A federal judge in Manhattan on Tuesday dismissed Sarah Palin’s defamation lawsuit against the New York Times.
“Nowhere is political journalism so free, so robust, or perhaps so rowdy as in the United States,” Judge Jed Rakoff wrote in an opinion dismissing the case. “In the exercise of that freedom, mistakes will be made, some of which will be hurtful to others.” The New York Times celebrated the decision.
“Judge Rakoff’s opinion is an important reminder of the country’s deep commitment to a free press and the important role that journalism plays in our democracy,” a Times spokesperson said in a statement. “We regret the errors we made in the editorial. But we were pleased to see that the court acknowledged the importance of the prompt correction we made once we learned of the mistakes. In the words of the court, ‘if political journalism is to achieve its constitutionally endorsed role of challenging the powerful, legal redress by a public figure must be limited’ to cases where there is something more than an honest mistake.”
Palin sued the newspaper earlier this summer over an editorial that drew a link between an advertisement from Palin’s political action committee and a 2011 shooting in Tucson, Arizona, in which six people were killed and then-Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was severely wounded.