Sarah Palin, former governor of Alaska and failed Vice-Presidential candidate, is suing The New York Times over an editorial the newspaper ran after Rep. Steve Scalise was shot during a softball practice outside of D.C. on June 14th of this year. The editorial suggested that violent political rhetoric was to blame for the shooting of the House Republicans while also noting that an infamous target map circulated by a political action committee affiliated with Palin was responsible for the shooting of Arizona Representative Gabby Giffords in 2011.
This is not a new assertion. A quick Google search of “palin target map” pulls up seven articles from different publications in 2011 suggesting that the diagram — and Palin’s own use of the word “Reload” when directing people to the map — were connected to the shooting of Giffords. In the wake of the Scalise shooting, The New York Times decided to bring up this six-year-old implication again, and Palin’s not happy.
“Mrs. Palin brings this action to hold The Times accountable for falsely stating to millions of people that she, a devoted wife, mother and grandmother, who committed a substantial portion of her adult life to public service, is part of a pattern of ’lethal’ politics and responsible for inciting an attack that seriously injured numerous people and killed six, including a nine-year-old girl who, at that time, was the same age as Mrs. Palin’s youngest daughter.”
“It took Mrs. Palin years to overcome the detrimental impacts of the false speculation that she caused Loughner to commit murder,” her suit states. The lawsuit also scolds the The New York Times for not apologizing to Palin or directly stating that she had nothing to do with Giffords being shot. For its part, The New York Times has not yet read the lawsuit, but promises to fight Palin’s defamation claim.