President Trump surrogate and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin regained national attention in June after a New York Times editorial linked her to a deadly shooting. And now her battle against the left-leaning news outlet has taken an undesired turn.
The dustup began in an editorial about the shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) at a Republican baseball practice. The opinion piece made mention of the 2011 shooting of former representative Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.) and linked it to an ad by Palin’s political action committee.
They said the ad showed crosshairs pasted over the faces of Democrats that Republicans needed to target. In reality, the ad showed the crosshairs positioned over districts on a map, not over anyone’s faces, The Hill reported. After a backlash, the Times admitted their error.
“An earlier version of this editorial incorrectly stated that a link existed between political incitement and the 2011 shooting of Representative Gabby Giffords. In fact, no such link was established,” they wrote.
But the correction wasn’t enough for Palin. She sued the Times for defamation, claiming it knowingly printed fake news about her.
Now on Tuesday, though, Palin received the bad news that a federal judge had dismissed her lawsuit. Judge Jed Rakoff explained his decision, according to CNN.
"Nowhere is political journalism so free, so robust, or perhaps so rowdy as in the United States. In the exercise of that freedom, mistakes will be made, some of which will be hurtful to others," he began.
"Responsible journals will promptly correct their errors; others will not,” he wrote. “But if political journalism is to achieve its constitutionally endorsed role of challenging the powerful, legal redress by a public figure must be limited to those cases where the public figure has a plausible factual basis for complaining that the mistake was made maliciously, that is, with knowledge it was false or with reckless disregard of its falsity. Here, plaintiff's complaint, even when supplemented by facts developed at an evidentiary hearing convened by the Court, fails to make that showing."
In other words, Rakoff said that there was no evidence that the Times knowingly reported false news about Palin, and he’s unwilling to put any more limits on the freedoms the press enjoys.
What do you think of this? Meanwhile in Texas, here’s what the crowd chanted took the stage.