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Sarah Palin Libel Lawsuit against New York Times dismissed

30 August 2017

A federal judge in New York City dismissed former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's defamation lawsuit against The New York Times on Tuesday.

"Nowhere is political journalism so free, so robust or perhaps so rowdy as in the United States", Rakoff said.

Under First Amendment law, mere mistakes alone don't constitute defamation of a public figure-there needs to be "actual malice" behind the error.

Palin sued the Times after it posted an editorial in June that appeared to link her to a 2011 mass shooting that severely wounded Arizona Rep.

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There has never been a shred of evidence whatsoever to even suggest that Loughner, who was apolitical, was inspired by Palin or the Tea Party.

The editorial claimed there was a clear link between a map with crosshairs that was produced by Palin's political action committee and the shooting of Giffords. The Manhattan federal judge wrote that the Times had not been malicious when it mentioned Palin's infamous Super PAC image of a map with crosshairs over then-Congresswoman Gabby Gifford's district in a recent June 14 editorial about violence and political rhetoric.

Rakoff dismissed the case "with prejudice", which means Palin can't try to amend her lawsuit to try to address the problems that Rakoff identified in his opinion. Negligence, maybe. But "not defamation of a public figure". But since she is a public figure, that wasn't enough: Palin also had to prove that the Times had engaged in what lawyers call "actual malice".

"What we have here is an editorial, written and rewritten rapidly in order to voice an opinion on an immediate event of importance in which are included a few factual inaccuracies. that are very rapidly corrected", the judge said.

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Palin's legal team did not immediately return a request for comment.

- Brad Heath (@bradheath) August 29, 2017Judge says Palin claim was "materially deficient" b/c it didn't name a specific person.

The Times had said that its editorial writer, James Bennet, who testified at a hearing on the suit, made an honest mistake, and Rakoff seemed to agree, citing Bennet's admission that the assertion occurred as part of a quick rewrite on deadline and the Times' quick correction.

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Sarah Palin Libel Lawsuit against New York Times dismissed