Exercise: Is it Libel?

1. “Megan Fox is a man!” Headline on Weekly World News Web site

Yes, this is libel as it is clearly not true and I highly doubt the tabloid has any sort of factual basis behind their claims.

Answer: No, we treat the tabloid as satire so its different here than it would be if the New York Times made the same claim.

2. “Up until the day he died, he was a brilliant writer. But the drugs made him a thief, a pimp and a liar,” said friend Karen Smith, who was with Johnson at the time of his death.

No, I do not think this is libel because this is an opinion from a friend of is but I guess it could be libel considering he is not alive to defend himself against these harmful remarks.

Answer: No, you can never libel the dead.

3. “In my opinion, Kevin is a murdering rapist,” the prosecutor told the jury.

No, this is not libel because the prosecutor has the legal right to state an opinion of this regard.

Answer: No, not libelous because reporting on actions on government through police dept. Cannot be held responsible for what they say in the court of law and reporter cannot be held responsible for reporting what they say.

4. “In my opinion, he’s a murdering rapist,” the man said at the rally.

Yes, this is libel because the man is using his likely uniformed opinion to defame someone’s character at a public meeting.

Answer: No, you are not entitles to the same freedom of the press here. Although “In my opinion” is a form of protected speech and not a statement of fact.


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