Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has failed in her pursuit of the New York Times in a defamation suit as the jury and judge agree that she did not show any evidence of malice on the part of the reporter.
Palin brought the suit over a 2017 editorial that linked a political ad she had run 6 years previously, which included crosshairs images over voting districts, to a mass shooting in which Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) was injured. According to Law&Crime, the editorial initially described the link between the ad and the gun violence as “clear,” but quickly corrected it.
NBC covers the decision below.
BREAKING: A jury has rejected Sarah Palin's libel claim against the New York Times, saying there was insufficient evidence to prove the Times defamed her in a 2017 editorial.@DashaBurns joins @AlisonMorrisNOW to discuss the jury's decision.
— NBC News NOW (@NBCNewsNow) February 15, 2022
As for the New York Times, the paper also quickly released coverage of the court decision, admitting that the article was inaccurate and “incorrectly asserted a link,” and that there was no evidence the shooter had ever seen the ad, or that it had any connection to his motivation, but also affirming that the editor who had added the inaccurate statement to the article had shown contrition and that Palin’s legal team was unable to convince a judge and jury that there was any evidence of malice or ill intent.
The jury’s verdict was not unexpected, particularly since the judge in the case had already expressed that there was not sufficient evidence to do anything with the case but dismiss it.
Palin posted on social media to share snippets of interviews outside the courthouse, in which she complained about the judge’s input before the jury’s return, but has not followed that up with further commentary since the jury’s verdict matched the judge’s observation.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com