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A false statement that injures someone's reputation and exposes him to public contempt, hatred, ridicule, or condemnation. If the false statement is published in print or through broadcast media, such as radio or TV, it is called libel. If it is only spoken, it is called slander. http://www.nolo.com/definition.cfm/term/E0563767-C3CE-42B0-90107F29AF588A6C
From The BBC
Page last updated at 11:28 GMT, Wednesday, 6 May 2009 12:28 UKA
US radio talk show host says he will sue the British government for defamation after being placed on a list of people banned from entering the UK.
Conservative political commentator Michael Savage, real name Michael Alan Weiner, is one of 22 people barred for fostering extremism or hate.
He has described the Islamic holy book the Koran as "a book of hate" and questioned cases of autism.
Mr Weiner said he opposed violence and objected to being linked to murderers.
To put me in league with Hamas murderers who kill people on buses is defamation
He told his radio audience that he was intending to sue British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, who he described as the "lunatic ... Home Secretary of England".
"To link me up with skinheads who are killing people in Russia, to put me in league with Hamas murderers who kill people on buses is defamation," he said.
In an article posted on his website, he said he did not advocate violence but "traditional values".
He wrote: "What does that say about the government of England? It says more about them than it says about me."
Lawyers say it would be difficult for Mr Weiner to bring an action for defamation given that the list was issued with the authority of the British government.
They note that English law recognises that there are cases when there is a legitimate and public interest in information being made widely available, and that unless the government acted out of improper motives for placing him on the list, any libel claim is unlikely to get very far.
Mr Weiner has offended many in the US with his views on immigration, Islam and rape.
He also angered the parents of children with autism by saying most cases were "a brat who hasn't been told to cut the act out", the Associated Press reported.
HAVE YOUR SAY It is a privilege, not a right to gain access to any country if you are not a resident
Send us your comments The UK has been able to ban people who promote hatred, terrorist violence or serious criminal activity since 2005, but the list was only made public for the first time this week.
Hamas MP Yunis Al-Astal and Jewish extremist Mike Guzovsky are among the 16 named people by the Home Office as being excluded.
Also excluded are two leaders of a violent Russian skinhead gang, the ex-Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard Stephen 'Don' Black and neo-Nazi Erich Gliebe.
The remaining six have not been named, as doing so would not be in the public interest, the government said.