Friday, August 18, 2017

New York Times Pleads Imcompetence

NY Times Editor Claims Incompetence Led Him to Libel Sarah Palin
Testifying at a hearing in Sarah Palin’s defamation lawsuit, the editorial page editor of the New York Times, James Bennet, suggested that it was an accident — rhetorical clumsiness — which led him to falsely blame Palin for “political incitement” in a 2011 mass murder:
“What I wasn’t trying to say was that there was a direct causal link between this map and the shooting,” Bennet said. “What I was concerned about was the overall climate of political incitement.”
He continued: “I didn’t mean to suggest that Loughner wasn’t responsible. … I did not think that Jared Loughner was acting because of this map.”
Bennet testified that he had not, in advance of publication, read specific pieces of reporting in the Times about a potential connection between the PAC ad and the shooting, and said he did not know at the time of publication whether Loughner had seen the map. He also said that he had not personally seen the map. “I was not reporting the editorial, your honor, I was editing it,” Bennet said.
Hot Air’s John Sexton quotes the editorial in question and, even if Bennet’s testimony can protect the Times from an “actual malice” finding, he’s more or less confessed to “reckless disregard for truth.” An editor is responsible for the changes he makes to copy and, if his changes result in the publication of a factual error, the distinction between reporting and editing is of no consequence in a libel case. The New York Times cannot claim that it was impossible for Bennet to know Jared Loughner’s motive, because this subject was extensively covered — by me, in a January 2011 article for American Spectator:
In addition to being previously admitted by the Times itself. But I guess you can't expect the editorial page editors to know what their own paper says.

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