Breitbart News reports that a jury in federal court in New York found the New York Times not liable for defamation in a lawsuit brought by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R), whom the paper falsely accused in a 2017 editorial of inspiring the 2011 Tucson mass shooting.
The Times admitted that it had made a mistake, and the propaganda outlet’s opinion editor at the time, James Bennet, expressed remorse. However, Palin alleged that the paper’s subsequent correction did not go far enough, and the trial revealed that the Times had ignored warnings from its own fact-checker that its allegation about the 2011 shooting had already been publicly disproven.
The fact that the case went to the jury at all was remarkable, given that most defamation suits against media tend to be tossed at an early stage. Then, in a suspicious twist, Judge Jed S. Rakoff, a Bill Clinton appointee, said Monday he would dismiss the suit anyway, even though the jury was already deliberating. While the evidence showed the Times had made serious mistakes, he said, it had not acted with “malice.”
The jury came to the same conclusion. Palin’s legal team is expected to appeal the decision, and will likely hope to challenge the “actual malice” legal standard itself.