Cherry v. Des Moines Leader | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Cherry v. Des Moines Leader

The Polk County Court decided in the newspapers' favor in 1899,[9] and the sisters appealed to the Iowa Supreme Court. The Court upheld the verdict, stating in their May 28, 1901 decision, "the editor of a newspaper has the right, if not the duty, of publishing, for the information of the public, fair and reasonable comments, however severe in terms, upon anything which is made by its owner a subject of public exhibition, as upon any other matter of public interest; of privileged communications, for which no action will lie without proof of actual malice...Surely, if one makes himself ridiculous in his public performances, he may be ridiculed by those whose duty or right it is to inform the public regarding the character of the performance."[3]

Cherry v. Des Moines Leader is considered to be a landmark decision confirming the right to fair comment and critical analysis in the press[12] and is still frequently held up as a precedent in contemporary court cases.

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