New York Times Pushes Debunked Notion That Sarah Palin Inspired Giffords Shooting

(Updated)

New York Times

Instagram user kaylaaajang

BY:

The New York Times editorial board on Wednesday pushed the debunked notion that former Republican Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin helped inspire the shooting of former Democratic Rep. Gabby Giffords (Ariz.).

In January 2011, Jared Lee Loughner shot 19 people in Tucson Ariz., killing six and critically injuring Giffords. Loughner, a diagnosed schizophrenic, had hated Giffords for years, stemming back to an incident in which she did not take seriously his concerns that grammar was a government mind control conspiracy.

But in the immediate aftermath, many on the left pointed fingers at Palin for a Facebook posting in which she put targets over the districts of vulnerable congressional Democrats, including Giffords'.

No less than ABC's Jake Tapper (now at CNN) pointed out at the time, "There's no evidence that the shooter even heard of Sarah Palin … The shooter's motives remain unclear. One acquaintance from 2007 described him as liberal."

Still, that did not stop the Times from pushing that storyline six years later, after an ardent supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) shot five people at a Republican congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Va. on Wednesday.

"In 2011, when Jared Lee Loughner opened fire in a supermarket parking lot … the link to political incitement was clear," the Times argued. "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."

"Though there's no sign of incitement as direct as in the Giffords attack, liberals should of course hold themselves to the same standard of decency that they ask of the right," the Times editorial board wrote.

Backlash on social media was swift and immediate.

The Times has since amended its editorial to remove statements suggesting a direct link between political incitement and the Giffords shooting, issuing a correction at the bottom of the article.

"An earlier version of this editorial incorrectly stated that a link existed between political incitement and the 2011 shooting of Representative Gabby Giffords," the newspaper wrote. "In fact, no such link was established."

Palin responded to the Times with a statement on Facebook, calling the editorial "sickening."

With this sickening NYT's editorial, the media is doing exactly what I said yesterday should not be done. 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. – SP

UPDATED 11:51 A.M.: This post was updated to note that the Times amended its editorial and to include Sarah Palin's statement.

Alex Griswold

Alex Griswold   Email Alex | Full Bio | RSS
Alex is a staff writer at the Washington Free Beacon. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2012. Before joining the Free Beacon, he was a writer for Mediaite and The Daily Caller. He is originally from Buffalo, New York, but regrettably now lives in Washington, D.C. He can be reached at griswold@freebeacon.com

×
THE MORNING BEACON DAILY NEWSLETTER
MAKES IT EASIER TO STAY INFORMED
Get the news that matters most to you, delivered straight to your inbox daily.

Register today!
  • Grow your email list exponentially
  • Dramatically increase your conversion rates
  • Engage more with your audience
  • Boost your current and future profits