Former Alaska Governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin filed a lawsuit against the New York Times Tuesday over an editorial that tied her to the January 2011 shooting of an Arizona congresswoman.
Palin’s attorneys claim the paper defamed her in the June 14 editorial, published hours after House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., was shot and wounded by a deranged man while Scalise was practicing with the GOP’s baseball team in Alexandria, Va.
“We have not reviewed the claim yet but will defend against any claim vigorously,” New York Times spokeswoman Danielle Rhoades Ha told Fox News.
Palin is being represented by Kenneth Turkel, Shane Vogt and S. Preston Ricardo in the suit. Turkel and Vogt were part of the team that secured Hulk Hogan a $115 million award at trial from Gawker Media Group. Gawker appealed, but the two sides eventually settled for $31 million and Gawker and its founder, Nick Denton, were forced to file for bankruptcy.
The editorial, attributed to The Times’ editorial board and titled “America’s Lethal Politics,” initially linked Palin’s rhetoric to the shooting that killed six people and wounded 13 others, including then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
The paper posted a correction the next day admitting that “no such link was established.”
The editorial also claimed, incorrectly, that a now-infamous ad from Palin’s political action committee put “Giffords and 19 other Democrats under stylized cross hairs[sic].” The Times also corrected that statement, admitting that the crosshairs on the map targeted “electoral districts, not individual Democratic lawmakers.”
“The Times used its false assertion about Mrs. Palin as an artifice to exploit the [Scalise] shooting,” Palin’s attorneys stated in the suit.
“The Times published and promoted its Editorial Board’s column despite knowing … the false assertion that Mrs. Palin incited [Tucson shooter Jared] Loughner to murder six people,” the suit added. “In doing so, the Times violated the law and its own policies.”
Palin is seeking damages in an amount to be determined by a jury.