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Palin sues NYT, claiming editorial defamed her

Sydney Ember | NYT |  Jun 29, 2017 04:00 AM IST
Sarah Palin
Sarah Palin, former vice-presidential candidate, filed a defamation lawsuit against The New York Times Company on Tuesday, saying the newspaper had published a statement about her in a recent editorial that it “knew to be false.”

In the lawsuit, which was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, Palin contends that The Times “violated the law and its own policies” when it linked her in an editorial to a mass shooting in January 2011.

The editorial was published online on June 14, the day a gunman opened fire at a baseball field where Republican lawmakers were practicing for an annual charity game. The editorial said there was a link between political incitement and the mass shooting in Arizona that severely wounded Representative Gabby Giffords and said that Palin’s “political action committee circulated a map of targeted electoral districts that put Ms. Giffords and 19 other Democrats under stylised cross hairs.”

The Times later issued a correction, saying that there was no established link between political statements and the shooting and that the map circulated by Palin’s PAC had depicted electoral districts, not individual Democratic lawmakers, beneath the stylised cross hairs. The NYT Opinion Twitter account also sent out the correction about the lack of a link, apologising and saying that it appreciated that readers had pointed out the mistake.

Palin said in the lawsuit that The Times’s response “did not approach the degree of the retraction and apology necessary and warranted by The Times’s false assertion that  Mrs Palin incited murder.”

In a statement, a spokeswoman for The Times said, “We have not reviewed the claim yet but will defend against any claim vigorously.”
Representative Steve Scalise, the House majority whip, was critically injured in the June 14 shooting.
© 2017 The New York Times News Service

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