Conservative commentators from hill and dale are calling on the New York Times to repudiate a false claim made about Sarah Palin in an editorial that ran last night after the shootings at Alexandria, VA, that left Majority Whip Steve Scalise in critical condition.
The Times editorial claimed that Jared Loughner’s attack on Gabrielle Giffords was motivated by a picture in Sarah Palin’s political literature that used “targets” over certain politicians. That claim has since been repudiated by testimony given during Loughner’s trial, which showed that Loughner’s obsession with Giffords had gone on for some years, that it was apolitical, and that no proof could be offered that Loughner had seen the Palin pamphlet mentioned.
Conservative writers, the Buckster included, were in an uproar, some even calling on Palin to sue the Times:
NY Times is kinda meh about tying political climate to today’s mass shooting
Totally sure Sarah Palin incited Loughner back in 2011 though pic.twitter.com/pbqqoDxYpW
— Buck Sexton (@BuckSexton) June 15, 2017
It cannot be emphasized enough just how wildly inaccurate the Palin/Loughner libel is. It’s been discredited over and over again.
— Josh Hammer (@josh_hammer) June 15, 2017
This editorial is an unconscionable disgrace and the Times should be ashamed. Its editorial board is a joke. https://t.co/bk3iFN8Mf4
— Charles C. W. Cooke (@charlescwcooke) June 15, 2017
— Jeff B/DDHQ (@EsotericCD) June 15, 2017
Yes, it may well be actionable. https://t.co/XwdJOMQ6QR
— David French (@DavidAFrench) June 15, 2017
Mr. French, who was on last night’s show, wrote an entire piece for National Review shaming the Times’s conduct:
Keep in mind, this editorial didn’t come from a deranged Daily Kos commenter, but rather from America’s most important and prestigious newspaper. It’s a disgrace. On a day when Democratic members of Congress united with their Republican colleagues to unequivocally condemn an act of vicious violence, the Times chose to advance its political narrative. Truth be damned. Unity be damned. There is no excuse. The editorial board should retract its editorial and apologize. America’s most influential paper has unequivocally and inexcusably put politics over principle. Shame on the New York Times.
UPDATE: The Times has issued a correction:
New York Times issues correction to editorial pic.twitter.com/pxNYL3ftGM
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) June 15, 2017
…but as is the nature of corrections, it is probably not destined to go viral, or carry near the impact as the original claim.