Is this defamation-is opinion protected by first amendment

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Reference no: EM13251675

Two disc jockeys at WPYX-FM radio in Albany, New York, were sued for intentional infliction of emotional distress by Annette Esposito-Hilder, who was identified on the air by the two disc jockeys as the “winner” of the “ugliest bride” contest. The two disc jockeys sponsored an ugliest bride contest based on the wedding pictures in the daily newspaper. Viewers were invited to call in with their guesses as to which bride had been chosen. Generally, the disc jockeys did not reveal last names of the brides. However, in Ms. Esposito Hilder’s case, they broke with past practice and revealed her name.
On appeal of the case from an earlier dismissal, the court held that no defamation was involved in their statements because they were “pure, subjective opin- ion.” The court did hold, however, that a suit for inten- tional infliction of emotional distress could go forward. The court held, “Comedic expression does not receive absolute First Amendment protection.”

Question
Is this defamation? Is opinion protected by the First Amendment? Does it make any difference that Ms. Esposito-Hilder was employed by a competing radio station in the area at the time she “won” the contest? [Esposito-Hilder v SFX Broadcasting, Inc., 665 N.Y.S.2d 697

Reference no: EM13251675

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