Sarah Palin’s Lawsuit Against the New York Times Has the Media Nervous, Despite Their Claims – Opinion

Despite media outlets dismissing this long-running defamation case, their actions prove the contrary.

An ongoing court case against the media has been revived. Some members of the press responded with curiousity. A suit by Sarah Palin, against The New York Times newspaper, was dismissed in a previous district court. Palin filed the suit in response to an editorial that alluded to a Palin website being responsible in some fashion for a politically-motivated shooting, leading to her claim of defamation.

Editorial written in responseThe shooting of the 2017 congressional baseball games was mentioned as an example. A Palin website that showed vulnerable areas with crosses on a map, could be the inspiration for the Gabby Giffords 2011 shooting. There is nothing to point to that indicates Jared Loughner, Giffords’ shooter, was so inspired and the claim that the site had images of the politicians was not correct. Loughner may not have even looked at the map. The Times corrected the editorial.

Some reactions to the announcement that the case is moving forward to trial were interesting. Erik Wemple of the Washington Post says:

It is about the flexibility of protections that permit news organizations to provide tough reporting on public figures. To put it another way, this case will allow us to define what constitutes really bad journalism and what is libelous journalism.

It points to the interesting aspect of the “malice” aspect of these defamation cases; whether there can ever be accountability for reckless or negligent reporting.

It could certainly be in this instance. The editorial incorrectly accused Palin of placing crosshairs on the faces of selected politicians. It also linked to An ABC News Story that stated clearly there was nothing to prove the Giffords gunman had ever seen Palin’s web page. It was also disputed that Palin was linked to the Giffords shooting years before; however, the New York Times previously stated otherwise. 

While intentional malice is difficult to prove in journalism, it could be demonstrated and could result in a strange verdict. This may explain why there is a lot of nervousness around the media. Oliver Darcy reached out to CNN’s counsel on such matters. Ted Boutrous (First Amendment attorney) told him this:

“This lawsuit has always seemed to me to be part of a disturbing trend in recent years of high-profile political figures misusing libel suits as political stunts intended to chill speech on matters of public concern — exactly what the First Amendment forbids.”

The Times’ reckless comment and pathetic research about the subject make it seem absurd to call the suit a political stunt. Jeffrey Toobin (another CNN legal genius) also spoke out about the courtroom drama. It is okay to chuckle here. Toobin was able to see a need for deflecting, trying to turn the case into an accusation against conservatives and Fox News. 

Palin makes the perfect plaintiff. The New York Times, on the other hand, is the perfect defendant. Fox is more in need of those protections than The New York Times. The New York Times did not make a mistake but acted responsibly. Fox became the portal for an endless stream of lies..”

The Times claims that they acted appropriately and their corrective actions are sufficient to discredit them. DarcyPalin threatened to kill her, according to a spokesperson from the Times.

A piece we wrote about an important topic included an incorrect statement. The correction was made. As journalists, our core values are fairness, accuracy, and transparency. We correct any errors publically, just as in this instance.

The recent history, which was not public, of corrections made in New York Times is a major hindrance to their cause. This paper was Assessors are caught changing their assessmentThe Hunter Biden laptop story, and more Report on Joe Biden sexual assault claim. You can find another article hereDonald Trump and The NRA This was secretly edited. They got it cleaned up Paul Krugman ColumnErrors abound. Slyly removed anti-Semitic referenceAn article about Alexandria Ocasio–Cortez 

Then there was the highly-touted influential work “The 1619 Project” which fell under strong criticism. Many historians claimed that the work was flawed, and led to There are more changes taking placeKeep it down.

This editorial by Palin included many more examples. The paper’s declaration that they had been transparent and open with corrections was amusing and perhaps even a little desperate. Based on the reactions, many in the media circles share this sentiment.

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