Sarah Palin's defamation lawsuit against The New York Times was thrown out Tuesday by a federal judge.
The former Alaska governor had sued the newspaper this summer after its editorial board drew a link between an ad from her political action committee to the deadly shooting that left Rep. Gabby Giffords injured in 2011.
But as Manhattan federal judge Jed Rakoff wrote in an opinion dismissing the case, Palin did not have a "plausible factual basis" to claim that the paper had defamed her.
"Responsible journals will promptly correct their errors; others will not," Rakoff wrote.
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UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 03: Members of vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin's family (l-r), Track, vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin and infant Trig, Bristol, son-in-law to be, Levi Johnston, Willow, Piper, stand on stage following Mom's speech to the Republican National Convention at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota, Wednesday, September 3, 2008. (Photo By Douglas Graham/Roll Call/Getty Images)
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Members of vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin's family (left to right), son Track, daughter Bristol, son-in-law to be Levi Johnston, daughter Willow, daughter Piper, husband Todd and infant Trig, stand on stage following her speech to the Republican National Convention at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota, Wednesday, September 3, 2008. (Photo by Harry E. Walker/MCT/MCT via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 04: Members of vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin's family (LtoR), Levi Johnston son-in-law to be, Willow, Piper, husband Todd and infant Trig, and Republican presidential nominee John McCain and vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin stand on stage following her speech to the Republican National Convention at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota, Wednesday, September 3, 2008. (Photo By Douglas Graham/Roll Call/Getty Images)
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Republican vice presidential nominee Gov. Sarah Palin is joined by her family, husband Todd Palin; daughter Piper, 7 (left); daughter Willow, 13 (right), and son Trig, 5 months, during her arrival at Orlando International Airport in Orlando, Florida, Friday, September 19, 2008. Palin will rally with supporters in The Villages, near Lady Lake, Fla., on Sunday. (Photo by Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/MCT via Getty Images)
Family members of Republican vice presidential candidate Alaska Governor Sarah Palin attend a campaign rally at Dena???INA Civic & Convention Center in Anchorage, Alaska on September 13, 2008. From left daughters Willow and Piper and son baby Trig . AFP PHOTO Robyn BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
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He continued: "But if political journalism is to achieve its constitutionally endorsed role of challenging the powerful, legal redress by a public figure must be limited to those cases where the public figure has a plausible factual basis for complaining that the mistake was made maliciously, that is, with knowledge it was false or with reckless disregard of its falsity."
The Times editorial, which it published in June after a shooting at a congressional baseball game practice, suggested that Jared Lee Loughner, the gunman in the 2011 Tucson shooting, was incited by the ad from Palin's PAC, which showed crosshairs over Giffords's congressional district and other Democratic districts.
There is no evidence to suggest that Loughner saw the advertisement. The Times issued a correction the next day and amended the text of the editorial online. Palin filed her defamation suit two weeks later.
In dismissing the case, Rakoff cited a lack of proof that The Times had acted with "actual malice" — a crucial element of defamation — when it published the editorial.
"What we have here is an editorial, written and rewritten rapidly in order to voice an opinion on an immediate event of importance, in which are included a few factual inaccuracies somewhat pertaining to Mrs. Palin that are very rapidly corrected," Rakoff wrote.
He added: "Negligence this may be; but defamation of a public figure it plainly is not."