June 27, 2017

"Mrs. Palin brings this action to hold The Times accountable for defaming her by publishing a statement about her that it knew to be false..."

"... that Mrs. Palin was responsible for inciting a mass shooting at a political event in January 2011."
“Specifically, on June 14, 2017, The Times Editorial Board, which represents the ‘voice’ of The Times, falsely stated as a matter of fact to millions of people that Mrs. Palin incited Jared Loughner’s January 8, 2011, shooting rampage at a political event in Tucson, Arizona, during which he shot nineteen people, severely wounding United States Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, and killing six, including Chief U.S. District Court Judge John Roll and a nine-year-old girl.”
ADDED: I've removed my "lawsuits I hope will succeed tag." For reasons discussed in the comments, I think she should and will lose this case. What influenced me was a close look at exactly what the NYT wrote.

AND: Here's The Washington Post piece about the lawsuit. Note the aspect of the Times statement that it focuses on as defamatory:
“Before the shooting,” [the NYT editorial] read, “Sarah Palin’s political action committee circulated a map of targeted electoral district that put Ms. Giffords and 19 other Democrats under stylized cross hairs.”

The description was inaccurate. The map had put cross hairs over targeted electoral districts but not Democratic politicians. Following a wave of backlash on social media, the Times issued an apology and corrected the editorial, saying no connection between political incitement and the Arizona shooting was ever established.
That is, it's true that there was a map that used the symbolism of cross hairs, but only the geographic areas were "under" the cross hairs and the NYT falsely stated that human beings (including Giffords) were "under stylized cross hairs." That creates a mental image of a map with the faces of 20 people with cross hairs on them.

(By the way, WaPo has "a map of targeted electoral district," making the image of 20 targets hard to picture. There should be an "s" on "district.")

165 comments:

chickelit said...

Do we know who pushed/pulled the editorial though at the NYT? Perhaps discovery will shed some light on the editorial cowardice at the Times.

I recall that when Althouse first put up the Gifford shooting story years ago (shortly after it broke), it took a resident lefty only a few minutes to make the same accusation. So the meme was already in place. In those days it was Palin Derangement Syndrome.

chickelit said...

@Althouse: You may hope the lawsuit succeeds, but a far better result would be outing the cowards by name who did this. Discovery should do this nicely.

Mountain Maven said...

I hope Sarah wins $10 million plus.
The media and the left have persecuted her and her family viciously for 9 years. We need a landmark case to slow these jackals down.

Earnest Prole said...

Surely this deserves a civility bullshit tag

chickelit said...

In other words, don't let the NYT editorial board members hide behind their facade. Sunlight/disinfectant.

chickelit said...

The media and the left have persecuted her and her family viciously for 9 years

Well, Joe McGinniss died an ignominious death and Andrew Sullivan is virtually a nobody.

Michael K said...

The Times has previously been over this ground, which might make defense more difficult.

It couldn't happen to a nicer bunch.

Henry said...

I was surprised to see that Lawsuits I hope Will Succeed has many entries. I've read Althouse for years and didn't remember so many lawsuits Althouse hopes will succeed. This is the first since 2015; it is a rare, but emphatic tag.

Looking at the list I would categorize it as follows:

* Artists need freedom
* Children need security
* Fools don't

Michael K said...

Joe McGinniss was a creep who talked Jeffery MacDonald into letting him write a book and lying to him that it would be a defense.

McGinniss then trashed McDonald who, I think, might have had a decent defense.

I didn't know him but I did know some people who did.

YoungHegelian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fen said...

My Jury would award the NYTs to Sarah Palin in addition to monetary damages.

Mountain Maven said...

McGinnis and Sullivan aren't enough. The court needs to blow a hole thru the nyt's balance sheet and the tatters of its reputation. Enough to jolt Slim, Turner and bezos.

YoungHegelian said...

Hoo-boy! Talk about a trial where venue would be all important!

Hold the trial in the urban coastal areas & the NYT walks.

Hold the trial in the heartland & Palin becomes quite a bit richer than she already is.

Fen said...

Didn't something similar happen to a KIK headquarters building. I heard a reference to it on West Wing, but I'm not sure if they just made it up.

Ann Althouse said...

"@Althouse: You may hope the lawsuit succeeds, but a far better result would be outing the cowards by name who did this. Discovery should do this nicely."

No. It's not just about fishing for names. The NYT as a whole did something and it actually plainly meets the standard of reckless disregard for the truth. Palin should win the lawsuit. It's not just about embarrassing individuals.

traditionalguy said...

But, but...her family and her kids, and her education, and her playing basketball, and her running for a beauty pageant, and her knowing Pentacostal African prophet,...she is as DEPLORABLE as it gets. Given the chance, old Chief Justice Taney would find her to have no citizenship rights or court standing among the Civilized World.

Ann Althouse said...

"Hoo-boy! Talk about a trial where venue would be all important!"

Palin's lawyers chose to sue in federal court in Manhattan.

rhhardin said...

Palin should lose. Political incitement is not incitement. That's what the adjective is doing there.

YoungHegelian said...

@Althouse,

Palin's lawyers chose to sue in federal court in Manhattan.

Fire that man, STAT!

Lucien said...

Why does it make strategic and tactical sense to file this in SDNY?

The Times would seem to have sufficient contacts in just about any state to support personal jurisdiction, so why not pick one with plaintiff-friendly defamation law and juries?

Why not Alaska, by the way?

Is the theory that there is such a concentration of witnesses in New York that venue anywhere else would be successfully challenged?

Ann Althouse said...

"Palin should lose. Political incitement is not incitement. That's what the adjective is doing there."

It's a tort case. The tort is defamation. It's based on an untrue statement that harms a person's reputation, not on whether anyone is incited to do something. Mere opinion isn't enough, but it's irrelevant that the statement was made for political purposes. The motivation for making the statement is irrelevant, despite the phrase "actual malice." That's a technical term and it means reckless disregard for the truth or knowledge that the statement is untrue.

rhhardin said...

But political incidement doesn't harm Palin's reputation. Incitement would, but not political incitement.

Political incitement means put a cross over Phoenix. She did and she meant to. It's harmless.

Ann Althouse said...

"Why not Alaska, by the way? Is the theory that there is such a concentration of witnesses in New York that venue anywhere else would be successfully challenged?"

There would be venue wherever Palin resides. Is that Alaska still?

chickelit said...

Is the theory that there is such a concentration of witnesses in New York that venue anywhere else would be successfully challenged?

Perhaps a "media-on-trial" trial is best tried in NYC. It won't be ignored. The entire city is not loyal to the Times and there are plenty of hungry reporters eager to make a name.

Henry said...

Palin's lawyers chose to sue in federal court in Manhattan.

If they lose they win. If they win they win.

Henry said...

There would be venue wherever Palin resides. Is that Alaska still?

She should have filed it in Zeitgeist.

But that's in Germany.

rhhardin said...

The harm to Palin's reputation can't hinge on what the shooter did. Either putting a cross over Phoenix is disparaging or it's not, on its own.

rhhardin said...

See, if Palin sent the shooter the plan to act on, that would be disparaging. She's being blamed for sending the plan. Right?

But she put a cross over Phoenix. So she's being blamed for putting a cross over Phoenix.

Where's the harm to her reputation.

rhhardin said...

Palin has her good points, like giving a media interview while slaughtering turkeys.

The original Trump.

rhhardin said...

Her instincts for talking off the cuff were not up to Trump's though.

rhhardin said...

I argued this over at instapundit and my points were very well received.

Henry said...

I argued this over at instapundit and my points were very well received.

That's an Onion headline.

rhhardin said...

I can see 41st St. from my house.

Fen said...

"reckless disregard for the truth"

Yup. That's what saved me when I reported that SCA Knight for molesting children. SCA Leadership threatened 17 times with a defamation lawsuit (lawfare actually, the threat was the $160,000 it would cost me to defend in court).

But their case was too weak to bring because 1) I screened out one of the 6 victims because her account of what happened was fishy, later turned out she just wanted attention and sympathy, and 2) I made serious inquiries into the credibility of another victim, ie. did she have any history of crying sexual assault because some guy looked at her too lonf. She did not, she was same and level-headed.

But being able to show that I had exercised some due diligence to vet those women (and their pre-teen daughters) likely saved me from financial ruin.

Ralph L said...

"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 editors wrote.
IIRC, the cross hairs were over a map, not people.
How can they claim that they aren't alleging incitement-incitement?

Ralph L said...

They added later: “Though there’s no sign of incitement as direct as in the Giffords attack,
quotes from dailycaller

Ralph L said...

She wasn't slaughtering the turkeys during the interview, IIRC. She'll sue you next.

rhhardin said...

Ask yourself how disparagement of Palin can depend on what the shooter did rather than on what she did.

rhhardin said...

Suppose Palin sent an assassination plan to Philadelphia to take out X, and nobody took her up on it.

That would still be disparaging to Palin.

The shooter doesn't matter.

Paco Wové said...

"She wasn't slaughtering the turkeys during the interview, IIRC"

No, unfortunately. That would have been awesome.

Rene Saunce said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rhhardin said...

Well I hope Palin is getting it done on a contingency fee basis.

Rick said...

Do we know who pushed/pulled the editorial though at the NYT?

This was a bad week for the NYT. The fired CNN editor only recently joined CNN from the Times and apparently was showing CNN how they do things in the big leagues.

Ken B said...

Rhhardin, you seem to have lost the thread entirely. The guy was not incited by Palin. That is a fact. The NYT said, as a fact, that he was. So their factual claim is false. It is also damaging. It might even endanger her. And they made the statement with reckless disregard of the truth. How do we know that? Because the NYT itself published articles proving its falsehood; because it the central claim of their contention and they did not bother to check it. So they meet the rather high standard for defamation even of someone as famous as Palin.

So they should and will lose.

Even worse for them, Palin is very rich. She doesn't need or want money. She wants scalps. She wants the Times scourged.

Fun times!

Ann Althouse said...

You have to look at the exact statement the Times published: "In 2011, when Jared Lee Loughner opened fire in a supermarket parking lot, grievously wounding Representative Gabby Giffords and killing six people, including a 9-year-old girl, the link to political incitement was clear. 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."

So I see the "political incitement." And what was the "link" that was "clear"? The hardest problem, I think, is that it doesn't say Sarah Palin did anything. It says her PAC did something, circulated a map. It's true that the PAC circulated the map, so the falsehood needs to be that there was a clear link between the map and the shooting. How much of a link? It doesn't really say, so how is the reputation of the PAC damaged? And, again, the PAC isn't Sarah.

Ann Althouse said...

Okay, I've changed my mind. I'm removing my lawsuits I hope will succeed tag.

gbarto said...

What rhhardin says may hold true for the "corrected" version. The first version implied she had blood on her hands.

rhhardin said...

When it comes to clear links, that's the butterfly effect. It's in the eye of the beholder, and furthermore adults know how to read butterfly effect stories.

Everything affects everything.

Ralph L said...

rhhardin, at my 8:57, they said she incited the killer. Isn't that defamation?

Why does everyone know Giffords' name but I don't remember seeing any names of the dead but the Judge's? Did I miss something?

Qwinn said...

The second use of "incitement" didn't get the "political" adjectve. It got the "clear" adjective.

Fen said...

"How much of a link?"

None. The shooter expressed his motivation for shooting Gifford's in rants THREE YEARS before Palin "targeted" Arizona.

Ken B said...

The worst media lie was when NBC misleadingly edited a tape to try to get Zimmerman killed and gin up race riots. I would have awarded Zimmerman all of NBC's assets.

Rene Saunce said...

Jared Loughner never visited Sarah Palin's web-site.

A symbol of cross-hairs on her web-site did not inspire him to commit murder. The leftwing collective Hate and Lie machine made it up. It's a progressive Wish-fact.

Fen said...

edit, before her PAC "targeted" Arizona.

rhhardin said...

It's under cover of the political incitement. It's still just a cross over a city.

Incitement would be sending a plan.

Joe said...

Is there a betting line on this? I'll take, NYT settles while admitting no wrong-doing.

Qwinn said...

Ann, to me, the case rests not on the bit you quoted but the sentence that came after.

rhhardin said...

The shooter doesn't matter. It's what Palin did that matters. Cross over city.

Althouse has a better out, going narrowly legal.

I'm thinking clouding jurors' minds, as instapundit responders said. You want jurors.

Rene Saunce said...

No other politician or media personality in history ever used the words "Target" or "cross-hairs" - just Palin.

Rene Saunce said...

Did they find this "target map" in Jared's possession?

Ralph L said...

NYT: "...that put Ms. Giffords and 19 other Democrats under stylized cross hairs....
Though there’s no sign of incitement as direct as in the Giffords attack"

Althouse or other lawyers, that isn't defamation?

Ken B said...

Ann,
There is more in that editorial. They also said there is "no incitement as direct as in the Giffords" case. That's not just "political incitement ". I gather you see the political kind of incitement as generic stirring up not incitement to violence. I think this phrase undercuts that reading entirely. The Times is blaming "Sarah Palin's [PAC]" for incitement of murder.

rhhardin said...

"as direct as in the Giffords attack" is just a comparison. It doesn't say how direct that is.

Henry said...

It sounds like the Times' defense is that they are bad pornographers.

Rene Saunce said...

Forward to circa now, and the entire democrat machine are inspiring actual nut-jobs to shoot at members of the GOP.

Just yesterday, Gov Hickenlooper said that the GOP health care bill will kill 100,000.
Certainly if the GOP are so awful, they deserve to be shot.
right?

MikeR said...

Isn't it relevant that NYT took out that part of the article as soon as it was pointed out? They can say that the malice wasn't theirs.

Ralph L said...

Palin Directness > zero.

Jay said...

Should the PAC succeed, if it filed a lawsuit?

Ralph L said...

MikeR, won't Palin find out if that's true in discovery? Perhaps they heard from their lawyers before deleting it. Is that privileged?

Henry said...

When it comes to clear links, that's the butterfly effect. It's in the eye of the beholder, and furthermore adults know how to read butterfly effect stories.

Now that version would have been interesting.

"In 2011, when Jared Lee Loughner opened fire in a supermarket parking lot, grievously wounding Representative Gabby Giffords and killing six people, including a 9-year-old girl, the link to political incitement was clear. 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. But that's just a butterfly effect in the eye of the beholder -- the beholder being us, the editorial writers -- and now that we've smoked another pack of cigarettes amongst ourselves, we have no idea why we even included that random sentence."

Again, pornography. Or rhetoric, as it is sometimes called. You don't smash two sentences together without intention.

The Godfather said...

So I can say "Ann Althouse's blog incited an attack on the Republican baseball team", and Althouse can't sue me because I didn't say that she did it personally, but her blog said it? If that's the law, then the law is an ass.

Rene Saunce said...

Is there any evidence that "Cross-hairs" and/or "targets" on a map or on a web-page belonging to Palin inspired Jared Loughner to commit murder?

MikeR said...

@Rene - there seems to be evidence against, from everything we know about the shooters.

exiledonmainstreet said...

"The entire city is not loyal to the Times and there are plenty of hungry reporters eager to make a name."

Let's hope she gets a jury of Post readers.

n.n said...

Guilt by association (e.g. "color of skin") is a Democratic doctrine.

Trial by [manipulated] public perception is a mainstream media mainstay.

Lawsuits I hope will succeed.

gadfly said...

NY Times Article 6/14/17 Shooting Is Latest Eruption in a Grim Ritual of Rage and Blame

In 2011, the shooting of Ms. Giffords by a mentally ill assailant came during a convulsive political period, when a bitter debate over health care yielded a wave of threats against lawmakers. Sarah Palin, the former vice-presidential candidate, drew sharp criticism for having posted a graphic online that showed cross hairs over the districts of several members of Congress, including Ms. Giffords — though no connection to the crime was established.

NY Times Editorial 6/14/17
The Opinion Pages | EDITORIAL | America’s Lethal Politics


Was this attack evidence of how vicious American politics has become? Probably. In 2011, Jared Lee Loughner opened fire in a supermarket parking lot, grievously wounding Representative Gabby Giffords and killing six people, including a 9-year-old girl. At the time, we and others were sharply critical of the heated political rhetoric on the right. Before the shooting, Sarah Palin’s political action committee circulated a map that showed the targeted electoral districts of Ms. Giffords and 19 other Democrats under stylized cross hairs.

On Thursday 6/15/17, the Times issued the following apology and correction:

"An earlier version of this editorial incorrectly stated that a link existed between political incitement and the 2011 shooting of Representative Gabby Giffords," the Times' correction said. "In fact, no such link was established."

In a tweet, the Times further added, "We're sorry about this and we appreciate that our readers called us on the mistake."

David French at National Review tweeted that the falsehood about Palin was not written by a diarist at Daily Kos, but by the editorial board at the New York Times [unnamed though they be].

So all will end well because Times readers are smarter than the entire editorial board.

n.n said...

There was an attempted assassination of a congressman and staff. Before the shooting, the Party circulated e-mails, pamphlets, and surveys with a claim that the assassin's grandmother would be pushed off the cliff.

Three thousand people were killed. Before the event, the Church circulated material normalizing/promoting elective abortion of lives deemed unworthy for political progress.

n.n said...

gadfly:

the [New York] Times' correction said. "In fact, no such link was established."

The jury will disregard the fraudulent association manufactured by the NYT intended to defame the defendant.

Static Ping said...

I think the point here is the New York Times was well aware that there was no link between Palin, Palin's PAC, or pretty much anyone at all and Jared Loughner. Jared was a complete nut case who found grand conspiracies about grammar rules. It is doubtful he knew much about Palin at all and almost certainly never even heard of the map. The only reason they are linked together at all is Democratic talking points spouted by an incurious and biased media that would repeat whatever they were told. Even then the MSM eventually backed away from it once it became clear that there was nothing there. At all. Not even a little bit. It was complete fake news. No one with the facts and even an ounce of integrity would ever have reported this story the way it was reported.

The NYT editorial wanted to have a Republican incitement to violence to balance out Hogdkinson and they used the Palin example as the equivalent when they knew, without a doubt, that this was fake news because they reported it as such in their own paper. There's no reason to bring up Palin at all unless they really want to say that Palin was inciting violence. Actually, they point out that Palin was "direct incitement" as opposed to Hodgkinson who apparently garnered his incitement through osmosis or something, so Palin is actually worse. Once you get into the context, it really is as bad as it seems.

walter said...

Why now? Hurting for $$? Did she have to sell that bus? Todd not pulling his weight with "snow machine"?

Sebastian said...

The NYT published two corrections! In addition to the one gadfly cites, there's this:

"The editorial has also been updated to clarify that in a map distributed by a political action committee before that shooting, electoral districts, not Democratic lawmakers, were depicted beneath stylized cross hairs," the updated correction said."

The law says she may lose, but justice says she should win.

Qwinn said...

Actually the comparison makes it worse. The Times outright stated that Palin's "direct incitement" was worse than any incitement that could have possibly motivated the baseball shooting... and there has been insane amounts of incitement from the Left. Claiming anything Palin (or her PAC) did was actively worse or more direct than the avalanche of direct incitement (Gifford, Caesar, etc.) That Hodgkinson (sic) was surely exposed to is flat out slanderous and obviously malicious.

Qwinn said...

"Why now?"

Uh, as opposed to when? It just frikkin happened two weeks ago. Not even.

Ralph L said...

The suit emphasizes that the NYT's 2 correction statements and apology did not name Sarah Palin, just "a" PAC, but left her name in the editorial. That's why the PAC isn't suing.

walter said...

Ah..sorry bout that. thought it was about the original coverage.

walter said...

This new improved NYT just isn't living up to expectations ;)

Once written, twice... said...

Well it is good that Ann changed her mind. But note how little support she has for the 1st Amendment and freedom of the press. Also note that Ann has little criticism of Donald Trump who has an almost comically reckless disregard for the truth.

eric said...

Maybe the point isn't to win, but to push back against this crap. This constant barrage of fake news.

And maybe they'll get to ask for some things in discovery that will show the bias of the NY Times editorial board.

I'm so sure of that that I'll bet they settle out of court.

Once written, twice... said...

Of course an editorial board is "biased." It represents the opinion of the newspaper.

Both Sarah Palin and Donald Trump have pushed our nation's political discourse into new lows of crudeness and vulgarity. They both attack others with recklessness. But both are extremely thinned skinned when faced with criticism of themselves. The supporters they have been cultivating see no inconsistencies with this, in fact they embrace it.

Birkel said...

So the constitutional law guy believes the First Amendment should protect fabrications and lies? Have some precedent for that notion?

Now, Palin may not prove actual malice and the NYT need prove nothing, but if she proves it was a known lie at the time of the telling, or that the NYT should have known it was a lie, then we are outside the First Amendment.

Fen said...

"but to push back"

That would be karmic.

Palin, of all people, should know. She was forced to resign as governor because the Left exploited a hole in ethics rules and filed one frivolous lawsuit after another to handicap her. She was spending so much time defending herself that she could not govern effectively. So she resigned so the people of Alaska would not be victimized by the Left's games.

Deep State and their MSM Democrat allies are running the same game on Trump - multiple investigations based on bullshit charges to handicap and slow Trump down.

So turn the game around. Sue the media every time you can. Keep them courtrooms instead of in front of the camera. Make it their biggest operating expense, in both time and money.

narciso said...

We only need to revisit Krugman commentary at the time to see their intent, now the fact the incompetent sheriff had kept the shooter out of jail probably has a little to do with it.

Birkel said...

Why do Leftist con law profs care so much about the rights of foreign billionaires to spread lies?

Rhetoric is fun.

Achilles said...

Fen said...

So turn the game around. Sue the media every time you can. Keep them courtrooms instead of in front of the camera. Make it their biggest operating expense, in both time and money.

This wont work. You are talking about pennies to the people that bankroll these operations. Bezos bought the WAPO with pocket change. 20 million dollars a year in lawsuit costs wouldn't even register to him. He uses the WAPO to keep lawmakers in line and regulating his competition out of business.

Carlos Slim is not going to notice a few lawsuits that cost him a few million dollars. He is using the NYT as his personal advertising tool. Carlos Slim lives off of owning factories in Mexico building shit paying people 1$ an hour or less and shipping to the US. Open borders and "Free Trade" make him a multi-billionaire.

These "News" operations are already hemorrhaging money. They are investments to accomplish something greater.

Gretchen said...

Oh puhleeez Ann, the Times wrote "the link was clear". Splitting hairs is stupid. Bottom line they linked Palin to a shooting and shooter that had zero influence from Palin. Why not blame video games, old western movies, new movies, or Bugs Bunny? Why not blame Ann Althouse? There is absolutely no link to the shooter and Palin. The shooter never mentioned Palin, nor is there evidence he was influenced by Palin, saw the map, etc. Mentioning Palin in the story is the NYT making a claim her map with crosshairs is responsible, any reasonable person would conclude this. She is the only one singled out with zero evidence or testimony this is true.

Lewis Wetzel said...

They both attack others with recklessness. But both are extremely thinned skinned when faced with criticism of themselves.
"Reckless attacks" and "criticism" are not at all the same thing, "Once bitten."
What kind of "criticism" of her do you think Palin had a thin-skinned reaction to? When the NY Times claimed she was responsible for mass murder?
You are a child, "once bitten."

Unknown said...

Trumpski News Network: Global confidence to do the right thing regarding world affairs (via Pew Research) -

Angela Merkel 42%
Xi Jinping 28%
Vladimir Putin 27%
Donald Trump 22%

That "American First" stuff is sure working out nicely.

Yancey Ward said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Yancey Ward said...

Palin won't succeed in the lawsuit for a lot reasons, but I don't think the way the editorial is worded is one of them- the NYTimes still asserted there was a clear link to political incitement and the shooting, and blamed that incitement on the PAC, even though they already knew, or should have known, that Loughner wasn't incited by the PAC- that is a fact that isn't in dispute any longer.

Humperdink said...

Joe McGinness moves next door to Palin in Wasilla in 2008 to dig up dirt on Palin and her family.

> "According to advance reviews (of the MacGinness book), the book alleges premarital sex and drug use ... (Wiki)

> "McGinniss died March 10, 2014" (Wiki)

> "In 2016 his son, Joe McGinniss Jr., published an account in The New Yorker about his father's failed marriage, career collapse, alcoholism and drug addiction." (Wiki)

Talk about leaving a legacy.

Francisco D said...

Sara Palin is about as responsible for Jared Loughner's crimes as Jodi Foster is for John Hinckley's actions.

Fen said...

Hang on a sec. Jodie Foster exchanged written corespondence with Hinckley (he went to my high school). In these letters, she expressed her hatred of Ronald Reagan. I *want* to recall that she even wished Reagan dead, but my memory is fuzzy on that one and I like and respect Foster.

But the reason Hinckley tried to murder Reagan is because he thought it would impress Foster. And he got that idea, somehow, through the letters that Foster wrote to him.

Palin had zero contact with Loughner.

Fen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave from Minnesota said...

Okay, 103 comments so this probably has been discussed, but....for MSM to be held liable:

-It had to know the info was false
-It had to intend harm
-I don't recall what the other condition is, but....I think the former Governor has a strong case due to the above two points.

Dave from Minnesota said...

Remember when the NYT (or was it Wash Post) sued to get all 25,000 emails that Sarah Palin sent as Governor? They had no reason for it. Just wanted to go on a fishing expedition. This is why, although I wish he wouldn't be crude about it with tweets, Trump is correct about how MSM is the enemy of conservatives.

Can anyone think of an instance when they went after a Democrats emails for a fishing expedition?

Dave from Minnesota said...

NYT: "...that put Ms. Giffords and 19 other Democrats under stylized cross hairs....

Imagery, instead of a map of the US with certain races targeted by Republicans, the NYT wants you to think that Sarah Palin showed a photo of 19 Democrats and made it look like you were viewing them through a rifle scope.

If you know any journalism majors....they often are rather artsy. They are good at propaganda. I wonder if the day of the old grizziled newspaper editor is gone. I know one who just retired. A very liberal Democrat but he never let his political views get in the way of his reporting and editing. Of course most of his writing was about city issues in a mid-sized town.

Virtually Unknown said...

Playing with trolls is sometimes fun, but some of them bring nothing to the game but stupidity. It's OK to just leave a post alone just for people to laugh at.

Timotheus said...

If Palin were not a public figure, I would think the case would be a slam-dunk. It's awfully difficult for a public figure to win defamation/slander/libel cases, however.

Fandor said...

As Johnnie Cochran might say,

"IF THE LINK STINK, THE GRAY LADY MUST SINK!"

Dave from Minnesota said...

If Palin were not a public figure, I would think the case would be a slam-dunk. It's awfully difficult for a public figure to win defamation/slander/libel cases, however.

As it should be. We shouldn't be afraid to write or say things critical of public figures. Or even stupid untruths.

The reason I say this is different is the NYT printed this just recently, even though the event was years ago and disproven then. That is why I think they had malice.

MikeR said...

'"actual malice." That's a technical term and it means reckless disregard for the truth or knowledge that the statement is untrue.'
I just don't see the malice. To me the sequence is quite clear.
1) Some idiot wrote an article, including a longstanding Democratic talking-point, blissfully unaware that it had been disproved years before. Because that's what talking points do, they stick in people's heads until they think they are commonly accepted fact.
2) NYT was informed that the talking point was false.
3) They immediately took it down.
Incompetence but no "reckless disregard for the truth".

Laslo Spatula said...

Plot summary[edit]
The film opens in Sarah Paylin's living room, when two Russian soldiers knock on the door seeking a tow-truck to lend assistance with their smoldering tank.[7] After some small talk, flirting, and a knock-knock joke, a threesome ensues.[8]

The second scene, referring back to the first, opens with a newspaper headline exclaiming "Paylin endorses Russian penetration!"[9] Then focus shifts to the Faux News Studio, where character Bill Orally sits at the news desk.[9] Orally praises Paylin's recent work in foreign relations, and criticizes what he characterizes as the "hypocritical left."[9]

The third scene takes place in a Washington, D.C. hotel. A female campaign intern is attempting to prepare Serra for interaction with the press.[10] The intern attempts to teach Serra how to correctly pronounce the word "absolutely," which Serra comedically renders as "You betcha."[10] After a frustrating session, Serra leaves in search of "a warm glass of moo juice and some shut eye."[11] After Paylin leaves, the intern declares "What a fucking air head."[12] In response, Serra's husband slides out from under the bed and replies "Try living with her."[12] The scene ends with an anal sex encounter between Mr. Paylin and the intern.[13]

“ It's time to drill baby! Drill hard and drill deep. Come on ya tree hugging hippie! What'ya wait'n for, congressional approval? ”
— Robert Krypton's screenplay, [13]
The fourth scene opens in Serra's bedroom, showing her falling into a fitful sleep, and segues into a dream sequence.[13] In the dream, Paylin seduces her husband's business partner at their snowmobile dealership.[13] The scene finishes with the encounter, returning to a Paylin continuing to toss and turn in her sleep.[14]

The fifth scene is another dream, where Serra remembers her collegiate days at "The International University of I-DA-HO" in 1987.[15] Young Serra listens and actively participates in a classroom discussion which focuses on topics in pseudo-science.[16] Serra places the age of the Earth at 10,000 years and classifies fossils as a ruse by Satan to "trick mankind."[16] After class, Young Serra asks the professor if he knows of any rituals to protect her from witchcraft.[17] The professor assures her that vigorous cunnilingus will provide the required protection, and wastes no time demonstrating.[18]

The sixth and final scene opens with a Bill Orally monologue delivered from the Faux News Studio.[18] The Orally piece introduces a Paylin news conference in which she is to defend herself against charges of adultery.[19] During a rambling monologue Paylin avoids answering the adultery question.[20] After the press clears the room, the Hilly character emerges from beneath the podium.[21] The film closes with a lesbian ménage à trois featuring Serra, Hilly, and Condi.[21]

I am Laslo.

harkin said...

"5 years ago, if you would've told me Trump would be president and Sarah Palin would own the New York Times, I'd would've called you nuts." - Sean Spicier on Twitter.

Ralph L said...

3) They immediately took it down.
If you read her suit thru dailycaller, the corrections left her name in the editorial. She isn't mentioned in either correction, just "a" PAC.

Dave from Minnesota said...

MikeR, I understand your point. I think with many of us....we are just tired of a hostile press.

With slick lawyers though, you can make a strong case on almost anything. If a salesman (agent) makes an untrue assertion about a company's products, the company his held liable.
Does that apply to the NYT in this case?

Fandor said...

NEWS FLASH!!!

A verse from Bob Dylan's newest song has been leaked.

Here it is.

When lines are blurred
In newsprint so cheap
The cost to you
Will be more then you'll reap
And libels will herald your defeat
The Times will be a-changin'

Rene Saunce said...

Still waiting for someone to prove that Loughner was inspired by Sarah Palin's political map.

harkin said...

I think the funniest thing is in the correction they apologized to their readers but not to Palin.

In the correction, they also used the weasel words "no such link was established", implying there could have been a link. They also did not establish a link to Barack Obama, Rachel Maddow or Bozo The Clown.

Rene Saunce said...

Shorter Once Proggy always a prog:

If a leftist hates you enough, they get to lie about you.

Dave from Minnesota said...

harkin, when Dan Rather was still peddling his lies about George Bush and the Texas Air Guard, CBS News said "the documents have not been proven true yet", or something to that effect.

That is like saying "the corpse has not been proven to be alive yet".

Hagar said...

And again: If those were "crosshairs," so is the identical icon printed inside the lid on the crackerbox in my cupboard (used by the printing machinery to keep the lines and colors matched up).

James K said...

Some idiot wrote an article, including a longstanding Democratic talking-point,

Not exactly. It was the NYT editorial board. I mean, yes, they're idiots, but they're not just "some idiot" like a 23-year-old newbie journo. Even then the editors would be responsible for what goes in the paper.

As to AA's distinction between Palin and her PAC, IANAL but calling it "Sarah Palin's PAC" would seem to make her responsible. Of course that may be enough for a NY court to toss the case, but that doesn't make it right.

MikeR said...

"Even then the editors would be responsible for what goes in the paper." Yeah, but I'm very uncomfortable with the idea that you can sue someone for libel if they believed it at the time. Which I think they did. To me, "reckless disregard for the truth" is very different from incompetent brain-dead partisan blindness.
Which isn't an argument for trusting NYT or CNN to tell me anything accurate, including which day of the week it is.

Bruce Hayden said...

"Forward to circa now, and the entire democrat machine are inspiring actual nut-jobs to shoot at members of the GOP."

I don't see this suit as primarily for money, but, rather, primarily political. The Dems and their MSM arm have been yelling for violent "resistance", and getting it, up through the antifada thugs and to an actual attempt of mass murder of Republican politicians. If Palin was culpable for the Giffords shooting, then the Dems, including the MSM, are culpable for the leftist violence that we have been seeing for better than a year. And, claiming that they aren't responsible for the leftist violence, means an admission that Palin was not responsible, therefore putting them in a bind because the NYT claimed that she was responsible,

My prediction is that the action on this suit will be mostly pre-trial, with the NYT working desperately to get it dismissed. Under normal circumstances, I think that she could present sufficient evidence pre-trial of falsity and "actual malice" to get to trial. But, we are talking the NYT's home turf, where the federal judges were hand picked by their guy, Chuck Schumer. And we saw, with the Trump EO immigration cases, how far federally appointed Dem operatives with robes are willing to go to win for their side. Schumer's judges are just going to have to somehow find an absence of "actual malice", or that the statements were opinion, and not fact. Their problem is that these are really fact questions that should be determined by a jury, no matter how willng they may be to protect their home town paper, and not legal questions that can be determined, pre-trial, by a judge.

The reason that they need to get the case dismissed pre-trial is that it is political. Normally, you can buy off plaintiffs with a nice little apology and some cash. I don't see that working here, unless they debase themselves more than I think that they can. And, if the case does go to trial, it will be public, with the leftist hypocrisy of inciting violence in the news every day during that time. Not good for GRE NYT, and worse for the Dems. And what happens, if, against all odds, the hated Palin wins?

Birkel said...

The standard for actual malice is "knew or should have known" so blissfully, willfully ignorant is not a defense. In fact, that would be an admission of actual malice.

Bruce Hayden said...

Another aspect of this is that Palin is in the top tier of those most dangerous to the Dems. She is an instinctual politician like Trump, but not quite as polished. The instinctual part here is important. The Crooked Hillaries of the world have teams of political advisors and strategists, and even focus group test Tweats. Trump and Palin see through the sea of BS to the important weakness of the opposition. Her "death panels" was brilliant framing of Obamacare, maybe even better than "Crooked Hillary" by Trump. The Dens need her sidelined as irrelevant, not making news pointing out their incitement of political violence over the last year.

narciso said...

Yes that was Larry flynts in kind contribution to the Obama campaign,,The fellow you couldn't get enough of professor.

They also arranged to fund a nasty little , who spread all sorts of nastiness including trig denialism

Bruce Hayden said...

"The standard for actual malice is "knew or should have known" so blissfully, willfully ignorant is not a defense. In fact, that would be an admission of actual malice."

I don't think that gross negligence in oversight of low level employees works either.

Talking about being hoist upon their own petard. The NYT is literally the last company in the country that could claim ignorance of the actual malice standard, having been a party to the litigation that ultimately set that standard for defamation of public figures (see New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 (1964)).

I Callahan said...

The only reason she'll lose this case is because the media is a judicially protected industry, and they can pretty much say whatever they want about anyone and get away with it.

Trump was right - Times v. Sullivan needs to be overturned.

David said...

The Times reference to Palin was reprehensible but not libelous.

But Palin has been off the front pages for some time now.

This lawsuit is her unfortunate attempt to return there.

Palin has become a solid B List personality with staying power there. She should not overreach.

n.n said...

So, a disenfranchised Democrat was triggered to assassinate a Democratic politician, and the DNC affiliated press from Water Closet was triggered to project culpability.

Meanwhile, the story of a disenfranchised Democrat who was triggered to assassinate a Republican politician is no longer of interest to the DNC-aligned press.

And dead Soviets of Clinton Water Closet fame are still dead.

n.n said...

How many Democrats were triggered by the press screaming "throw granny off the cliff" to assault Republican politicians and deny them their civil rights?

The press is a first-order forcing of catastrophic anthropogenic climate change.

grackle said...

I just saw Napolitano on Fox and Friends and he said that he believes Palin has a winnable case because of some email exchanges between Palin and the NYT.

rhhardin said...

It's ambiguous whether the politicians under the crosshairs is figurative (owing to the district being under the crosshairs) or literal.

Putting the crosshairs on the district puts the pictured politicians under the crosshairs, is a reasonable interpretation.

Even so you're allowed to put politicians under crosshairs. It's a style of political speech.

Fen said...

For all the back and forth about the 2nd Amendment, I really think it's the 2st Amendment that needs to be revisited.

We don't have a free press, we have a monopoly of democrat operatives running a continuous political campaign, coordinating messaging and narrative on whatever is the latest version of JournoList.

Sammy Finkelman said...

There's no reckless disregard for the truth because the New York Times is not the original source of this meme, and it wasn't claiming to be, and it did correct it as soon as its attention was called to it.

There may be elements also of not remembering something exactly.

The statement is also not defamatory - the harm to reputation occurs from the idea that a somewhat innocent thing caused somebody else to shoot someone. It didn't.

The libel was committed by whoever originated this story in 2011.

Sammy Finkelman said...

A dozen or more people look at something, which they all remember in some way, and nobody actually understands that it is wrong - that's not reckless disregard for the truth.

Birkel said...

Sammy:
What don't you get about "knew or should have known" in the actual malice standard?

Michael K said...

"The Dens need her sidelined as irrelevant, not making news pointing out their incitement of political violence over the last year."

YEs, she really drives them nuts.

And these days that's not easy as the Dems are at 12 nuts on a scale of 1 to 10.

Rene Saunce said...

I just want to see the NYT fucked.

Matthew Sablan said...

"There's no reckless disregard for the truth because the New York Times is not the original source of this meme, and it wasn't claiming to be, and it did correct it as soon as its attention was called to it."

-- The NYT previously printed that the 'meme' was incorrect. If I tell you something is a lie, and later use the lie to smear you, then that is a clear sign of reckless disregard for the truth.

"There may be elements also of not remembering something exactly."

-- That doesn't work in a publication where you have "layers of fact checkers" and all the time in the world to review it. If someone said it off the cuff, sure, fine. But this publishing went through -at least- five or six reviews where an entire institution didn't bother to check their OWN records.

"The statement is also not defamatory - the harm to reputation occurs from the idea that a somewhat innocent thing caused somebody else to shoot someone. It didn't."

-- The statement is intended to claim Palin is irresponsible for using the imagery.

JaimeRoberto said...

Putin. Palin. See Russia from her house. My God, it's Russians all the way down. This is CNN.

AllenS said...

Sammy, I don't know what you do for a living, but if you're thinking about becoming an attorney, don't give up your day job.

Matthew Sablan said...

"A dozen or more people look at something, which they all remember in some way, and nobody actually understands that it is wrong - that's not reckless disregard for the truth."

-- It is if I originally said, "I've researched this, and A is not true," if later I say, "I've researched this, and A is indeed true, and B is irresponsible because A is true."

The NYT isn't just some guy on the street saying, "Oh, yeah, a few years ago, didn't this happen?" It's a news organization that *already, previously* reported the 'meme' was false.

Paul Bird said...

I think the NYT is trying to have it both ways. They're tying Palin's name to Loughner and Giffords, but then they say there's no connection between Palin's acts and what Loughner did, so why even have Palin's name still there if not for spite?

Matthew Sablan said...

From Hot Air's description: "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."

So... if I read this, the NYT didn't even bother to review their own writing, they only noticed the correction because *readers* noticed it. That sounds... really bad for the NYT's defense.

Matthew Sablan said...

Paul: The NYT isn't saying that. They say that even with the factual errors, their argument wasn't flawed. The argument being that Palin's careless language was so terrible that it got people shot, and that there's a link between that shooting and the Scalise shooting.

Matthew Sablan said...

Though I don't see how there can be a link, since the FBI determined there was no political motivation in the Scalise shooting. Despite the guy asking who the people he shot were, while carrying a kill list, while having previously staked out a spot he knew these people would be with lax security, after procuring weapons and crossing the country to "terminate" people he said should die for their political actions. But it wasn't politically motivated according to the FBI, so I don't see how the NYT could make a connection to the Giffords shooting.

readering said...

Why doesn't the governor have a position in this Administration?

Chuck said...

Once written, twice... said...
Well it is good that Ann changed her mind. But note how little support she has for the 1st Amendment and freedom of the press. Also note that Ann has little criticism of Donald Trump who has an almost comically reckless disregard for the truth.

No, I think that Althouse has an informed and refined sense of what ought to prevail, in a defamation cause of action. I think Althouse has real principles, and tries to adhere to them.

The better question might be about what Althouse thought, of Trump's own litigation history including his own history with defamation causes of action and threats of same.

I expect that if called out and pressed on it, Althouse would agree that Trump's personal history of libel lawsuits was legally preposterous.


Bruce Hayden said...

"Why doesn't the governor have a position in this Administration"

My theory is that there is only room for one loose cannon in the Trump Administration, and that is Trump himself, at the top. He hires the best people, and then trusts them to do their job. The difference, esp with Defense, from Obama is striking. With Palin on board, he would constantly have to be on his toes, for the firestorms that she causes. A close White House role might work (Kelly Ann Conway still has a job). But nowhere his staff couldn't keep a close eye on her. Neither, btw, is really a team player, and that is the problem.

Ralph L said...

I think she could have gotten an office if she wanted one. She was an early supporter of Trump, IIRC, and she has a devoted follower in narciso.

Someone who is a lawyer should read the document at dailycaller and report back pro bono.
To me it sounds like they didn't correct it enough for her liking, which jibes with judge Napolitano on Fox.

Rick said...

MikeR said...
"Even then the editors would be responsible for what goes in the paper." Yeah, but I'm very uncomfortable with the idea that you can sue someone for libel if they believed it at the time. Which I think they did. To me, "reckless disregard for the truth" is very different from incompetent brain-dead partisan blindness.


Incompetent brain dead partisan blindness may is the cause of their reckless disregard to the truth and in that sense it's different. But the root cause is irrelevant to the question at issue.

Guildofcannonballs said...

Showing mal-educated legal strivers their careers are ludicrous, as comprehensively legally preposterous winners nudge them toward the desired final insanity, is a pussy grab by another name only.

As with Jewel, Trump's hands are small he knows, but their not yours, they are his own.

Let him grab you and take you, per "Twin Peaks: The Return episode 8" you will drink from his well. You have not even an allusion of choice now nor forever. You never really did.

Big Mike said...

I hope she wins.

poker1one said...

Love to see that Sarah is still living rent free in libs' heads.

MikeR said...

Speaking of fact-checking:
https://judithcurry.com/2017/06/24/consensus-enforcers-versus-the-trump-administration/#comment-852292
Rick Perry said something about climate change.
Politifact contacted various scientists, including Judith Curry, to check it out.
Curry at least responded in ways that were favorable to Perry.
Politifact rated his statement False without indicating that at least one scientist they contacted had agreed with him.
Isn't this malpractice?

Bruce Hayden said...

'"Even then the editors would be responsible for what goes in the paper." Yeah, but I'm very uncomfortable with the idea that you can sue someone for libel if they believed it at the time. Which I think they did. To me, "reckless disregard for the truth" is very different from incompetent brain-dead partisan blindness.

Incompetent brain dead partisan blindness may is the cause of their reckless disregard to the truth and in that sense it's different. But the root cause is irrelevant to the question at issue."

Keep in mind two things. One is that belief in a falsity is not an absolute defense. "Actual malice" also includes reckless disregard of the truth. This is esp true here, where the defendant is (supposedly) a news organization. Don't they have an implied duty, esp in that case, to some level of objectivity? And that is the second is that the defendant is an organization, a corporation. And that means institutional knowledge.

It is one thing to argue that some NYT writer believed that right wing speech was likely to incite a right wing shooter (which this shooter was not), and something else to argue that the NYT itself did. How are they going to prove that? A parade of senior editors and publishers opining that they believed that? And then what do they do when they are asked on cross about the political leanings of mass murderer after mass murderer. About the links between the Trump coverage by the MSM, etc, and the attempted mass murder of the Republican Congressmen? Even if they could parade a bunch of senior editors and publishers through court opining to belief in this falsity, wouldn't that just make the paper look more the partisan hack it is, as well as destroying whatever vestiges of objectivity they still have? And, at the end, would a jury actually believe them?

MikeR said...

@Bruce. IANAL. But I have followed the Mark Steyn/Rand Simberg climate defamation case, and I really really don't think that you should be suing people because "you are sure that they should have known better - everyone around me does". It ought to be a valid defense that the people around them don't know better.
This is aside from the validity of the respective claims.

Ralph L said...

But Bruce, there was such a fuss over the issue in 2011, probably led by the NYT at first. How could they have forgotten that the causation was debunked? If they actually had, they would have tried to use it against Trump last year.

Todd said...

Sorry but big fat WTF!?!?!

What is it with the excuse making?

There's no reckless disregard for the truth because the New York Times is not the original source of this meme, and it wasn't claiming to be, and it did correct it as soon as its attention was called to it.

There may be elements also of not remembering something exactly.


This "reason" and those related are just BS. This is the F*CKING New York Times for cripes sake! The F*UCKING paper of record with layers and layers of fact checkers.

They are so much better than a fellow in his living room in his PJs because of their high standards and their editors and fact checkers.

It was their own F*CKING story and they knew (or at least damn well should have) that there was no connection because they even said so.

Bunch of F*CKING ASS CLOWNS all deserve to be out on their asses, the building burned to the ground and the earth salted to make sure nothing ever exists on that spot again except for a small engraved marker stating that the assh*les used to have an office there.

Bruce Hayden said...

Blogger MikeR said...
"@Bruce. IANAL. But I have followed the Mark Steyn/Rand Simberg climate defamation case, and I really really don't think that you should be suing people because "you are sure that they should have known better - everyone around me does". It ought to be a valid defense that the people around them don't know better.
This is aside from the validity of the respective claims."

First, note that we are talking institutional knowledge when we are talking a corporate defendant. Secondly, there is a lot more question whether or not Mann is a charlatan. I sure think so, that a lot of his "research" is bogus, and that CAGW/CAGCC is a hoax designed to protect ncrease govt control over our lives and economy. Defendants' argument there is far stronger than the NYT's in the Palin case. All they should need to do with the Mann case is find a good statistician to testify that his "hockey stick" is a statistical anomaly resulting from bad statistical techniques, and then maybe some Cimategate (I and maybe II) to show intent to deceive. Over that, he shouldn't be able to prove "reckless disregard of the truth".

"But Bruce, there was such a fuss over the issue in 2011, probably led by the NYT at first. How could they have forgotten that the causation was debunked? If they actually had, they would have tried to use it against Trump last year."

This too strengthens the case against the NYT, and, notably is not the case with Mann. Sure, he can get his buddies together to testify in favor of his "research", etc, but isn't going to find a smoking gun that the defendants in his case knew better.

MikeR said...

@Bruce, you're changing the subject. The point should not be, But he's right! I think Mark Steyn would agree with me on this 100%. It should be enough that he believes that he's right.

tim maguire said...

The times printed something about Palin that they knew it should have known was wrong. That much is undeniable.

Rhhardin has a non-frivolous argument that it is not damaging to her reputation. I disagree and think a jury is likely to disagree too. But time will tell.

chickelit said...

Ann Althouse responded (to me)...No. It's not just about fishing for names. The NYT as a whole did something and it actually plainly meets the standard of reckless disregard for the truth. Palin should win the lawsuit. It's not just about embarrassing individuals.

I disagree with your sentiment. The NYT as a whole comprises all sorts of people, some of whom may not even be on board with the editorial board. The ongoing "harass sarah" policy could be driven by one or two bad apples (highly placed ones). They need to be outed, embarrassed and held responsible. Does that sound vindictive? You betcha!