Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin is suing the New York Times over the newspaper’s inaccurate claim in an editorial that seemingly blamed her for inciting Jared Lee Loughner’s shooting of Rep. Gabby Giffords. The Times error came in June 14’s “America’s Lethal Politics,” that followed the shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise. In that editorial, the Times claimed as fact that Loughner was incited to act after Palin’s political action committee posted a map of electoral districts, including that of Giffords’ district, with stylized crosshairs on them, as iMediaEthics previously reported. “No connection was established between this map and the 2011 shooting,” the Washington Post reported.
Times spokesperson Danielle Rhoades Ha told iMediaEthics by e-mail, “We have not reviewed the claim yet but will defend against any claim vigorously.”
The lawsuit was filed today in Manhattan federal court, according to the New York Post.
The Times corrected the error within 13 hours and amended the text to clarify that “No connection to the shooting was ever established” between Palin’s PAC electoral map and Giffords’ shooting.
iMediaEthics has written to Palin’s attorney for a copy of the lawsuit.
“Palin is seeking damages in an amount to be determined by a jury,” Fox News reported.
The Daily Caller uploaded a copy of the lawsuit here. “The Times Editorial Board, which represents the “voice” of The Times, falsely stated as a matter of fact to millions of people that Mrs. Palin incited Jared Loughner’s January 8, 2011, shooting rampage at a political event in Tuscon, Arizona, during which he shot nineteen people, severely wounding United States Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, and killing six, including Chief U.S. District Court Judge John Roll and a nine-year-old girl,” the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit claims that the Times‘ error “violated the law and its own policies,” alleged the story was “fabricated,” and called Twitter apologies “half-hearted.”
“In fact, none mentioned Mrs. Palin or acknowledged that Mrs. Palin did not incite a deranged man to commit murder,” the lawsuit states. Further, the lawsuit argues that the Times‘ Editorial Board and staff knew it was wrong in its claim because “the paper reported regularly about the case.” The lawsuit also complains that the Times didn’t “issue a full and fair retraction” or a “public apology.”
“When The Times resurrected a 6-1/2 year-old false rumor about Mrs. Palin, it not only ripped open old wounds, but also used its loud and far-reaching voice as the ‘newspaper of record’ to inflict new ones which are far worse and painful for Mrs. Palin,” the lawsuit continues.
UPDATED 6/27/2017 7:59 PM EST