Perfect: To get Palin’s lawsuit tossed, NYT must prove NYT editorial writers don’t read the NYT
**Written by Doug Powers
This could be the “pass the popcorn” moment for the ages:
In an unusual move, New York federal court judge Jed Rakoff has called for an evidentiary hearing in Sarah Palin’s defamation lawsuit against The New York Times. The lawsuit is just six weeks old, but the judge says he needs to hear from the paper’s editorial writer(s) to decide whether the lawsuit should move forward.
The editorial originally linked one of Palin’s political action committee ads to a 2011 mass shooting that severely wounded then-Arizona Congressman Gabby Giffords. After the editorial ran, the paper issued a correction acknowledging that no link had been established.
Palin claims the newspaper published something it “knew to be false,” which would constitute actual malice, a necessary element in defamation actions brought by public figures.
In a motion to dismiss, the Times is challenging whether Palin’s complaint contains sufficient allegations of actual malice.
Rakoff writes in a short order Thursday that Palin’s complaint “alleges that the allegedly false statements of fact that are the subject of the Complaint were contradicted by information already set forth in prior news stories published by the Times. However, these prior stories arguably would only evidence actual malice if the person(s) who wrote the editorial were aware of them.”
And so, Rakoff now wants to convene a hearing next Wednesday to hear from the editorial writer or writers under oath.
Check me if I’m wrong because I’m not a lawyer, but it would seem at this point that the paper’s attorneys now must demonstrate to the court that it’s unreasonable to assume that NY Times’ editors & writers read the NY Times on a regular basis.
The Times is going to have to change mottos already…
Out: “The Truth is More Important Now Than