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Sarah Palin Sues NYT: Its Columnists Her Best Witnesses?

Sarah Palin Sues NYT: Its Columnists Her Best Witnesses?
Sarah Palin in suing The New York Times over a column earlier this month. (Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 29 June 2017 06:11 AM

With Sarah Palin suing The New York Times this week over its June 14 editorial, could its columnists be her best witnesses?

Earlier this month, The Daily Caller noted, New York Times columnists Bret Stephens and Charles Blow wrote that it was wrong for the paper to blame a Palin political ad and other Republican political rhetoric as possible motivation for the 2011 shooting of then-U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

Liberals tried to make the connection then, as the Times did in its June 14 editorial, about Palin's ad that appeared to have crosshairs on Giffords' district and other Democratic districts before the 2011 incident. The editorial later ran a correction stating there was no connection found.

The June 14 editorial attempted to make the comparison between the 2011 shooting and this month's shooting of Republican lawmakers practicing for a charity baseball game by James Hodgkinson, who appeared to be a supporter of former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

"It was foul of the left to accuse the Tea Party of inciting [Jared] Loughner’s rampage — Bernie Sanders among them — all the more so since evidence for the claim was so strained," Stephens wrote for the NYT the following day. "That's a lesson that ought to be learned for good now, when there can be no gainsaying Hodgkinson's politics. If Bernie isn't to blame for the shooting now, Palin wasn't to blame then. Belated apologies — or, at least, private regrets — might yet be in order."

Blow never mentioned Palin's name in his column, but was clear about rejecting the idea of blaming political language for the 2011 shooting.

"In 2011, after Representative Gabby Giffords of Arizona was gravely injured and six others were killed by a shooter in Tucson, I was moved to commit an entire column to condemning the left for linking the shooting so closely to political rhetoric," Blow wrote for the NYT in his June 15 column.

"Yes, Republican personalities and officials in the wake of Barack Obama's election had spoken openly about 'Second Amendment remedies' and being 'armed and dangerous' and 'revolution,' but it was not possible to connect the dots between that irresponsible talk and the Tucson shooter," he continued.

In the New York Times story Tuesday about Palin's lawsuit against the newspaper, it admitted the June 14 editorial claimed a connection and then corrected the error.

"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 Ms. Palin's political action committee circulated a map of targeted electoral districts that put Ms. Giffords and 19 other Democrats under stylized cross hairs," stated Times writer Sydney Ember.

"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 Ms. Palin's PAC had depicted electoral districts, not individual Democratic lawmakers, beneath the stylized cross hairs. The NYT Opinion Twitter account also sent out the correction about the lack of a link, apologizing and saying that it appreciated that readers had pointed out the mistake," the Times continued.

Palin charges in the lawsuit that the correction was not enough.

"Given that the entire premise of the Palin Article was the 'disturbing pattern' of politically incited violence emanating from a non-existent link between Mrs. Palin and Loughner's 2011 crime, which The Times conceded did not exist, the entire Palin Article should have been retracted — not minimally and inadequately corrected — and The Times should have apologized to Mrs. Palin," the complaint reads.

Danielle Rhoades Ha, New York Times spokeswoman, said in a statement that officials there had not yet reviewed the lawsuit but will defend against any claim vigorously.

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With Sarah Palin suing The New York Times this week over its June 14 editorial, could its columnists be her best witnesses?
sarah palin, sues, nyt, columnists, witnesses
Thursday, 29 June 2017 06:11 AM
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