Libel lawsuit updates: Rebel Wilson settles 'scum' tweet, ABC News pink slime pays $177 million, can NYTimes get Sarah Palin's case thrown out? - iMediaEthics

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1. The New York Times is trying to get Sarah Palin’s libel lawsuit against the newspaper thrown out of court. Palin sued the Times in June over a June 14 editorial that wrongly claimed Jared Lee Loughner was incited to shoot Rep. Gabby Giffords because of a map released by her political action committee. The Times later corrected the editorial, as iMediaEthics reported.

Times editorial page editor James Bennet testified this month, according  to the Hollywood Reporter, that he didn’t write the editorial but did re-write and edit a draft editorial. Bennet said he “didn’t mean to suggest that Loughner wasn’t responsible…I did not think that Jared Loughner was acting because of this map.” Federal District Court Judge Jed S. Rakoff required the testimony to determine if there was “sufficient allegations of actual malice” by learning if the Times editorial writers knew the newspaper published news stories that reported the claims were inaccurate.


2. Australian actress Rebel Wilson settled a libel lawsuit filed by Bauer Media’s Elizabeth Wilson over her tweet calling the journalist “total scum.” The actress had tweeted a picture of the journalist, who is the features editor for Bauer’s House & Garden magazine, according to the Australian Daily Telegraph. Rebel Wilson had thought Elizabeth Wilson had harassed her grandmother for information about her, but she was thinking of a different Elizabeth Wilson. Even though Rebel Wilson apologized, the journalist sued, with the actress paying a settlement.

In June, Rebel Wilson won her libel lawsuit against Bauer Media over its stories claiming she lied about her age, name and background.


3. Disney settled the “pink slime” lawsuit earlier this summer, as iMediaEthics previously reported. ABC News stood by its reporting on Beef Products Inc.’s product but settled on day 18 of the trial. Beef Products Inc.’s 2012 libel lawsuit called for $1.9 billion, claiming ABC News’ reporting caused the company to lose sales and shut down plants.

This month, the amount of the settlement was revealed during ABC News’ parent company Disney’s quarterly earnings report. According to CNN, Disney paid at least $177 million to settle litigation. “In fact, the exact terms of the agreement still remain a mystery,” CNN reported. “The $177 million listed in Disney’s earnings report is not the total settlement. That figure refers only to the amount that the company will pay; the rest will presumably be covered by insurance.”

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Libel lawsuit updates: Rebel Wilson settles ‘scum’ tweet, ABC News pink slime pays $177 million, can NYTimes get Sarah Palin’s case thrown out?

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