Palin appeals dismissal of suit against NY Times
Former Alaska governor and GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin on Tuesday filed an appeal of her lawsuit against The New York Times in the U.S. District Court in New York’s Southern District.
Palin filed her original suit against the Times in June, alleging defamation, but lost in a ruling handed down in August.
The case concerns an opinion piece written by the paper’s editorial board that directly linked the 2011 shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) to a political ad publicized by Palin. The ad put Democratic districts up for reelection in a logo symbolizing crosshairs, though the editorial originally stated falsely that it showed the corresponding lawmakers’ faces in the sights instead.
The Giffords shooting, which happened in Tucson, Ariz., left six people dead.
Palin claimed the newspaper had wrongly accused her of “inciting a mass shooting at a political event.”
The 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, 53, also said in court papers that the paper intentionally printed information that it “knew to be false.”
“In 2011, Jared Lee Loughner opened fire in a supermarket parking lot, grievously wounding Rep. Gabby Giffords and killing six people, including a 9-year-old girl,” the Times editorial board wrote in the piece published on June 14. “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,” it continued.
The Times says it made an “honest mistake” with the Palin editorial, issuing two separate corrections.
In his August ruling dismissing the case, Judge Jed Rakoff said “mistakes will be made” in a free press, but found that Palin was unable to prove malice in the Times’s error.
“Negligence this may be; but defamation of a public figure it plainly is not,” Rakoff wrote in his opinion.
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