Torts II, Pages 903–904
Shor v. Billingsley
Supreme Court of New York, 1956
Defendant made an ad-libbed joke about how in-debt plaintiff was on TV. Plaintiff sued for defamation.
Is a defamatory statement made on TV without a script libel or slander?
Programming read from a script has been held to be libel. Without a script it lacks the durability possessed by written libel, but TV can reach as many people as written publication can. Therefore, defamation by radio should be actionable per se.
Defamation by radio is defamation per se. Motion to dismiss denied.