In a June 14 op-ed, the New York Times Editorial Board linked former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to the 2011 Arizona shooting that left six people dead and former Democratic Congresswoman Gabby Giffords injured.
The article was published after the Alexandria shooting despite the lack of a single shred of evidence that the shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, was somehow inspired by Palin.
Sarah Palin quickly filed a libel lawsuit against the New York Times, and the case is now underway.
The newspaper’s attorney argued in court on Friday that suggesting to readers that Palin was connected to the shooting was nothing but an “honest mistake,” according to the New York Post.
“There was an honest mistake in posting the editorial,” the lawyer reportedly said.
An attorney for Palin, Kenneth Turkel, wasn’t buying the excuse. “It was literally acknowledged the same day in another story in their paper,” he responded.
Here’s what was originally published by the New York Times Editorial Board:
The Times has since issued this correction:
An editorial on Thursday about the shooting of Representative Steve Scalise incorrectly stated that a link existed between political rhetoric and the 2011 shooting of Representative Gabby Giffords. In fact, no such link was established. The editorial also incorrectly described a map distributed by a political action committee before that shooting. It depicted electoral districts, not individual Democratic lawmakers, beneath stylized cross hairs.
Regardless of how big of a mistake it was, Palin’s attorneys will have to prove in court that the newspaper intentionally published false information with “actual malice.”