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Sarah Palin Loses Defamation Suit Against New York Times

Sarah Palin Loses Defamation Suit Against New York Times

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.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – FEBRUARY 15: Sarah Palin and her attorney Kenneth Turkel leave federal court after Palin’s defamation case against New York Times was dismissed on February 15, 2022 in New York City. On Monday U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff announced that he was set to dismiss Palin’s lawsuit against the New York Times (NYT) stating that Palin failed to show that the NYT acted with “actual malice,” the standard for public figures to prove defamation, after the conclusion of the juries deliberation. Palin sued the NYT and its former editorial page editor James Bennet stating that a June 14, 2017, editorial incorrectly linked her to a mass shooting six years earlier that wounded Democratic U.S. congresswoman Gabby Giffords. The Times corrected the editorial about 14 hours later. (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)

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.

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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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