Personalities

Judge Dismisses Sarah Palin's Defamation Suit Against New York Times

As a public figure, Palin had to prove "actual malice," or that the paper acted knowing the information was false.

Judge Dismisses Sarah Palin's Defamation Suit Against New York Times
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A federal judge has thrown out Sarah Palin's defamation lawsuit against The New York Times.

The former Alaska governor sued the paper in June. She claimed an editorial piece wrongly connected an ad from Palin's political action committee with the shooting of Rep. Gabby Giffords.

The lawsuit argued the connection was made despite the fact that previous Times articles "demonstrated that there was no direct and clear link between Mrs. Palin and [the shooter's] heinous acts."

The editorial originally said the ad showed a map with crosshairs over Democratic candidates. But the ad actually showed crosshairs over those Democrats' electoral districts. The Times corrected the editorial shortly after publication.

As a public figure, Palin had to prove "actual malice," or that the paper acted knowing the information was false.

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The judge said the paper's actions were "much more plausibly consistent with making an unintended mistake and then correcting it than with acting with actual malice."

The Times released a statement after the decision, saying the judge's "opinion is an important reminder of the country’s deep commitment to a free press and the important role that journalism plays in our democracy."