The New York Times was forced on Thursday to correct an editorial that stated fact a theory refutes that the gunman who shot Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords in 2011, was inspired by a card distributed by Sarah Palin.
The editorial, under the title of “America’s Deadly Politics,” was posted Wednesday and is widely criticized on social media. The editorial read in part:
“Was this attack evidence of how the vicious American politics has become? Probably. In 2011, when Jared Lee Loughner opened fire in a supermarket parking lot, injuring grievously Representative Gabby Giffords and killing six people, including a 9-year-old girl, the link to the political incitement was obvious. For the recording of Sarah Palin’s political action committee is circulating a map of targeted electoral districts, which Ms. Giffords and 19 other Democrats under stylized cross.”
The paper ran the editorial office after the shooting Wednesday morning at a GOP conference baseball practice that left 4 injured, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, who is in critical condition.
‘Not all details are known about what happened in Virginia, but a sickeningly familiar pattern is emerging in the attack: The sniper, James Hodgkinson, who was killed by Capitol police officers, was certainly in the war, and his insanity had found the fuel in the politics.’
– New York Times editorial, 14 June 2017
The Times posted a correction at the bottom of the editor online:
Correction: June 15, 2017
An earlier version of this editorial incorrectly stated that there is a link between the political incitement and the 2011 shooting of Representative Gabby Giffords. In fact, no link is created.
The documents found in a search of Lougher home after he injured the congresswoman and killed six people in Tucson, Arizona., showed he planned the shooting in advance.
“I planned ahead,” read a note signed by Loughner, who was left in a safe deposit box. “My murder.”
The authorities also found a letter in the safe that Giffords wrote to Loughner on Aug. 30, 2007, thanking him for attending a “Congress on Your Corner” event, according to an FBI agent affidavit filed with a five-count criminal complaint.
The FBI said at the time that Loughner had targeted Giffords.
The NYT editorial falsely claims Loughner shot Giffords through to a target on a picture. It is not yet 11. They can change it. Let’s see.
— John Podhoretz (@jpodhoretz) June 15, 2017
The New York Times drew criticism online, on both sides of the political debate.
“The NYT editorial falsely claims Loughner shot Giffords through to a target on a picture. It is not yet 11. They can change it. Let’s see,” New York Post editor John Podhoretz tweeted.
This NYT editorial is in fact stupid. Palin does not pay to shoot Gabby Giffords. “Rhetoric” not today whacko shoot either https://t.co/C5X46nACEb
— Ben Dreyfuss (@bendreyfuss) 15 June 2017
Ben Dreyfuss, a senior editor at Mother Jones, tweeted, “This NYT editorial is in fact stupid. Palin does not pay to shoot Gabby Giffords. “Rhetoric” not today whacko shooting”
On 31 May, the Times announced that it is done with the “public editor” position, which was started in 2003 to improve the newspaper with the readers of the next Jayson Blair plagiarism scandal.