Tags: Media Bias | Sarah Palin | Sarah Palin | The New York Times | libel | lawsuit

LawNewz: Palin Has Excellent Case Against NYT

Image: LawNewz: Palin Has Excellent Case Against NYT
Sarah Palin (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)

By    |   Wednesday, 28 Jun 2017 06:55 PM

Sarah Palin's lawsuit against The New York Times could bring the newspaper's "libel lawsuit winning streak" to a screeching halt, according to a legal expert.

In an opinion piece for the website LawNews, Robert Barnes, whose California law practice focuses on constitutional, criminal and  civil rights law, argues Palin's lawsuit is solid.

"The New York Times will, most assuredly, have an exceptional advocate in its corner, likely Floyd Abrams, or someone of comparable caliber," he wrote. "Their defense will likely focus on the editorial nature of the column, the subsequent correction of the two most offending parts of the editorial identified in the suit . . . and an argument to rhetoric and speculation as 'unprovable' facts."

But, Barnes declared "the law though sits more on Palin's side than The New York Times at this juncture, and the Grey Lady's libel lawsuit winning streak may be soon coming to its end."

Barnes writes it's "widely known" there was no connection between a political advertisement from the former Alaska governor and the 2011 shooting of former Democratic lawmaker Gabby Giffords – including in articles the Times itself ran.

And, there was never any "stylized cross hairs over Giffords" as a Times editorial had suggested; there was only cross hairs over congressional districts "targeted" for winning in the Palin ad.

"Additionally, there will be a reputation risk for the Times in how they defend themselves, limiting otherwise legal defenses like — 'no one can know what's true'; 'our ethics guidelines are legally unenforceable'; 'everybody knows our editorial page makes stuff up because they can as opinionated hacks, so this cannot be considered a credible statement of fact,' etc."

Barnes argues the defense will probably focus on the "editorial nature of the column" – and its own correction of its misstatement, but "hiding behind the Editorial Page opinion as its excuse for this kind of factual insinuation is precisely the kind of innuendo the Supreme Court said was unprotected under the First Amendment from libel law remedies."

"Both Shakespeare and the Supreme Court identified the reason for libel laws: a 'good name . . . is the immediate jewel of their souls' and 'he that flinches from my good name robs me . . . and makes me poor indeed,'" he wrote.

"A jury may find the Grey Lady stole a jewel that did not belong to her, and it may be the Grey Lady's lost jewel of a journalistic reputation that is left forever 'poor indeed.'"

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Sarah Palin's lawsuit against The New York Times could bring the newspaper's "libel lawsuit winning streak" to a screeching halt, according to a legal expert.
Sarah Palin, The New York Times, libel, lawsuit
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2017-55-28
Wednesday, 28 Jun 2017 06:55 PM
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