Honest mistake? Jury will decide if New York Times defamed former Gov. Sarah Palin

The New York Times attorney continued the pattern the newspaper established earlier -- treating Palin like dirt

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Before a jury that a federal judge had already prejudiced by declaring former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was, “of course, unvaccinated,” big city attorneys made their closing arguments on Friday. Palin has characterized it as David and Goliath, with her and the people as the Bible’s scrawny David taking on the massive warrior Goliath.

Palin has sued the New York Times for its 2017 editorial that linked a 2011 mass shooting in Arizona to a political map published by Palin’s Sarah PAC political action committee. The jury deliberated Friday and has not yet reached a verdict about the alleged defamation.

New York Times attorney David Axelrod argued on Friday that the hit job on Palin in the editorial, titled “America’s Lethal Politics,” was an “honest mistake. It wasn’t a political hit piece.” He said the staff of the Times was rushing under deadline and that mistakes were made, even by the newspaper’s own fact checker, who did not apparently question the newspaper’s statement that Rep. Gabby Gifford of Arizona was wounded in that 2011 attack because of the Palin PAC map, which showed various congressional districts with targets on them.

The “mistakes” by the New York Times is explained in part by the difference in cultures. Alaska, where Palin is from, is gun country, and targets, along with target practicing, are common. In New York City, however, guns are largely illegal, and there is one remaining gun range in Manhattan, where the trial is being heard.

The editorial, which appeared on June 14, 2017, was written after a liberal gunman shot at Republican members of Congress and staffers during an annual charity baseball game practice in Alexandria, Virginia. The gunman, who had been in protests with the Antifa-precursor “Occupy Wall Street,” had asked people in the baseball field area which persons on the field were Republicans, and then he fired 60 rounds at the Republicans, wounding House Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana and four others.

The edits to the editorial that day included the assertion that there was a link between the Arizona attack years earlier and political incitement by Palin.

“Before the shooting, Sarah Palin’s political action committee circulated a map of targeted electoral districts that put Ms. Giffords and 19 other Democrats under stylized cross hairs,” the editorial said.

Axelrod pointed out to the jury that a correction was made on the editorial hours later, after Palin and her lawyers had objected.

But the correction was vague and never included the first defamatory information. Palin is asserting that it was a hit job on her all along.

At one point in the trial on Thursday, the New York Times lawyer brought up Palin’s appearance in the show called “The Masked Singer.” The observers in the courtroom laughed at her when she said loudly “Objection,” and the judge advised her that she didn’t have the right to object while she was on the stand. Palin said being on the show allowed her to pay some bills and was the “most fun 90 seconds of my life.” The purpose of Axelrod bringing up the show appeared to be to further damage Palin’s reputation; earlier the clips of the show had been suppressed from the jury because it would have prejudiced them against her.

Palin’s attorney Kenneth Turkel said evidence shows the newspaper was pushing a narrative to damage conservatives when it wrote about her.

“They just didn’t care. She’s one of them [conservatives],” said Turkel. 

From the treatment she received by the New York Times attorney this week, it appears the newspaper still doesn’t care about her reputation, as it used every opportunity to damage Palin in order to protect its right to continue damaging her and other conservatives under the protection of the First Amendment.

19 COMMENTS

  1. I’m not a big Sarah Palin fan but I wish her the best of luck. There is freedom of the press but we need to set boundaries of when that freedom crosses over the libel and slander. Especially when there is malicious intent to harm and damage someone, often with falsehoods.

    • Using a gunsight cross hairs on US House Districts with elected representatives is malicious. Difficult to prove a public figure who slanders others is a victim of libel, especially when the public figure is not financially harmed. I predict Palin will lose and will also lose with SCOTUS

      • Or you could accept the “cross hairs” you can’t let go of are really the mapping icon for a “Principle Point” monument, as defined by the U.S. Geological Survey in this document:
        .
        ‘http://egsc.usgs.gov/isb/pubs/booklets/symbols/topomapsymbols.pdf

  2. Palin has to prove, “actual malice” by the NYT.
    That should be a no-brainer. NYT hates anything Republican …….especially Trump or Palin Conservatives who believe in God. Judgment should be in $$tens of millions.

  3. There was no political family ever defamed by the left (and their main mouthpiece the NY slime) like the Palins unless you include the Trumps.
    WHY???
    Because they appeared and represented majority all American straight family’s.
    The very kind of familys’ that the Demo Marxist self-loathers HATE more than themselves.

    • Are you saying if person A shoots person B 100 times, that the last 99 bullets don’t matter? That they’re irrelevant?

  4. Good piece of luck that she was granted a jury trial. She just might win this case! Even in New York the average citizen has become tired of the corrupt legacy media.

  5. Judge has already said he’s gonna dismiss the case. While the jury is deliberating. Plus he’s not gonna tell the jury until the end of the day.

    Regardless of anything else, deciding to dismiss and letting the jury waste their time in deliberations is grossly unprofessional, if not unethical.

    The left has broken America.

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