Court Throws Out Slander Suit Against 'Troubleshooter'
April 27, 2009 at 5:25 AM (PT)
Talk shows aren't objective, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled, and because of that the dismissal of an OREGON couple's case against formerly-syndicated "TROUBLESHOOTER" TOM MARTINO has been upheld.
The SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE reports that the court rejected JOHN and SUSAN GARDNER's suit complaining that a listener call complaining about problems with a personal watercraft constituted slander when MARTINO told the listener that the GARDNERS, the dealers, lied to the caller. The court said that MARTINO's statement would be taken as opinion by a reasonable talk show listener, and that the show includes "many of the elements that would reduce the audience's expectation of learning an objective fact: drama, hyperbolic language, an opinionated and arrogant host, and heated controversy."
MARTINO is presently heard on CLEAR CHANNEL Talk KHOW-A/DENVER. It was formerly syndicated by WESTWOOD ONE.