Palin v. NYT: New Evidence Suggests the New York Times Ignored Internal Objections to Palin Editorial

We have previously discussed the lawsuit of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) against the New York Times, a lawsuit that could have far reaching implications for defamation law in the United States. The trial began with the introduction of evidence that the New York Times editorial board ignored internal objections to publishing the 2017 column linking Palin to the 2011 shooting in Tucson, Arizona in which then-U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz was seriously injured.

The trial concerns an editorial by the New York Times where it sought to paint Palin and other Republicans as inciting the earlier shooting.  It stated that SarahPAC posted a graphic that put Giffords in crosshairs before she was shot. It was false but it was enough for the intended spin: “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 editorial was grossly unfair. In its earlier ruling against the Times, the court put the theory of the case succinctly in its leading line: “Gov. Palin brings this action to hold James Bennet and The Times accountable for defaming her by falsely asserting what they knew to be false: that Gov. Palin was clearly and directly responsible for inciting a mass shooting at a political event in January 2011.”

In its editorial, “America’s Lethal Politics,” the Times stated “the link to political incitement was clear. 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.”  In reality, the posting used crosshairs over various congressional districts, which included Giffords district.

At the time, many objected to the column as a transparent effort to shift attention from the shooting of GOP Rep. Steve Scalise and other members of Congress by James T. Hodgkinson, of Illinois, 66, a liberal activist and Sanders supporter.  The attack did not fit with a common narrative in the media on right-wing violence and the Times awkwardly sought to put the focus back on conservatives.

The Times later issued a correction, changing the offending sentence to say: “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 in that case no connection to the shooting was ever established.”

The correction did not help much. The map was used long before the shooting during the 2010 congressional elections. Moreover, it was the districts, not the members, being targeted.

According to the Daily Mail, Palin’s counsel questioned Times’ reporter Elizabeth Williamson, who wrote the first draft of the article. Williamson was asked about a message from Jesse Wegman, a member of the NYT editorial board, who objected that the column seemed to ‘sneak in’ a link between Palin and the 2011 Giffords shooting. The objection was ignored.

That interaction is important because Palin must shoulder the higher burden placed on public figures in defamation cases.

The standard for defamation for public figures and officials in the United States is the product of a decision decades ago in New York Times v. Sullivan. The Supreme Court ruled that tort law could not be used to overcome First Amendment protections for free speech or the free press. The Court sought to create “breathing space” for the media by articulating that standard that now applies to both public officials and public figures. In order to prevail, a litigant must show either actual knowledge of its falsity or a reckless disregard of the truth.

Simply saying that something is your “opinion” does not automatically shield you from defamation actions if you are asserting facts rather than opinion. However, courts have been highly protective over the expression of opinion in the interests of free speech. This issue was addressed in Ollman v. Evans 750 F.2d 970 (D.C. Cir. 1984). In that case, Novak and Evans wrote a scathing piece, including what Ollman stated were clear misrepresentations. The court acknowledges that “the most troublesome statement in the column . . . [is] an anonymous political science professor is quoted as saying: ‘Ollman has no status within the profession but is a pure and simple activist.’” Ollman sued but Judge Kenneth Starr wrote for the D.C. Circuit in finding no basis for defamation. This passage would seem relevant for secondary posters and activists using the article to criticize the family:

The reasonable reader who peruses an Evans and Novak column on the editorial or Op-Ed page is fully aware that the statements found there are not “hard” news like those printed on the front page or elsewhere in the news sections of the newspaper. Readers expect that columnists will make strong statements, sometimes phrased in a polemical manner that would hardly be considered balanced or fair elsewhere in the newspaper. National Rifle Association v. Dayton Newspaper, Inc., supra, 555 F.Supp. at 1309. That proposition is inherent in the very notion of an “Op-Ed page.” Because of obvious space limitations, it is also manifest that columnists or commentators will express themselves in condensed fashion without providing what might be considered the full picture. Columnists are, after all, writing a column, not a full-length scholarly article or a book. This broad understanding of the traditional function of a column like Evans and Novak will therefore predispose the average reader to regard what is found there to be opinion.

A reader of this particular Evans and Novak column would also have been influenced by the column’s express purpose. The columnists laid squarely before the reader their interest in ending what they deemed a “frivolous” debate among politicians over whether Mr. Ollman’s political beliefs should bar him from becoming head of the Department of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland. Instead, the authors plainly intimated in the column’s lead paragraph that they wanted to spark a more appropriate debate within academia over whether Mr. Ollman’s purpose in teaching was to indoctrinate his students. Later in the column, they openly questioned the measure or method of Professor Ollman’s scholarship. Evans and Novak made it clear that they were not purporting to set forth definitive conclusions, but instead meant to ventilate what in their view constituted the central questions raised by Mr. Ollman’s prospective appointment.

There is, however, a difference between stating fact and opinion and the Times blew away that distinction in the rush to shift attention on political violence to Republicans like Palin.

In its earlier rejection of the effort to dismiss the case, the court notably laid out the case for  malice by Bennet, the key element under the New York Times v. Sullivan standard. The court suggested that the later correction issued by the Times might be used by the jury to assume or discount malice.  It is rare that such a correction would be raised as substantial evidence on intent:

The fact that Bennet and the Times were so quick to print a correction is, on the one hand, evidence that a jury might find corroborative of a lack of actual malice, as discussed later. But, on the other hand, a reasonable jury could conclude that Bennet’s reaction and the Times’ correction may also be probative of a prior intent to assert the existence of such a direct link, for why else the need to correct? Indeed, the correction itself concedes that Bennet’s initial draft incorrectly stated that there existed such a link. If, as Bennet now contends, it was all simply a misunderstanding, the result of a poor choice of words, it is reasonable to conclude that the ultimate correction would have reflected as much and simply clarified the Editorial’s intended meaning.

James Bennet gained national attention after he was forced to resign after pushing the Cotton editorial headlined, “Send In the Troops.”  The Times not only disgraced itself by abandoning its independence but promised to avoid such controversies in the future. Bennet, who is being sued for bias in this case, was forced out for allowing dissenting conservative views into the paper this year. There is an irony that Bennet’s alleged bias against Republicans in this controversy did not lead to a push for his removal but his merely publishing the view of a Republican led to his ouster.

Back to the internal message. The disregarding of the objection could show knowledge or reckless disregard on the part of the paper. This was an objection from within its own journalistic ranks.

The case may prove significant if appealed to the Supreme Court. Some justices have already raised concerns over the inclusion of public figures in the standard originally set out for public officials in New York Times v. Sullivan.

154 thoughts on “Palin v. NYT: New Evidence Suggests the New York Times Ignored Internal Objections to Palin Editorial”

  1. As a former professional journalist of the old school as opposed to today’s degraded mess, I am steeped in the Sullivan case. I studied it closely in journalism school, and supported it. I have reluctantly changed my mind, and think it needs to be re-examined in light of today’s media realities. Sullivan works only if journalism is self-regulating through the conventions that began to develop after the Civil War, reaching their apogee after World War II, only to be discarded over the past two decades of growing arrogance, irresponsibility, and abuse.

    Public figures deserve only small protections, but they do deserve SOME shield — in the form of significant libel damages — for the sorts of lies that the New York Times told about Palin. This is ironic, at least to me, given how little respect I have for the woman. But that’s no more relevant than, say, the Miranda case, which tossed out the conviction of a rapist because he hadn’t been advised of his fifth amendment right to remain silent. In that case, and in Palin’s, it’s not about the person but the principle.

    So, as much as I disdain Caribou Barbie, I want her to win the case. In that event, I expect the NYT to appeal. I hope it works that way, because it will give the U.S. Supreme Court a golden opportunity to alter the Sullivan ruling. The wheels turn slowly, but they do turn. If my preferred scenario comes true, I will laugh hard, then stand and cheer for Caribou Barbie, the idiot who told the NYT where to go — and won.

    1. Jake……you are correct in your thinking in my humble opinion.

      Process matters…..matters greatly.

      Once the Judge sent the Case to the Jury for their Verdict….he was done…finished….and any notion he should be able to dismiss the Case ended at that point.

      For him to declare he shall dismiss the case no matter what the Jury decides….is the complete abandonment of any notion of justice or proper Judicial Conduct.

      If either party to the Civil Action is unhappy with that Verdict….it is up to the to file an Appeal.

      The Judge in this Case should be sanctioned by the District Chief Judge….or Impeached for misconduct.

  2. I vote for Palin but whoever added in that stupid segue to Tweeeeet something or another might want to explain the Vindman repet of falsely referring to our Constitutional Republic as a Democracy. Repeating that mistake flys in the face of the nine rejections for it’s use going back to the original Constitution.

    Go Palin and down with illiterate Pentagon hangabouts.

  3. Amonymous says:

    “Let’s substitute another name and see how [TURLEY’S] paragraph reads.”

    Look, buddy, I understand that it digs down deep that Turley does not validate your opinion of Trump, but you Trumpists are just going to have to live with it.

    Can you?

    1. It doesn’t dig anywhere except it makes it hard to believe the legal profession permits dimwits into their midst. One can substitute many names into that paragraph and they will all fit. God help anyone that ever utilized your services.

      1. It’s not my paragraph; it’s Turley’s. And it’s not Milton Berle’s name; it’s Trump’s.

        Can you accept that?

        1. “And it’s not Milton Berle’s name”

          But it could be, or it could be another name. It could even be your name demonstrating your low brow affinity for meaningless statements.

          1. It’s Turley’s words and Trump’s name. Pretend all you like, but facts are stubborn things, my friend.

            1. Jeff, you are the Sad Sack of the blog. Let us look at the statement Turley wrote one more time with a name substitution. It makes you sound foolish and oblivious to what you sound like.

              NewsMax CEO Christopher Ruddy’s cynical and sensational selection of Milton Berle to moderate the next presidential debate has backfired. Ruddy united conservative and liberal commentators and candidates in denouncing him and NewsMax for the obscene idea — with Ron Paul and Jon Hunstman leading the way in immediately refusing to participate in such a circus. Perry, and Romney were the next (rather belatedly) to refuse to participate. Bachmann has now also declined to participate on a program with look of The Milton Berle Show and the dignity of the Jersey Wives. That leaves Santorum and Gingrich who have confirmed that they will appear with a carnival snake charmer to get on TV.

              1. Why do you persist upon substituting Trump’s name? This is disinformation! You are simply lying. This is not what Turley stated. He also stated this about Trump:

                “Trump immediately reaffirmed predictions that he would convert the debate into a circus with him in the center ring. However, the Barnum to this circus remains Ruddy who showed little concern over journalistic integrity or the integrity of our presidential election in trying this ploy. Now he will be left with what is down to a three-person freak show with Santorum and Gingrich in a race to the bottom of American politics.”

                Trump’s participation would reduce this debate into a *freak* show!

                https://jonathanturley.org/2011/12/09/newsmax-flames-out-trump-debate-down-to-gingrich-and-santorum/

                Are you going to substitute Uncle Miltie’s name for Trump here as well? Get a grip, man. Face it. Turley has no respect for Trump.

                1. I can’t help it if you can’t see the inappropriateness of any non-news TV star moderating a debate. As said before, if it were David Copperfield, Milton Berle or anyone without the needed specific qualifications, one would hear a similar dialogue. You have TDS, so you will link Trump to anything just to satisfy your warped image of the world.

    2. jeffsilberman, I recommend just completely ignoring the A Nony Mice. Anybody who can’t be bothered to come up with a blog name such as
      ImaIdiot
      or
      ReedPoorly
      isn’t worth engaging.

      My six bits.

      1. I respect you for using your name. I don’t believe in hiding behind a pseudonym. I want to be held accountable for everything I say.

        I do generally ignore anonymous comments, but I made an exception in this case because it is fascinating to me to reveal how irrational some people can be who have misplaced their faith in Trump. It is impossible to get through to them even when confronted by the comments of someone whose judgement they do respect, i.e., Turley. With 1 (or 2) exceptions, every Trumpist on this blog realizes that they cannot square Turley’s opinion of Trump with their own. Turley’s sheer contempt for the man is an inconvenient truth which they simply pretend to ignore.

        Unless I am mistaken, Darren peruses all comments for civility. Admittedly, Turley made these aspersions upon Trump’s character over 10 years ago. If Turley does not now stand by them, I would hope that Darren would notify Turley that I have been maligning Trump in his name undeservedly so that he could correct the record.

        1. Actually, Jeffsilberman: I seem to recall at least twice when I responded to an Anonymous comment, and YOU responded back to me under your own name, saying something like (this is not verbatim) “that’s not what I said, what I meant was…” or some similar response. Shortly thereafter, you started declaring in other posts that you never use Anonymous….(I regret that I cannot recall or refer you to the specific posts because they meant nothing to me but a smile.)

  4. Meyer says:

    “Snake charming is performance art. In 2011 Trump was a TV star for the Apprentice practicing performance art. What is snake charming?”

    You truly are delusional to believe that Turley was praising or otherwise admiring Trump as a “carnival snake charmer.” No Trumpist has been idiotic to try to explain away Turley’s utter disdain for Trump. They knew that there was no way to reconcile their respect for Turley’s opinion with their admiration for Trump who Turley dismissed as an “absurd reality television star.”

    Instead of leveling your ire at Turley for his past disregard for Trump, you attack the messenger for finding it and exposing it for everyone to see. Turley might have removed the article in which he made these slights if he no longer stood by them much like Spotify is removing many Joe Rogan podcasts from its archive. However, Turley let it stand.

    As I have to all the Trumpists on this blog, I’ll challenge you to cite me one COMPLIMENTARY remark that Turley has ever said about Trump’s character. And while you are searching, try to think of an innocent explanation for Turley’s opinion that the very idea of Trump getting involved in the political process as a moderator of a debate was “obscene,” that is, “offensive or disgusting by accepted standards of morality and decency.”

    Let’s see whether even one of your brother Trumpists will second your mental gymnastics. Don’t count on it…

    1. “You truly are delusional to believe that Turley was praising or otherwise admiring Trump as a “carnival snake charmer.”

      I don’t know what is in Turley’s mind, but neither do you. That quote doesn’t tell one enough about what Turley said when he made the statement. He probably would have said the same thing no matter who the entertainer was. You have an overblown ego, so you think you know everything until asked to provide facts. That is when you start telling us you are not an expert or you haven’t studied the matter.

      I don’t care what Turley thinks of Trump. I care what Turley says about the law. I don’t concern myself with superficialities, which you surround yourself with. I care about results, and you are a guy who doesn’t know squat about what he or the present President has done (good or bad). You are just a name that is so inconsequential that you can only repeat yourself response after response.

      Turley doesn’t discuss character unless it has to do with the law or a direct point he is making. All you discuss is a person’s character, even though your head is empty of facts.

      1. Meyer says:

        “I don’t know what is in Turley’s mind, but neither do you. That quote doesn’t tell one enough about what Turley said when he made the statement.”

        I DO KNOW what was in Turley’s mind:

        “NewsMax CEO Christopher Ruddy’s cynical and sensational selection of Donald Trump to moderate the next presidential debate has backfired. Ruddy united conservative and liberal commentators and candidates in denouncing him and NewsMax for the obscene idea — with Ron Paul and Jon Hunstman leading the way in immediately refusing to participate in such a circus. Perry, and Romney were the next (rather belatedly) to refuse to participate. Bachmann has now also declined to participate on a program with look of The Apprentice and the dignity of the Jersey Wives. That leaves Santorum and Gingrich who have confirmed that they will appear with a carnival snake charmer to get on TV.”

        https://jonathanturley.org/2011/12/09/newsmax-flames-out-trump-debate-down-to-gingrich-and-santorum/
        ————

        Turley’s revulsion of Trump is unmistakable by everyone which explains why not one Trumpist has disputed Turley’s disregard of Trump but YOU.

        BTW, have you not yet found one SINGLE compliment Turley has paid Trump?

        1. “I DO KNOW what was in Turley’s mind:”

          Then you are dumber than one might have previously thought.

          Let’s substitute another name and see how your paragraph reads.

          NewsMax CEO Christopher Ruddy’s cynical and sensational selection of Milton Berle to moderate the next presidential debate has backfired. Ruddy united conservative and liberal commentators and candidates in denouncing him and NewsMax for the obscene idea — with Ron Paul and Jon Hunstman leading the way in immediately refusing to participate in such a circus. Perry, and Romney were the next (rather belatedly) to refuse to participate. Bachmann has now also declined to participate on a program with look of The Milton Berle Show and the dignity of the Jersey Wives. That leaves Santorum and Gingrich who have confirmed that they will appear with a carnival snake charmer to get on TV.

          I wouldn’t have believed it before, but you are dumber than you sound.

          1. Dumb or dumber means lack of ability to utter speech. So what we have is a host of illiterates taking up space in order to demonstrate why the public schools should be put out of business.

  5. Jonathan: Focusing only on Sarah Palin’s defamation suit against the NY Times is a convenient diversion from what is happening over at Fox, your employer. Shortly after the 2020 elections Fox hosts, guests Giuliani, Sidney Powell and Mike Lindell started a drumbeat of malicious lies that Dominion Voting Service and Smartmatic had stolen votes from Trump and gave them to Biden. This was Fox’s attempt to bolster Trump’s lie that the election was “stolen”. He still does. These conspiracy theorists claimed, erroneously, that Dominion owned Smartmatic. Both companies have sued for defamation ($1.6 billion and $2.7 billion respectively) against Fox and its guests. In response Powell’s attorney’s bizarrely argued their client could not be liable for defamation because “reasonable people would not accept such statements as fact”. That assumes a lot of Fox viewers are “reasonable” people. In March Fox tried to get the lawsuits dismissed but a judge in Delaware refused.

    If, (and that’s a big “if” because “actual malice” is difficult to prove), the two voting counting companies’ suits are allowed to go forward it could prove very expensive for Rupert Murdock. So I renew my question. If you and Clarence Thomas are successful in convincing the rest of the conservative majority on the SC to eliminate “public figures” from inclusion in the Sullivan protections what are the implications for Fox? Going forward Rupert Murdock might have to think twice about keeping on Tucker Carlson who trades in conspiracy theories and malicious lies. Are you sure you want to go down that road?

  6. Ray says:

    “It is certain from this statement that Turley would declare; “Troll – Thy name is Jeff.”

    Perhaps, but even a troll can ask a good question:

    FIND ME ONE POSITIVE WORD THAT TURLEY HAS EVER SAID ABOUT TRUMP TO CONTRADICT WHAT HE SAID YEARS AGO THAT TRUMP WAS A “CARNIVAL SNAKE CHARMER!”

    I don’t think Turley’s opinion has changed one iota. Do you?

    1. Snake charming is performance art. In 2011 Trump was a TV star for the Apprentice practicing performance art. What is snake charming? Merriam Webster’s definition: “an entertainer who exhibits a professed power to charm or fascinate venomous snakes.” What was Trump doing? He was charming type A personalities and audiences around the world. The comment refers to the showman’s side of Trump. David Copperfield is a great deceiver. That is what he does, so perhaps one could apply smoke and mirrors to him if one suggested he be the moderator of a Presidential election.

      In essence, this BS argument by Jeff isn’t an argument at all. Instead, it describes one that seems out of place in a new environment. That is the problem with Jeff. He has no concern for accuracy in his statements. Jeff latches onto things he doesn’t understand and, like a pit bull, dumb to the risks of being stupid, will hold another animal in his teeth even while beaten to death. The difference between Jeff and the pit bull is Jeff has no teeth.

    2. First JeffSilberman first tells us that Turley is a Fox News and Trump stooge and now he tells us that Turley was against Trump by saying that Trump was a Carnival Snake Charmer. With Jeff it all depends on what mania of the day he wakes up with.

      1. TiT,

        Turley is neither a stooge for Fox News nor for Trump. Turley has no regard for the latter and does not always echo the false narratives of the former. Turley does not join Hannity in calling the MSM “fake news.” Turley has NEVER said so. Turley never had a word to say about Carlson’s bogus “Patriot Purge” false flag narrative. Turley ignores the untenable narratives of his Fox colleagues. A stooge would defend Hannity and Carlson.

        If you want a good example of a stooge, read Meyer’s strained defense of Trump against Turley’s withering insults of him!

    3. The fact that Turley doesn’t praise Trump, to me at least, doesn’t save him or his developing reputation for becoming a purchased political hack. He’s only a small step above Giuliani, IMHO. Don’t forget that he testified in favor of Gorsuch’s nomination. Trump is the biggest existential threat to American democracy since the McCarthy era, but instead of directly addressing all of the lies, cheating to get into office, refusing to cooperate with Mueller and the Congressional investigations, lack of legislative accomplishments, Republicans refusing to follow their Constitutional oath of office, the attempted take-over of Congress by Trump fans, Trump’s ignorance of American government and how it works, ignoring the law, and all of the other misconduct, including the reasons for two impeachments (historic), Turley uses his platform to attack Democrats and spin stories against the Biden family, all of which Fox is paying him to do as part of an effort to get that pig back into office in 2024. I became an attorney to my skills to make a positive difference. It appears to me that Turley’s in it for the money, if, as you are saying, he really doesn’t respect Trump. So why would he use his skills and credentials to help the ReTrumplican party? I don’t respect lawyers who are billing machines.

      1. Your algorithm translator wrote ” I became an attorney to my skills to make a positive difference”. Ask your former KGB hacks for an upgrade to your automated English translator…. “I don’t respect lawyers who are billing machines”. Then you should have nothing to worry about as there is no line outside your door and Putin doesn’t pay anyway!

      2. Natacha says:

        “It appears to me that Turley’s in it for the money, if, as you are saying, he really doesn’t respect Trump.”

        You make a good argument, counselor. Despite his often valid criticisms of the mainstream media, I agree that Turley’s silence about far worse transgressions at his employer Fox is indefensible, inexcusable and unforgivable. He is no longer widely held in the same high regard as he once was. For reasons of which we are not privy, Turley has seen fit to sell out to Fox.

        We can content ourselves with the assurance that he will get his comeuppance in the long run.

        “He that lieth down with dogs shall rise up with fleas”

  7. Has a Democrat ever said, “These are the districts we want to target. I read such strategy in the left wing press everyday but because they use the word target I do not say that they are asking that a murder be performed. If I said such a thing I should be expecting that I would be sued for defamation. I would not be above the law just as The New York Times is not above the law. If they did not think that they were above the law why did they quickly issue a correction to their story? You can hear the lawyers now. “We could lose a lot of money over this story.” Is it hubris or just plain stupid. One would think that after being bitten by this story they would have been more careful with their condemnation of Nick Sandman. It reminds me of the old carton of a man with a boot on a lever and each time he pulled down the boot would kick him in the rear end. Somehow he would never quit and he couldn’t figure out where the pain was coming from. I think he had a shirt with a big “D” on the front.

  8. Turley says:

    “In its earlier rejection of the effort to dismiss the case, the court notably laid out the case for malice by Bennet, the key element under the New York Times v. Sullivan standard. The court suggested that the later correction issued by the Times might be used by the jury to assume or discount malice. It is rare that such a correction would be raised as substantial evidence on intent”

    Such overt corrections better be rare for the sake of Turley’s Fox News, I’ll tell you what.

    Let’s remember that when Fox got sued for its own defamations, it dropped one of the more outspoken endorsers of the Big Lie, Lou Dobbs, like a hot potato. He has been cancelled. Turley said zilch.

    And have you seen or heard from Trumpist lawyers Giuliani or Powell or Ellis on Fox since? Not on your life! Turley said nada.

    No one at the network dares mention that the election was stolen in the face of this lawsuit. ALL of which could likewise be interpreted as an implicit admission of malice.

    It was a clever move by Fox to retain a First Amendment scholar Turley to implicitly defend it in the court of public opinion.

  9. There was a sad conclusion to the rescue effort in Morocco that transfixed the world. Though little 5 year old Rayan survived for days after falling down a 150 foot unused dry well last Tuesday, he died before rescuers reached him to pull him out just an hour or so ago today, Saturday.

    I’m so sad for him and his family. Rescuers moved a mountain, digging in from the side and removing about 10 stories of dirt and rock. The well was only 18 inches across, at most, which necessitated coming from the side.

    He was alive for sure just two days ago. Video showed him breathing, looking like he was in shock.

    They were so close.

    1. The village where this happened was in the arid Rif Mountains. It is dotted with deep wells, used to cultivate cannabis, a notoriously water hungry crop. It’s a major source of revenue for the area.

  10. Turley says:

    “The attack did not fit with a common narrative in the media on right-wing violence and the Times awkwardly sought to put the focus back on conservatives.”

    Boy, I wish Turley would turn his jaundiced eye from the mainstream media JUST ONCE to the Right-wing media. Don’t you think he MIGHT be able to spot some awkward manipulation of narratives by Fox, Newsmax or One America News Network (OAN) to focus back on Liberals?

    BTW, Turley STILL has NOT condemned DirectTV from intending to drop OAN from its channels!

    How can that be? Are we to think that Turley would ignore this Little Brother censorship because it financially benefits his network Fox? What other explanation could there be?

    Hypocrisy- thy name is Turley.

    1. Jeff, your obsessive hatred of Turley on this blog is disturbing. It’s also gauche to constantly troll a blog host.

      You are frantically desperate for Professor Turley to condemn Fox News. You seize on his balanced criticism of a Trump like a starving man on crumbs. When he does not write what you demand he does, it shows immature feelings of entitlement.

      The Internet is a wide universe. With a modicum of effort, you can find articles on any topic you wish. Or you may start your own blog and write posts yourself. I’m the meantime, stop petulantly badgering a man who will never read your comments, in the vain effort to control him. It won’t do.

      The difference between conservatives and liberals is the former actually does condemn violence, regardless of political motivation, while the latter excuses Left wing violence.

      Exhibit A: most Republicans condemned the Jan 6 protest getting out of hand, while Democrats pretended BLM and Antifa violence didn’t happen, didn’t charge most of them, bailed many of the remaining out of jail, and diverted most to counseling.

      1. Karen,

        It’s always a delight to hear from you! You may have noticed that I “liked” your comment about the tragic death of that child. You’re welcome.

        You say: “stop petulantly badgering a man who will never read your comments, in the vain effort to control him.”

        If Turley does not read my comments, I can’t be badgering him. Ipso facto.

        You say:

        “The difference between conservatives and liberals is the former actually does condemn violence, regardless of political motivation, while the latter excuses Left wing violence.”

        You don’t believe that. You are lying.

        You say:

        “Exhibit A: most Republicans condemned the Jan 6 protest getting out of hand, while Democrats pretended BLM and Antifa violence didn’t happen, didn’t charge most of them, bailed many of the remaining out of jail, and diverted most to counseling.”

        ————

        My Exhibit B: Trump says:

        “If I run and if I win, we will treat those people from January 6 fairly. We will treat them fairly. And if it requires pardons, we will give them pardons. Because they are being treated so unfairly.”

        I rest my case.

      2. Karen,

        Next time try disproving my claims about Turley’s hypocrisy instead of trying to prove I hate Turley. I can’t hate a NeverTrumper. I applaud Turley for recognizing Trump very early on as “carnival snake charmer.”

        We can only imagine what Turley must think of him NOW!

        1. JeffSilberman, first you tell us that Turley is a hypocrite but than you tell us that Turley is not a hypocrite because he has condemned Trump. Which is it? Perhaps there are two people with different viewpoints talking in your head.

          1. “first you tell us that Turley is a hypocrite”

            Yes, Jeff said that Turley is a hypocrite. There’s plenty of evidence for this.

            “than you tell us that Turley is not a hypocrite”

            No, Jeff didn’t say that. He said that “I can’t hate a NeverTrumper. I applaud Turley for recognizing Trump very early on as “carnival snake charmer.” ”

            Being a hypocrite and being a Trumpist are independent features: someone can be the first but not the second, OR the person can be the second but not the first, OR the person can be both, OR the person can be neither.

            Jeff is saying that Turley is a hypocrite but not a Trumpist.

            Perhaps you don’t listen well.

          2. TiT reasonably asks:

            “JeffSilberman, first you tell us that Turley is a hypocrite but than you tell us that Turley is not a hypocrite because he has condemned Trump. Which is it? Perhaps there are two people with different viewpoints talking in your head.”

            Turley is a hypocrite about FOX NEWS. I have the receipts. No one has disputed the facts. Instead, I’m called a “troll,” accused of so-called “Turley Derangement Syndrome” and told to “go away.” But the facts are stubborn things.

            Turley is NOT a hypocrite about TRUMP. Sure, he will defend Trump when Turley thinks he is being unfairly accused,

            BUT FIND ME ONE POSITIVE WORD THAT TURLEY HAS EVER SAID ABOUT TRUMP TO CONTRADICT WHAT HE SAID YEARS AGO THAT TRUMP WAS A “CARNIVAL SNAKE CHARMER!”

            You are served….

            1. Our world is experiencing a vast darkness. Don’t live in darkness, Jeff.

              A friend is more to be longed for than the light; I speak of a genuine one. And wonder not: for it were better for us that the sun should be extinguished, than that we should be deprived of friends; better to live in darkness, than to be without friends
              ― Saint John Chrysostom, 4th Century Patriarch

              1. Estovir says:

                “Our world is experiencing a vast darkness. Don’t live in darkness, Jeff.”

                I agree that one way or another, this darkness got to give….

                Renounce Trumpism.

                1. Jeff, Again I cannot respond to your reply on Feb. 5 5 PM.
                  I am extremely busy today and even though it is 6 AM here, I have to get moving. I want to give your link the proper response and that will take some time to review which I don’t have right now. But I will. Now the easy answers.
                  If it was statistically better to take the points, everyone would. The way it works on ” straight bets” not parlays is, Vegas sets the line hoping to get an even amount of money on each team because the loser pays 10% on his bet. In other words if he bets $100 and loses he owes$110. The theory being that if the money is even, the ” house”
                  doesn’t care who wins because they make 10 % on all of the losing bets. The way to balance out the money is by moving the line. If one team is extracting an inordinate amount of money, you move the line to make the opposite team more attractive. Now obviously Vegas was not built on the 10%. The public loses way more often than it wins.

                  And that late score that you refer to, is called a ” backdoor cover”.

                  On the NeverTrumper thing. I am getting there. Unfortunately, with the possible exception of Kennedy/ Nixon ( which I was not yet old enough to vote) but I would have voted for Kennedy, Bush/ Dukakis, and Reagan both times, my vote basically came down to the lesser of two evils. I know that is sad. But as I said before if you put every Biden voter on a polygraph and asked them did they vote FOR Biden or AGAINST Trump, my guess is a far majority would be AGAINST Trump. So I am not alone. I did vote for Clinton. Bill not Hillary.
                  And I hope that this is not the case again. But if it is Trump/ Dementia Joe, ( which will not happen in my estimation) Trump/ Harris, I will have no other choice than to vote for Trump. Again my wish is that he is not the Republican candidate. It is early and I have racked my brain to come up with a viable Democratic candidate that I could vote for that I believe would make my life and this country better and I can’t come up with one. Certainly not one that was on the Democratic debate stage the last time. Maybe a dark house will emerge.

                  1. Paul,

                    A demented Joe Biden is a safer bet than a vengeful liar and would be autocrat in Trump.

                    1. Jeff, I have to give you credit. You are one of the few who will acknowledge the obvious cognitive decline of Biden. And after watching many hours, yes hours of his previous recorded appearances, both in the Senate and on the campaign trail, he was not very impressive prior to the cognitive decline. Also not impressed with his plagiarism and outright lying about his rank in class, degrees obtained and scholarships received. I am not going to relitigate our previous discourse over veracity of lies or amount of lies or who counts the lies. I am not saying that Trump is not a ” vengeful liar”. He is. But using the WaPo method of counting lies, if Trump said that the previous day’s temperature in D.C was 67 and it turned out to be 69, that was counted as a lie.
                      And I know that I am opening a new can of worms but, on your ” autocrat” accusation, in my mind an example of autocratic behavior in a President is the Executive Order. Would you agree? Except in extreme emergencies, I feel like this is a run around of the previously debated legislative process.
                      In Trump’s 4 years he used the Executive Order 220 times. In Biden’s first year he used it 78 times. Far outpacing Trump’s use. So who is the autocrat?
                      And I realize a lot of these were because of the pandemic. But the vast majority of the mandates have been struck down. So autocratic behavior by Biden was deemed unconstitutional.
                      I guess what I am saying is Biden is both a liar and an autocrat. As is Trump. Hate Trump as much as you like, but there is no evidence that he is in obvious cognitive decline. And I am not a doctor but, 2 brain aneurysms for Biden probably play a role. And I will probably be dead before 79 years of age. So kudos to Joe for that.
                      I get it. Trump could be running against a resurrected Manson and I think you would make the case for Charlie.

                    2. Paul,

                      I freely admit that Biden has lost a step or 2 because you admit that Trump is a liar. I won’t admit Biden is slowing down to a Trumpist who lie that Trump is an honest man! I insist upon a quid pro quo with Trumpists.

                      You say:

                      “And I know that I am opening a new can of worms but, on your ” autocrat” accusation, in my mind an example of autocratic behavior in a President is the Executive Order.”

                      An Executive Order at least enjoys the color of law, that is, an appearance of legal power to act that may operate in violation of law. On the other hand, Trump nakedly violates Presidential norms of conduct. Biden’s EO’s were made in good faith. Trump’s actions were made in bad faith.

                      I never said that I hated Trump. My revulsion of Trump is not based on my personal feeling. I despise his sins, not a man whom I have never met. It’s a very common and bogus argument to accuse NeverTrumpers of hating Trump. Alleging hate is no different than some Liberals accusing Conservatives of being racists, that is, hating Mexicans, for wanting to build a wall. Stop the TDS accusations; it’s a cheap shot.

                      I still say that Biden even in his condition as was Reagan near the end of his second term is less of a threat to our democratic norms as a feeble old man than a vengeful liar who would try to remain in power at all costs to avoid criminal accountability.

                    3. “that is, hating Mexicans, for wanting to build a wall.”

                      You are a nutcase. Wanting to build a wall doesn’t mean one hates Mexicans anymore, then building a fence between you and your neighbor doesn’t mean you hate your neighbor.

                      You don’t think before you speak. Are you able?

                    4. I stated that it was WRONG to accuse someone of being a racist for building a wall:

                      “Alleging hate is no different than some Liberals accusing Conservatives of being racists, that is, hating Mexicans, for wanting to build a wall. Stop the TDS accusations; it’s a cheap shot.”

                      I am likening Trumpist accusations of TDS with Liberals accusing Conservatives of racism. All accusations of hatred are WRONG!

                      Read before you shoot your mouth off.

                    5. “Read before you shoot your mouth off.”

                      I was wrong. No excuses.

                      I will accept your personal desire to exclude the word hate from these types of discussions. However, different people, including yourself, express themselves using words frequently interpreted as synonymous with hate. Hate is the impression you provide. It is not up to those listening to you to figure out any word gymnastics you might be enjoying. You need to do a better job expressing your feelings, especially when the same feelings are expressed non-stop multiple times daily and every day.

                      We know you do not ..(like) .. Trump. But do we know why? Not really.

                      We also know you think Trump lies. But have you ever detailed those significant lies and shown how much greater Trump’s are compared to other people or people in his position? Not really.

                      When you choose not to do those things, one has to conclude the cause. TDS is the best, though perhaps based on insufficient information you refuse to provide.

                      (TDS “a term applied to people who express deep loathing and fear of President Donald Trump.” _Dictionary.com

                    6. Calling Turley a “hypocrite” is NOT expressing any hatred for him. Turley *correctly* points out the hypocrisy of the MSM by not reporting the Hunter Biden story. Shall we presume that Turley hates CNN and MSNBC?

                      Of course not.

                      I don’t care if a person IS a hater or a racist because even a hater and a racist can make a good point or argument. So I am determined to hear their argument whatever their motivation. Typically, haters will self-identify and tell you whom they hate. Until their hatred becomes UNMISTAKABLE, I give people the benefit of the doubt. This is why I am so annoyed by being accused of hating Trump or Turley because it is simply not true. I have always admired and respected Turley which is the reason I am so mystified and appalled by his selling out to Fox News which I consider unworthy of his talents as I would had he found work at Infowars. Is Fox as bad as Infowars? No, but it does not have to be to be bad enough!

                      As for Trump’s pathological lying, I would no more try to persuade you of it than you would waste your time trying convince me of Biden’s mental decline. Both are patently obvious! If you continue to lie that the election was stolen, I will call you a liar and would do so to your face. And I am not going to stop calling Trumpists liars until they concede that the election was not rigged. I am going to shame them to their grave if need be. I will do so with no hate in my heart but love for this country.

                    7. “Calling Turley a “hypocrite” is NOT expressing any hatred for him.”

                      However, you have used many words for Trump quite different than the one you chose to present to the group at this time. Do you feel that your other words for Trump might create questions about your word usage? Of course not, or so you will say.

                      “So I am determined to hear their argument whatever their motivation.”

                      Based on your words, day in and day out, don’t you think many might disagree with what you are determined to hear? Of course not, or so you will say.

                      “This is why I am so annoyed by being accused of hating Trump or Turley because it is simply not true.”

                      But you had to add Turley’s name to Trump. Could it be more word gymnastics trying to set up two discussions when there is only one presently under discussion? Of course not, or so you will say.

                      “As for Trump’s pathological lying, I would no more try to persuade you of it than you would waste your time trying convince me of Biden’s mental decline. ”

                      Could it be that you cannot provide evidence of lies that are greater than others, so you can’t justify your gobbledygook? Of course not, or so you will say.

                      One must note that you didn’t respond to the points raised. Could that lead one to conclude that you have TDS? Of course not, or so you will say.

                    8. Are you spooked? Suddenly, at a loss for words, you say, “You are S.Meyer.” How flattering, but I don’t wish another to take credit for my work. Do you have MDS (Meyer Derangement Syndrome)? Of course not, or so you will say.

                      Do you realize anyone can pop up on the list as an anonymous figure, with any name they desire or with different icons? Would it enhance your pleasure to give me a name and icon? Probably not, because you would still be at a loss for words. That happens to people with derangement syndromes.

                      Whoever S. Meyer is has entrapped your mind, and you are helpless to do anything about it.

                    9. Jeff, I have to laugh at the little weenie you have turned out to be.

                      In the meantime, I am satisfied with the flattery though the way it presented itself was pretty funny. LOL

                2. Jeff, One more thing. I was walking the dogs and realized you never answered my Heller question. Do you agree with the Supreme Court decision or not?

                  1. Paul,

                    Honestly I have not read Heller. I’m not a gun nut either way. My gut feeling is, and corrrct me if I am mistaken, that the Second Amendment did not contemplate an individual right to bear arms because it was taken for granted that the individual could bear a gun for hunting and protection from the natives. The thought otherwise would not have occurred to them; hence, the Second speaks only to militias.

                    Be that as it may, the bottom line is: what regulations restricting guns are Constitutional. That’s the real issue.

                    Anyone who buys the NRA argument that “guns don’t kill people, people do” is an ignoramus, for by that logic, fully automatic Tommy guns don’t kill people, gangsters do. Hence, society can’t ban machine guns. We CAN ban and should ban guns which are too LETHAL for civilian use.

                    1. Jeff, as I understand it Heller says that citizens have the right to gun ownership for self protection. And let me state this right away. Not only do I not own a gun, I have never owned a gun and I have never even held a gun. Not a member of the N.R.A. I am well aware of the ” A well regulated militia” part of the 2nd Amendment. And I agree that private citizens can’t own machine guns, cannons, rocket launchers etc. But we need to be a little pragmatic here. Because the law won’t allow it, and because there would literally be a civil war if they ( the government ) attempted to confiscate, legal guns are always going to be a part of American society. ALWAYS.
                      Not my preference. England seems to be doing very well without it, but that fact is not changing. And Illegal guns, used by criminals ,who by definition don’t obey the laws, are responsible for the vast majority of gun deaths. Suicides notwithstanding. Going a little off topic here but,
                      Biden’s recent visit to N.Y. addressing rampant ” gun violence” was a joke. His emphasis on Ghost guns was ridiculous. Never mentioned bail reform. Which Adams has ridiculed. Never mentioned gangs. I guess mentioning those two MAJOR factors would be racist. And I am sorry but I have to go down this road again because in my opinion it is the elephant in the room, never mentioned , because he can’t piss off his far left wing, the ” progressive ” D. A’s. And let me preempt the anti- Semitism accusation because I am not, almost all funded by Lucifer incarnate, Soros. Gascon , Foxx, Boudin, Gardner, Krazner, Chisholm just to name a few. And I guess it is just a coincidence that violent crime, not just ‘Gun crime” is up in exponentially in all of these jurisdictions since they took office? And Soros funded Bragg has been forced to change his tune ( lie) about how he would charge certain crimes. My guess is that 2 minority officers getting murdered very early in his tenure might have contributed to that. And maybe the widow of one of the murdered officers calling him out by name could have had some influence.
                      I am going to apologize again because we previously debated the Soros issue.
                      Super busy again today.
                      I promise I will respond to your link.

                    2. Paul,

                      I share your experience and views on guns. I think the problem with gangs goes without saying. That probably explains why it did not come up though I did not see that news conference. Bail reform is a complicated issue. There are pros and cons.

                      You are going to have to explain why you believe that Soros in attempting to undermine law and order in America. I don’t buy your accusation. He may be trying to do so, but I’d like to hear his or the DA’s justification for their policies. Maybe they are acting in good faith, but the net effect is backfiring. However, I don’t buy the “Lucifer incarnate” explanation. I don’t even accuse Trump of being evil incarnate. I prefer Turley’s characterization of Trump, “carnival snake charmer.” Turley nailed it 11 years ago, and there is no indication that he has altered his opinion. As I have asked everyone, is there one instance where Turley has praised Trump’s character?

      3. Karen,

        Some conservatives “condemn violence, regardless of political motivation” and some don’t.
        Some liberals “condemn violence, regardless of political motivation” and some don’t.

        You apparently desire to ignore both the conservatives who don’t and the liberals who do. This kind of attitude only contributes to the polarization in the country.

        1. Don’t much care for either one when they should be using Constitutionalists vs Socialists and not those tired old homages to the failed party system when we could be using something useful

          Constitutional Centrist Coalition.

    2. Jeff,

      Turley knows of you, or at least of your kind. It is clear from his statement in the site’s civility rules that he believes that you are someone that, at best, should be ignored.

      “Like all sites, we attract trolls and juvenile posters who want to tear down the work of others. It is a sad reality of the Internet and the worst element of our species. Don’t feed the trolls. Ignore them. They are trolls and live under cyber bridges for a reason.”

      It is certain from this statement that Turley would declare; “Troll – Thy name is Jeff”.

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