Palin sues New York Times for claiming she incited Giffords’ 2011 shooting
By Jared Morgan
Conservative politician and commentator Sarah Palin sued The New York Times on Tuesday for libel after the newspaper published an editorial blaming the former Alaska governor for the January 2011 Arizona shooting that left Rep. Gabby Giffords severely injured.
According to court documents, the June 14 Times opinion piece, titled “America’s Lethal Politics,” posited it was a map circulated by her political action committee that prompted the shooter, Jared Loughner, to injure 13 people total, including a U.S. District Court chief judge and a 9-year-old girl. Giffords’ injuries left her with a disability affecting her speech, but the incident prompted her and her husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly to launch a national gun control organization.
Further, the complaint says the Times used this “false assertion” about Palin as an “artifice” to write about the June 14 shooting of lawmakers at a congressional baseball practice, where GOP Rep. Steve Scalise was injured and only recently released from intensive care.
The Times used this “to support its assertion that there was a ‘sickeningly familiar pattern’ of politically motivated violence against members of Congress,” the complaint says.
The Times knew the editorial’s speculative conclusion was wrong when the “fabricated story” was published,