Palin v. New York Times Will Decide If The Media Can Recklessly Smear Conservative Politicians

The stakes in Palin v. New York Times are pretty clear.

The New York Times shamelessly and blatantly lied in once again falsely accusing Sarah Palin of having anything to do with the Arizona shooting by a mentally ill man that killed a Federal judge and wounded former Rep. Giffords. 

In doing so it repeated a smear campaign against Palin that was based on nothing more than the fact that Palin had campaigned to encourage political challengers to Giffords. 

Everyone knew this. By 2017, there was zero ambiguity on the subject. It was, for that matter, never seriously in dispute.

Freedom of the Press is important. I rely on it. It allows journalists to expose corruption, criminality, and all sorts of abuses. And Freedom of Speech in this country, in general, is very important. Unfortunately, the New York Times, which has repeatedly called for censoring conservatives and denied the legitimacy of freedom of speech doesn't agree. Except when it's the one getting sued.

Palin is being repped by the lawyers who took down the Gawker smear factory over a much more egregious case in which the hate blog (now revived, though its alumni have dispersed across the media) felt free to publish a stolen sex tape and laugh about it in a Florida court.

That was dumb.

Palin is going up against a New York jury. And the New York Times, though it's hired some Gawker alums, has slightly better quality control. But not by much. The paper apparently decided that Palin was somehow responsible for the shooting based on an old Frank Bruni column. 

Would that have been the degree of fact-checking exercised before accusing Obama or Biden of responsibility for a political shooting? 

We all know the answer.

This is active malice and it's also reckless. Whether a New York City jury can understand that it's a malice and recklessness that stems from a bias that evolved into an active hatred for conservatives, a desire to destroy them by any means, may be less likely.

But it's a battle worth fighting.


Wondering what happened to your Disqus comments?

Read the Story