SOME OPINIONS ARE STILL DEFAMATORY
While the New York Constitution provides for absolute protection of opinions, statements containing a provably false factual connotation are not protected. Similarly, if the alleged facts which are stated as the basis of the opinion are false, the publisher of the statement, although immune from the expression of the opinion, would nevertheless be subject to liability for the false factual statements.
FAILURE TO SET FORTH A FULL RECITATION OF THE FACTS
Statements of opinion failing to include a full recitation of the facts on which it is based are likewise actionable. Notwithstanding the importance of protecting expressions of opinion, the immunity requires that the facts supporting the opinion are set forth. The purpose is to ensure the reader has the opportunity to assess the basis upon which the opinion was reached to draw their own conclusions concerning its validity. This is because the validity of the opinions expressed, as viewed by the average reader, could be affected by whether the facts stated by defendant, or those by plaintiff, were before the reader.
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