The New York Times editorial board shamelessly tried to connect Sarah Palin to Jared Loughner’s shooting rampage where he killed six people and injured 13 including Rep. Gabby Giffords. At the time, the media attempted to link a map of congressional seats with “targets” that supposedly implied a threat of gun violence. Of course, after the craziness died down, we learned the truth: Loughner was a mentally unstable man who stalked Giffords for some time but had nothing at all to do with her politics. He was later diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic, and it took several months before he was declared competent to stand trial.
There was no link between Palin and the shooting. The New York Times tried to make that case in their editorial yesterday. The blowback the Times received was fierce and justified. It wasn’t just conservatives calling out the Times, but other journalists, including Jake Tapper. Unfortunately, no reporters from the Times spoke up (at least publicly), and that was disappointing.
Today the New York Times issued a correction. Below is a screen capture of their original editorial
Here is the new text:
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. 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 of targeted electoral districts that put Ms. Giffords and 19 other Democrats under stylized cross hairs. But no connection to that crime was ever established.
Conservatives and right-wing media were quick on Wednesday to demand forceful condemnation of hate speech and crimes by anti-Trump liberals. They’re right. Liberals should of course be held to the same standard of decency that they ask of the right.
Do you see the obvious problem beyond fixing a glaring lie?
If there was no connection to that crime, why on earth is the New York Times still referencing what Palin’s PAC did? It’s absurd. “Hey, here’s an example of heated political rhetoric that didn’t do anything but we’re going to do it anyway because it helps us make a point!”
The NY Times should remove any reference to Palin because that map contributed to nothing other than the false narrative the media tried to create at the time and which the Times sought to resurrect yesterday.
Chances are, what the NY Times did today is the extent of what we’ll see from them. And that’s a shame. They had an opportunity to make things right but instead they half-assed it.