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The NEW YORK TIMES's Correction To Its Libel Of Palin Makes It Worse
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June 15, 2017, 02:03 PM
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As disturbing as The New York Times' editorial about Wednesday's anti-GOP shooting was, the correction is even worse. Because removing the offending words — "the link to political incitement was clear" — doesn't really change what the Times wanted to get across: that Sarah Palin was responsible for the shooting of Gabby Giffords. The Times' claims this even though its own reporting showed that Jared Loughner was obsessed with Giffords long before Palin's famous crosshairs advertisement (Kudos to non-combat Iraq veteran David French for a fine piece in National Review).

Here are the two paragraphs, original then corrected:

Original:

Was this attack evidence of how vicious American politics has become? Probably. In 2011, when Jared Lee Loughner opened fire in a supermarket parking lot, grievously wounding Representative Gabby Giffords and killing six people, including a 9-year-old girl, the link to political incitement was clear. Before the shooting, Sarah Palin’s political action committee circulated a map of targeted electoral districts that put Ms. Giffords and 19 other Democrats under stylized cross hairs.
Corrected:
Was this attack evidence of how vicious American politics has become? Probably. In 2011, Jared Lee Loughner opened fire in a supermarket parking lot, grievously wounding Representative Gabby Giffords and killing six people, including a 9-year-old girl. At the time, we and others were sharply critical of the heated political rhetoric on the right. Before the shooting, Sarah Palin’s political action committee circulated a map that showed the targeted electoral districts of Ms. Giffords and 19 other Democrats under stylized cross hairs. But in that case no connection to the shooting was ever established.
For one thing, the editors simply removed the link to political incitement was clear and inserted a period. That created an incomplete sentence that doesn't say anything.

But that's a minor problem.

The paragraph still frames Palin for the shooting of Giffords by leaving the original question and answer — Was this attack evidence of how vicious American politics has become? Probably.

And the same recitation of facts follows, albeit without the claim of political incitement. Although the editors added a line claiming no connection to the shooting was ever established to further protect themselves from a defamation claim, the impression that Palin's ad caused the shooting is left intact.

The Times corrected the paragraph technically, but the intent of the original claim remains.

You might say the Times stands by its story.