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Saturday, July 29, 2017

Palin lawyers begin their siege of the NYT

Mistakes come payment due. When Sarah Palin filed her libel suit against the New York Times, I wrote, "She has a case and she and her lawyers can have a field day in discovery and deposition."

Discovery has just begun. She's asked the course for all internal memos about her going back to 2011.

She can go back to 2011 because that is where the lie in the Times libel lies.

From the Daily Caller last month:
“Mrs. Palin brings this action to hold The Times accountable for defaming her by publishing a statement about her that it knew to be false: that Mrs. Palin was responsible for inciting a mass shooting at a political event in January 2011,” Palin’s suit states.
“Specifically, on June 14, 2017, The Times Editorial Board, which represents the ‘voice’ of The Times, falsely stated as a matter of fact to millions of people that Mrs. Palin incited Jared Loughner’s January 8, 2011, shooting rampage at a political event in Tucson, Arizona, during which he shot nineteen people, severely wounding United States Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, and killing six, including Chief U.S. District Court Judge John Roll and a nine-year-old girl.”
It goes on to state: “As the public backlash over The Times’ malicious column mounted, it responded by making edits and 'corrections' to its fabricated story, along with half-hearted Twitter apologies — none of which sufficiently corrected the falsehoods that the paper published. In fact, none mentioned Mrs. Palin or acknowledged that Mrs. Palin did not incite a deranged man to commit murder.”
There is no question she was wronged. The Times defamed her.

But as a public figure, she has to prove malice. That is a very difficult thing to do. In court. Oh, there plenty of malice. Proving it in a legal sense is the difficulty.

Hence, she wants those memos and other internal communiques.

From Fox News:
In a motion arguing for the case to be dismissed, attorneys for The New York Times said that Palin’s lawyers had served notice that she plans to subpoena “23 non-party current and former Times reporters, editors and other employees -- most of whom had nothing to do with the editorial issue,” according to court documents the New York Post obtained Wednesday.
Palin’s legal team also reportedly plans to ask the Times to produce “every internal communication it has had about her since 2011,” in an effort to obtain “documents that might reveal, among other things, their ‘negative feelings’ toward her,” the Times reportedly told the judge on Wednesday. 
This case is important because it raises the very question of the day: How do we punish Fake News?

For nearly a year now, the press has belly-ached about Fake News.

Well, here we have  classic case of Fake News -- of a news enterprise falsely accusing a woman of provoking a mass killing. Six people died -- including a federal judge. And the Times blamed Palin. That's terrible for a number of reasons, not the least of which being that historians will use this later of "evidence" of the sins of Palin, even though she had nothing to do with it.

Of course, the media is downplaying this out of courtesy for a colleague that went rogue.

But Fake News is a real threat. Having Palin tied to the Giffords shooting undermines the American republic by falsely linking Palin's ideas to a horrific crime that had nothing to do with Palin or her ideas.

The Times called it an honest mistake:
“There was an honest mistake in posting the editorial,” lawyer David Schultz told Manhattan federal Judge Jed Rakoff.
What is so honest about telling a lie?


As far as I can tell, no one was fired.

How would David Schultz like it if a doctor made “an honest mistake” in surgery and lopped off a part of Schultz he wanted to keep?

All Sarah Palin has as a celebrity is her credibility. The Times tried to lop that off. It's a tort, and she deserves satisfaction.

Discovery and deposition are part of that satisfaction. Eight hours of answering questions even behind closed doors can have a prophylactic effect on future editorials.

If she can make filing a libel suit so painful in the post-Sullivan v. Times era, we may see fewer cases of  “an honest mistake” regardless of whether a jury awards her the millions she deserves.

If journalists want to stop people from calling them Fake News, then journalists had better take measures to stop the production of Fake News.

Or juries will.

Caution: Readers occasionally may laugh out loud at the media as they read this account of Trump's election.

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  1. Too bad she can't keep McCain alive to sue him for what he did to her.

    1. Don't even think about that. The sooner he's gone, the better for the country and the republican party.

    2. Better to let him die and roast in hell.

  2. Maybe when Sarah "owns" the times, their editorial policy will change. We can only hope. Maybe the gray lady will become the lady in red.

  3. The real problem she faces is a jury composed of New York City residents. It could be OJ all over again.

  4. FTA: The Times called it an honest mistake:
    “There was an honest mistake in posting the editorial,” lawyer David Schultz told Manhattan federal Judge Jed Rakoff.
    Yeah ... but what about the people who actually wrote it with the intention of publishing it? What about the editor who reviewed and approved the publication

  5. Sarah should run for Princess Lisa's Senate seat. "Senator Palin" would make prog heads explode.

    1. A capital idea. The Murkowskis are the AK equivalent of the Corleone family, as Sarah details in Going Rogue. Drain that swamp, girl!

    2. Would absolutely love it!!! Unfortunately, I understand we have to wait until 2022.

  6. There is no way that was an "honest mistake"; neither honest or mistake. I do hope she's hiring The Great White, Rottweiler, and Wolf Pack Law Firm, Ultd. They do discovery goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooood.

    1. She has the firm that put Gawker out of business for the Hulk Hogan sextape

  7. So, not doing your homework, or outright lying is an "honest mistake." I hope my kids don't hear about that.

  8. There will certainly be malice in the memos. I don't know if it will specifically help her case but there will definitely be malice in the memos.

  9. Carlos Slim has deep pockets. When the dust settles Mama Grizzly can retire in style. - Elric