HomeTJ for ProducersProducers' CYA Law GuideLibel LawCYA Quick Tips for Producers, Defamation TV Juriste September 9, 2014 Reading The Essential Defamation Concepts for TV Producers is a prerequisite for this page. Check it out now, we’ll wait.CYA Quick Tips****Never Rely on an Anonymous Source for Potentially Defamatory Information.Never Rely on Obviously Biased Sources for Potentially Defamatory Information (e.g., ex-spouses)Saying “According to” Will not Protect You From a LawsuitYou can be sued for repeating something defamatory, even if you clearly state the original source of information.Example: You want to include the following scandalous report from LyingLiars.com in your program — “Joe Blow kills puppies for pleasure, according to LyingLiars.com.”The phrase “according to” is not a cloak of immunity that will save you from a defamation lawsuit when Joe Blow’s angry lawyers come calling. When you repeat what LyingLiars.com originally reported, you’re giving that story more credibility and a wider audience. For that reasons court have concluded that it’s appropriate to permit a person harmed by a false statement to sue both the person who originally said it and all those who helped spread it.Saying “In My Opinion” Does Not Turn an Otherwise Factual Statement into an OpinionIf you’ve included a defamatory factual statement in your program, adding the phrase “in my opinion” will not save you from liability. Courts will look to see whether “your opinion” is something that could be proven true or false.Don’t Get Cute With Your “Questions”: Phrasing an Otherwise Defamatory Statement as a Question Won’t Necessarily Protect You From a Defamation LawsuitSimply putting a question mark on the end of a reputation-damaging false statement is a tactic that’s obvious to your audience, potential plaintiffs, jurors and judges. Jon Stewart exposed this little game years ago. Check out the video below regarding “questions.”Let Jon Stewart explain the problem with defamatory questions.