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Saturday, February 05, 2022

Palin has the goods on NYT

As an editorial writer for 26 years, I had a pretty good hunch about how the New York Times managed to falsely accuse Sarah Palin of inciting a shooting in Arizona in 2011.

I figure the editorial writer turned in an accurate piece about the Democrat who tried to assassinate 9 Republican congressman after months of Obama encouraging a resistance, also known as sedition.

The editor read the piece and realized it did not fit his attempt at whataboutism. And so he dredged up that already-discredited claim about Palin to spice things up.

Told there was no link by the copy desk, the editor plunged ahead. I figure he thought that since she was famous, you can lie about her at will.

Now a court will decide if he can get away with it.

The New York Post's coverage of the libel trial confirmed my assessment.

The Post reported, "Emails revealed during Sarah Palin’s defamation trial against the New York Times Friday showed the paper’s editors ignored fact checkers before publishing an editorial that linked the former Alaskan Governor to a mass shooting.

"The emails were entered as evidence on the second day of the libel trial against the paper after a June 2017 editorial linked Palin’s political action committee to a mass shooting in Arizona that wounded former Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords and killed six people in 2011.

"Jesse Wegman, a member of the paper’s editorial board, wrote in an email that it appeared the Times tried to 'sneak' in the link between Palin’s PAC and the shooting in the editorial." 

The Daily Mail reported, "The emails were introduced by Palin's lawyer Shane Vogt as he questioned Elizabeth Williamson, a journalist with the editorial section of the Times who wrote the first draft of the article.

"In a message shown to the jury, Jesse Wegman, a member of the NYT editorial board, wrote that he worried the opinion piece that Palin sued over looked like they were trying to 'sneak in' a link between her and the 2011 shooting of former Rep. Gabby Giffords.

"When the piece was published in June 2017 and sparked fury, Wegman complained to his colleagues that the 'gun rights brigade are having a seizure.'"

Don't worry about the gun rights brigade. They are eating popcorn and enjoying the show.

Erik Wemple, media critic at the Washington Post, tweeted, "Former editorial board member Elizabeth Williamson was just asked by Palin's attorney why she didn't tag @SarahPalinUSA  when she retweeted the NYT correction, and she replied, 'This editorial was not about Sarah Palin.'

"That reply aligns with the NYT defense in this case -- that Palin was a small part of the piece and that a casual reader" could have missed mention of her PAC.

"Remember: The editorial in question stated a link -- 'political incitement' -- between a map of the Palin PAC and the Loughner mass shooting (see below). Given the utter gravity of that claim, I think it might backfire on NYT to say the editorial wasn't about Palin."

This is a case of the media believing its own lies. After wacko Jared Loughner shot and wounded Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and killed 6 others, including a federal judge, in Tucson in 2011, the spin was the spree was politically motivated. Palin's PAC had targeted Giffords in the previous election.

But this narrative was quickly proven false. There was no political motive. Loughner was obsessed with Giffords.

6 years later, a meathead editorial page editor who got the job because his brother was a senator believed the original lie and never saw the correction. No one at the Times had the guts to stop the editorial's publication.

But what is really at fault is NYT's attempt to brush off an attempted assassination of 9 Republican congressmen as politics as usual. Instead of simply calling for people to tamp down on their rhetoric, it tried to take a swipe at Palin and push the falsehood that everybody does this.

But the gun rights brigade is not shooting politicians.

One member of the gun control clan did shoot Republican Congressman Steve Scalise. 

And the clan's PR wing tried to blame Sarah Palin for it. I don't think a correction is good enough.

We shall see if the courts agree.


  1. Hopefully the jury will agree.

    Sadly, the jurors are from New York City.

    A bad choice of venue.

  2. That's on damned good-looking 58 year old lady.

    she'll look a lot better once the Gray Lady settles.

    1. Looks like someone has an Edrection...

    2. Also, Captain Spellmaster, lay off ANYONES spelling until you become perfect...

    3. Don, any way to get rid of the National Review ad?

  3. NO WAY BIG D!!! 26 years??? THAT’S A DAMN LIE!!!

    - Signed, The New York Times

  4. Clean'em and Fry'em Sara like a King Salmon.

  5. The left to this day believes that target map was the impetus for the Gifford shooting. Why?

    Because at the time of the shooting every leftwing news broadcast on tv insisted that map was motive.

  6. Yep she is a tough, tenacious, righteous broad.

    I had a pleasant twenty or thirty minute conversation with her some 12 or so years ago, on a river topped with 3 feet of ice at around twenty degrees below zero.

    I suspect NY Times will regret that they didn't settle quietly, out of court, for an undisclosed amount.

  7. That the NYT chose to take this to a jury trial is an indication of their shocking level of hubris. The only thing you know for sure with a jury is that nothing is for sure.

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