Palin’s Pointless Appeal

Sarah Palin is futilely appealing the dismissal of a lawsuit against the New York Times for a story that suggested that an image on her website might have contributed to the atmosphere that led to the shooting of Rep. Gabby Gifford. The appeal has zero chance of anything but a confirmation of that dismissal.


The case concerns an opinion piece written by the paper’s editorial board that directly linked the 2011 shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) to a political ad publicized by Palin. The ad put Democratic districts up for reelection in a logo symbolizing crosshairs, though the editorial originally stated falsely that it showed the corresponding lawmakers’ faces in the sights instead…

The 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, 53, also said in court papers that the paper intentionally printed information that it “knew to be false.”…

In his August ruling dismissing the case, Judge Jed Rakoff said “mistakes will be made” in a free press, but found that Palin was unable to prove malice in the Times’s error.

“Negligence this may be; but defamation of a public figure it plainly is not,” Rakoff wrote in his opinion.

It is virtually impossible to show the “actual malice” required for a public figure, especially a politician, to win a defamation suit against a media outlet, and that is as it should be. There are really only two possibilities here. Either she has absolute idiots for attorneys and they’re telling her she has some chance of winning, or she knows she isn’t going to win but thinks the appeal will keep her name in the news. Take your pick.

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