(Breitbart) Lawyers representing former Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) appeared in federal court in Manhattan on Friday for an initial hearing in Palin’s lawsuit against the New York Times for defamation, following the Times’ editorial accusing the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee of inciting violence.
The Times ran an editorial on June 14 of this year following the attempted assassination at a Virginia baseball field that left Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) critically injured. In that editorial, the newspaper accused Palin of inciting violence when her political action committee circulated a map with cross-hairs in various places, talking about “targeting” certain Democratic races in an upcoming election….
…In short, the Times accused Palin of committing a crime, one that endangers the lives and safety of innocent people.
Palin was offended by the accusation and sued the New York Times for defamation, filing a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
An organization (or an individual) commits defamation when (1) it publishes a statement about another person to a third person (such as a Times reader), (2) about a factual matter (not opinion), (3) that is factually false, and (4) that harms the reputation of the person being talked about.
Part of defamation is the injured person must prove her injury. That is, she must present evidence as to how the false statements actually harmed her reputation in a way that cost her something. But when someone is accused of committing a crime, the law automatically presumes that such an accusation causes real harm. No proof is necessary.
It is difficult for a public person like Palin to win a defamation case because the bar is set higher….
…The Times argued in court Friday that posting the editorial containing the accusation of incitement was an honest mistake and that, within 13 hours, the newspaper realized its error and took down the piece.
Restating Palin’s lawyer’s argument back to him to ensure he understood the gist of it, Judge Jed Ratkoff said that Palin is arguing that “the [Times’] statement was so out of whack with the facts reported … in their own news story that no one could make that kind of mistake by accident.”…