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Media Bias

New York Times Retracts Editorial Blaming Sarah Palin For Shooting

The New York Times, in an epic display of revisionist history, blamed Sarah Palin for a mass shooting in Arizona in 2011, a conspiracy theory that was debunked almost immediately after the fact.

The editorial sought to draw a parallel between this week’s shooting by a far-left Bernie Sanders supporter, and that by apolitical lunatic Jared Loughner, who shot Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and killed six others in an attack in Tucson.

In doing so, the Times revived a conspiracy theory at the time that ‘target maps’ used by Palin to focus on political opponents who needed to be defeated led to the shooting.

“The link to political incitement was clear,” the column read. “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.”

What the Times missed somehow, was the fact that no link between Palin’s maps, or political rhetoric of any kind with the shooting had ever been established.


Via Axios:

The New York Times posted an editorial Wednesday night that invoked a debunked 2011 theory that a map circulated by Sarah Palin inspired a shooter to fire gunshots outside of an Arizona grocery store, striking and critically injuring then Congresswomen Gabby Giffords.

The editorial followed the shooting attack at a Congressional baseball practice Wednesday that was carried out by 66-year-old James Hodgkinson, who upon further investigation was found to have deep anti-Republican sentiments and had volunteered for Bernie Sanders campaign. The piece drew comments condemning the reporting from journalists whose audiences represent many different political perspectives, like MSNBC, Mother Jones, The New York Post and National Review Online.

The false link was condemned by people on all sides of the political spectrum.

The paper of record was forced to issue a correction after the outcry …

… but they still left the unrelated Palin information in the corrected version!


Townhall’s Guy Benson writes, “I obviously approve of the decision to alter this grossly inaccurate content, but the fact that their essay was approved as fit to print in the first place last evening is quite revealing.”

But even the corrected version is a problem, according to Benson.

“The new version of the editorial still mentions Palin’s map, which is totally unconnected to anything of relevance on this subject,” he added. “A bizarre non-sequitur.  Their utterly wrong, unsupported implication remains intact.”

This “correction” is not nearly good enough. The New York Times issued a false statement that could itself incite further violence from somebody with the same mindset as the recent shooter. They need to write an entirely new piece which debunks their own conspiracy, and explain to their readers how the editorial board could possibly have bought into such a wild conspiracy in the first place.

And they need to push it as fervently as they did the original column.

The New York Times is a disgrace.

Want to respond to the New York Times for pushing this conspiracy theory? Share your thoughts below!

Read more at the Political Insider

Rusty Weiss

Rusty Weiss is a freelance journalist focusing on the conservative movement and its political agenda. He has been writing conservatively charged articles for several years in the upstate New York area, and his writings have appeared in the Daily Caller, American Thinker,, Big Government, the Times Union, and the Troy Record. He is also Editor of one of the top conservative blogs of 2012, the Mental Recession.

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