Sarah Palin sues New York Times for defamation over editorial on political violence

Photo via Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC-BY-SA)

The lawsuit claims the New York Times purposefully painted Palin in a negative light to make money.

Former vice presidential candidate and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin filed a lawsuit against the New York Times on Tuesday alleging that a recent editorial defamed her.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in New York, claims that a Times editorial on June 14 following the shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise (R-L.a.), the House majority whip, made a false link between the shooting of then-Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords by Jared Loughner in 2011 and a map Palin released of political districts with gun crosshairs over them.

By making the connection in the editorial, which immediately followed James Hodgkinson allegedly shooting Scalise and several others during a congressional baseball practice, Palin’s suit claims the Times “capitalized on Mrs. Palin’s name and Loughner’s and Hodgkinson’s horrific attacks to support its assertion that there was a ‘sickeningly familiar pattern’ of politically motivated violence against members of Congress.”

The suit claims that because the Times had posted several stories that acknowledged there was no connection between Palin and Loughner’s shooting in the past, the June 14 editorial was written to “implicitly” attack Palin’s conservative policies to drive “its digital advertising revenues at Mrs. Palin’s expenses.”

“The Times appreciates that in the increasingly competitive digital media landscape in which it finds itself, attacking Mrs. Palin brings an economic benefit to its business,” the suit claims.

The Times issued a correction to the editorial a day after publishing it, noting that “no such link was established” between Palin’s gun crosshairs ad and Giffords’ shooting.

The Times allegedly defamed the former governor because the newspaper “tended to injure Mrs. Palin in her trade, business or profession and directly implicated Mrs. Palin in a horrific crime,” the suit claims.

Palin is demanding a trial by jury and punitive damages in excess of $75,000.

The June 14 shooting of Scalise and four others left the House majority whip in critical condition. He underwent multiple surgeries and remains in a Washington, D.C., hospital, where he’s recovering from his injuries.

You can read the full lawsuit here:

Sarah Palin New York Times Lawsuit by The Daily Dot on Scribd

Andrew Wyrich

Andrew Wyrich

Andrew Wyrich is a politics staff writer for the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the internet. Andrew has written for USA Today, NorthJersey.com, and other newspapers and websites. His work has been recognized by the Society of the Silurians, Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE), and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).