Sarah Palin sues New York Times for defamation

Former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin sued the New York Times on Tuesday.

Palin filed suit in the Southern District of New York, claiming the newspaper violated established “policies and procedures” and acted with “actual malice” in an unsigned June 14 editorial connecting her to the 2011 assassination attempt on former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tuscon.

The June 14 editorial titled “America’s Lethal Politics,” themed on the uncivil political climate in the U.S., linked a website created by Palin to the 2011 incident in which 19 people were hit by gunfire, six of whom were killed.

A website operated by Palin’s political action committee used an image of a cross hair to indicate targets over Democratic-controlled districts.

In the wake of the June 14 shooting incident in Alexandria, Va., in which Louisiana Republican Congressman Steve Scalise and four others were injured by gunfire from a lone gunman, the newspaper ran an editorial which read:

“Before the shooting, Sarah Palin’s political action committee circulated a map of targeted electoral districts that put Ms. Giffords and 19 other Democrats under stylized cross hairs.”

Later in the original editorial, the Times wrote:  “The link to political incitement was clear.”  The newspaper deleted the language and made a clarification shortly after its original publication.

Despite the correction, Palin’s suit states the Times‘ apology to readers did not mention Ms. Palin and the contrition was “woefully inadequate.”

According to multiple media analyses, Palin was not responsible for the Gifford shooting, which was perpetrated by a mentally unstable young man named Jared Loughner who suffers from schizophrenia.

Palin is seeking damages beyond $75,000 for compensatory, special and punitive damages.

The Times said in a statement it would defend against the suit “vigorously.”


[Reuters] [RT America] [Photo courtesy Reuters/Kamil Krzaczynski via Huffington Post]