Judge Throws Out Sarah Palin's Defamation Case Against New York Times

Judge Throws Out Sarah Palin's Defamation Case Against New York Times

A federal judge has just tossed Sarah Palin's defamation lawsuit against The New York Times, declaring that a "robust" free press will at times make mistakes.

Before that shooting, the editorial said, Sarah Palin's political action committee circulated a map that "put Ms. Giffords and 19 other Democrats under stylized crosshairs".

"We were delighted to see today's decision".

The New York Times acknowledged its error shortly after the article's publication, issuing several corrections. We regret the errors we made in the editorial.

"What we have here is an editorial, written and rewritten rapidly in order to voice an opinion on an immediate event of importance, in which are included a few factual inaccuracies somewhat pertaining to Mrs. Palin that are very rapidly corrected".

On Tuesday, Rakoff ruled in favor of that motion.

The June 14 editorial had initially stated that Palin's political action committee had run an ad showing Democratic lawmakers faces under crosshairs, when, in reality, the clip had actually depicted their districts, not their faces. Probably. 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. Palin claims it was defamation, but the judge did not believe it was quite that serious.

Palin's lawsuit claimed the Times perpetuated a "fabricated story", one which actively constituted defamation.

The Times had said that its editorial writer, James Bennet, who testified at a hearing on the suit, made an honest mistake, and Rakoff seemed to agree, citing Bennet's admission that the assertion occurred as part of a quick rewrite on deadline and the Times' quick correction. "Such behavior is much more plausibly consistent with making an unintended mistake and then correcting it than with acting with actual malice", Rakoff wrote.

He said Palin failed to show "that the mistake was made maliciously" and that her complaint "must be dismissed" as a result. However, Palin's lawsuit didn't, he wrote, so he dismissed the case.

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