who espoused anti-Republican rhetoric on his Facebook page and belonged to several anti-GOP groups on Facebook, including one titled, “Terminate The Republican Party.”
The Daily Caller is awaiting comment from the NYT.
This article has been updated with additional information.