Sarah Palin Sues NY Times Over Editorial Linking Her To Gabby Giffords Shooting

By Patrick Hipes, Dominic Patten

Sarah Palin

Former GOP Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin has sued the New York Times over an editorial earlier this month that linked an ad for one of Palin’s political action committees to the 2011 shooting of Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

The defamation lawsuit (read it here) was filed Tuesday in Manhattan federal court and referred to a June editorial about the mass shooting that recently wounded Louisiana GOP congressman Steve Scalise, likening it to the Giffords shooting.

“Mrs. Palin brings this action to hold The Times accountable for defaming her by publishing a statement about her that it knew to be false: that Mrs. Palin was responsible for inciting a mass shooting at a political event in January 2011,” the complaint reads of the Giffords shooting, in which 18 people were shot by a lone gunman and six died.

“As the public backlash over The Times’ malicious column mounted, it responded by making edits and ‘corrections’ to its fabricated story, along with half-hearted Twitter apologies–none of which sufficiently corrected the falsehoods that the paper published,” added the complaint, which seeks wide-ranging damages in a jury trial. “In fact, none mentioned Mrs. Palin or acknowledged that Mrs. Palin did not incite a deranged man to commit murder.”

The NYT editorial was corrected with the following note below the online version of the story:

An editorial on Thursday about the shooting of Representative Steve Scalise incorrectly stated that a link existed between political rhetoric and the 2011 shooting of Representative Gabby Giffords. In fact, no such link was established. The editorial also incorrectly described a map distributed by a political action committee before that shooting. It depicted electoral districts, not individual Democratic lawmakers, beneath stylized cross hairs.

Palin’s lawyers told Deadline that the NYT “repeatedly failed to meaningfully retract or correct its column and apologize to Mrs. Palin for publishing it.”

“On November 13, 2016, The Times pledged to rededicate itself to reporting facts honestly and holding power to account,” Palin’s attorneys Preston Ricardo, Ken Tukel and Shane Vogt told Deadline this evening. “Despite recognizing that its statements about Mrs. Palin in the June 14, 2017 column ‘America’s Lethal Politics’ are not true, The Times repeatedly failed to meaningfully retract or correct its column and apologize to Mrs. Palin for publishing it. Rather, The Times issued a statement affirming that its ‘error doesn’t undercut or weaken the argument of the piece.’ ”

“As set forth in her Complaint, Mrs. Palin seeks to hold The Times to its November 13, 2016, pledge, and to face both journalistic and financial accountability for the false statements that it published about Mrs. Palin,” the attorneys said.

Ricardo is from the New York law firm of Golenbock Eiseman Assor Bell & Peskoe LLP; Tukel and Vogt are from Tampa-based Bajo Cuva Cohen Turke.

The NYT did not respond to requests for comment.

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