Sarah Palin, the former governor of Alaska and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, sued The New York Times on Tuesday alleging that the newspaper defamed her in an editorial that appeared to link her to political violence after the shooting of House Republican Whip Steve Scalise earlier this month.
The Times said it would “vigorously” fight the action.
Scalise, R-Louisiana, and three other people were wounded on June 14 by a gunman who fired a volley of shots at Republican lawmakers practicing in Alexandria, Virginia, for the annual congressional baseball game.
In an institutional editorial titled “America’s Lethal Politics” — an unsigned piece intended to represent the opinion of the newspaper — the Times’ editorial board included rhetoric by a political action committee associated with Palin among examples of “how vicious American politics has become.”
Citing the 2011 shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Arizona, in Tucson, the editorial said: “Before the shooting, Sarah Palin’s political action committee circulated a map of targeted electoral districts that put Ms. Giffords and 19 other Democrats under stylized cross hairs.”
Palin strongly objected to the editorial in a Facebook post, calling it “sickening” and characterizing it as an attempt “to destroy innocent people with lies and more fake news.”