Judge dismisses Sarah Palin’s defamation case against New York Times
By Christen Smith
Sarah Palin sued the New York Times June 27 for an editorial blaming her political action committee for inciting the 2011 shooting in Tucson, Arizona that wounded Democratic Congresswoman Gabby Giffords. (Photo: Sarah Palin/Facebook)
A federal judge dismissed a defamation case against the New York Times Tuesday after deciding the newspaper’s June editorial loosely connecting Sarah Palin to the congressional shooting wasn’t penned with malice.
“What we have here is an editorial, written and rewritten rapidly in order to voice an opinion on an immediate event of importance, in which are included a few factual inaccuracies somewhat pertaining to Mrs. Palin that are very rapidly corrected,” U.S. District Court Judge Jed Rakoff said in a 26-page opinion. “Negligence this may be; but defamation of a public figure it plainly is not.”
The Times drew Palin’s ire after publishing an editorial June 14 in response to the congressional shooting in Alexandria, Virginia. Staff writer Elizabeth Williams authored the piece, in which she discusses how violent political rhetoric reaps deadly consequences — as it did in Virginia that day and six years ago in a grocery store parking lot in Tucson.
“Was this attack … evidence of how vicious American politics has become? Probably,” the published editorial says. “In 2011,