A federal appeals court ruled that filmmaker Michael Moore did not defame an Iraqi war veteran when Moore used a clip from a television interview without his permission in the anti-war documentary “Farenheit 9/11″ Army Sgt. Peter Damon, who lost an arm in combat, claimed he was humilitated and emotionally distressed when Moore used the clip to make an attack on President Bush and the war in Iraq. Damon said in his interview with Moore he was complaining about a drug that he was using and not attacking the president or the war in Iraq but Moore made it appear he was making anti-war comments.
Judge Aida Delgado-Colon said: “There is no reason to believe that a reasonable member of the military or veteran community would cnclude that Damon’s appearance in the documentary conveyed a defmanatory meaning, and therefore lowered his reputation or subjected him to scorn, hatred, ridicule or contempt in that community.”
Television people whether intentionally or unintentionally frequently transform the words of someone being interviewed into expressions that bear slight resemblance to what was said. Unfortunately, that is the world of television.