- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Sarah Palin, former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate, kicked off a lawsuit against The New York Times, alleging the newspaper defamed her when its editorial board tied her to the 2011 shooting of Gabrielle Giffords.

Good. The time to challenge leftist mudslinging masked as scholarly opinion and wrapped in a First Amendment bow has definitely arrived. Call it a strike for the right.

Bluntly put, conservatives are sick and tired of being the punching bag for an aggressive press. Palin’s suit is likely a drop in the bucket of what may soon come.

After all, it worked for Melania Trump, who was characterized as a call girl by a couple different press outlets — and who, in turn, successfully sued.

Now it’s Palin’s turn. She’s filed a suit claiming the editorial board members of the paper published statements about her they “knew to be false,” thus violating its own policies.

The New York Times wrote the editorial earlier this month in response to the targeted shooting of Republicans at a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia. In a piece titled, “America’s Lethal Politics,” the writers — wrongfully, absent facts — tied the 2011 shooting of the then-congresswoman Giffords and more than a dozen others to political activity and rhetoric coming from Palin’s political action committee.

Sad enough to say, though, that link was not ever proven and The New York Times was forced to issue an apology and correction.

In separate tweets on June 15, NYT Opinion wrote: “We published an editorial last night on the shooting at the G.O.P. men’s baseball team practice field in Alexandria.”

And this: “We got an important fact wrong, incorrectly linking political incitement and the 2011 shooting of Giffords. No link was ever established.”

Palin, however, was incensed.

She called the newspaper’s reporting “sickening” and remarked how the “media is doing exactly what I said” that “should not be done.”

Palin also said she was looking at legal options against the paper.

And on Facebook, she wrote: “Despite commenting as graciously as I could on media coverage of yesterday’s shooting, alas, today a perversely biased media’s knee-jerk blame game is attempting to destroy innocent people with lies and more fake news. As I said yesterday, I’d hoped the media had collectively matured since the last attack on a representative when media coverage spewed blatant lies about who was to blame. There’s been no improvement. The NYT has gotten worse.”

The New York Times hasn’t yet gone over the suit, but vowed to defend itself against any claim.

So what’s Palin’s chances of winning?

At this point, it really doesn’t matter. Just drumming up the media coverage of suing The New York Times gets the matter front and center. And it comes at a vulnerable time for the press — when CNN was just forced to say goodbye to three of its journalists over skewed coverage of Russia.

Winning or losing, Palin’s suit puts the left-leaning media on notice and sends a message that the conservatives of the country, when unfairly slammed and targeted by the Fourth Estate, just aren’t going to sit and take it any more.

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