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Judge throws out Sarah Palin's New York Times defamation suit

(Photo: Getty Images, Kris Connor)

Earlier this summer, failed TV host/failed politician Sarah Palin sued The New York Times for libel, accusing the paper of using an editorial to connect one of her old campaign ads to the 2011 shooting in Arizona that resulted in six deaths and Representative Gabby Giffords getting injured. Palin’s ad had highlighted specific congressional districts with crosshairs, and the editorial—which was later reworded—said “the link to political incitement is clear.” The fact that the paper had issued a correction and noted that there was no link between Palin’s ad and the shooting wasn’t enough for her, though, and she said in her lawsuit that The New York Times had “violated the law and its own policies” by publishing the piece.

Now, Deadline is reporting that a judge in New York has dismissed the lawsuit, declaring that the line in the original piece may have been “negligence,” but it was not “defamation of a public figure.” The judge’s ruling says that the piece was not indicative of “actual malice,” meaning it wasn’t written with “reckless disregard of its falsity,” so it should therefore be protected as part of the press’ “constitutionally endorsed role of challenging the powerful.”


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