Speed Reads

palin v nyt

Judge dismisses Sarah Palin's defamation lawsuit against The New York Times

A judge tossed out Sarah Palin's lawsuit against The New York Times on Tuesday, writing that "negligence this may be, but defamation of a public figure it plainly is not."

Palin had claimed in her June lawsuit that the Times editorial board knowingly falsely asserted that her "political action committee circulated a map of targeted electoral districts" that resulted in the 2011 shooting of Democratic Rep. Gabby Giffords. "The Times later issued a correction, saying that there was no established link between political statements and the shooting and that the map circulated by Ms. Palin's PAC had depicted electoral districts, not individual Democratic lawmakers, beneath the stylized cross hairs," the Times writes in its own report of the lawsuit.

U.S. District Court Judge Jed Rakoff dismissed the case, writing that "nowhere is political journalism so free, so robust, or perhaps so rowdy as in the United States."

"In the exercise of that freedom, mistakes will be made, some of which will be hurtful to others," Rakoff went on. "Responsible journals will promptly correct their errors; others will not. But if political journalism is to achieve its constitutionally endorsed role of challenging the powerful, legal redress by a public figure must be limited to those cases where the public figure has a plausible factual basis for complaining that the mistake was made maliciously, that is, with knowledge it was false or with reckless disregard of its falsity."

Read more about the case dismissal at The Hollywood Reporter.