Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz told "Spicer & Co." on Newsmax that the New York Times "did defame" former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, but that proving malice would be difficult.
Palin, a former vice-presidential candidate in 2008, accused the Times of libel after the paper falsely linked, in a 2017 editorial piece, an advertisement from her political action committee to a 2011 shooting in Arizona that killed six people and wounded 12 others, including former Rep. Gabby Gifford, The Washington Post reported.
"There are two issues," Dershowitz said on Tuesday. "One: Did the Times defame her? and the answer is yes, the Times did defame her. The Times, in an editorial, stated as a fact something that was clearly untrue."
"But the second issue is the difficult one," the lawyer continued. "Did they have malice? Did they have knowledge of reckless disregard of the truth? They claim no, and the proof of that is that they immediately took it down after they found out it wasn't true."
Dershowitz added that he believes "we are seeing a change" in the thought process of judges on defamation cases and that it may benefit Palin.
"I think we're seeing a change in the attitude of many judges. I think what they're saying is, 'The media has had too much free reign, and they haven't taken seriously their responsibility to seek the truth.' And I think that the courts may look more favorably on lawsuits by public figures against the media."
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