Diane Brayton is the general counsel for the New York Times. I have contacted her by e-mail today to ensure that she realizes that the original op-ed contained a link to an ABC story. The link is important because the article by ABC expressly clarified the two points of contention in the Palin suit. Palin argues that the editorial was incorrect because she didn’t target Giffords personally, but her district. Palin also asserts that there was nothing connecting her vitriolic words to the actions taken by Laughner. Both were explained in the linked article:
“Crosshairs is a political phrase that emerged from Palin’s political action committee SarahPac that targeted congressional districts for the Tea Party campaign in the last election, including the district of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.”
” 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….
Although Palin later denied she meant the graphic over the districts to look like a gun sight, it is part of the hunting lexicon that critics say she prefers.
No connection has been made between this graphic and the Arizona shooting, but it has put the Palin team somewhat on the defensive. Rebecca Mansour, a spokesperson for SarahPac, told conservative commentator Tammy Bruce, “We never imagined, it never occurred to us that anybody would consider it violent.” Insisting she was speaking for herself, and not on behalf of Palin, Mansour added, “We never ever, ever intended it to be gun sights.”
However, following the initial controversy over the “crosshairs” last year, Palin issued her now oft repeated rallying cry, “Don’t retreat. RELOAD.”
Conservative activists are lashing out against what they consider unfair treatment of Palin in this tragedy. On twitter, SarahPac spokesperson Mansour wrote, “Politicizing this is repulsive.”
Conservative activist Andrew Breitbart, wrote, “Of those who’re now using this tragedy 4 political purposes, what’s your proof of this lunatic’s motivation? Isn’t that majorly relevant?”
And another tweeted, “Left blamed Palin b4 they knew 1st thing about shooter; unable to admit malice, they double down, co-ordinate narrative. Grotesque.”
Thus, it seems the ABC article establishes that no malice could be implied, when the Times linked its op-ed to an article that accurately reported all the facts.