APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. MYRON
T. GOMBERG, Judge, presiding.
JUSTICE MCGLOON DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:
Rehearing denied February 1, 1982.
Plaintiff, pro se, instituted an action to recover damages from defendants for defamation, trespass, invasion of privacy and civil conspiracy. The trial court granted defendants' motion to dismiss plaintiff's complaint. Plaintiff now appeals.
On appeal, plaintiff claims that the trial court erred in dismissing plaintiff's complaint charging defendants with defamation, trespass and invasion of privacy. We have considered plaintiff's arguments regarding the trespass and invasion of privacy issues and find them to be without merit. We will therefore limit our discussion to the defamation issues raised by plaintiff.
Before we discuss the merits of the issues raised in this appeal, it is essential that we print in full the allegedly defamatory statements which inspired the suit brought by Benjamin Rasky (plaintiff). On February 18, 1977, defendant Columbia Broadcasting System, Inc. (CBS) broadcast a news telecast prepared and delivered by defendant Susan Anderson. The text of the telecast reads as follows:
"ANDERSON: There's a law on the books which makes it a crime for a landlord to neglect his property and jeopardize the health and safety of his tenants. That law has never been used, until now. Citizens of the Edgewater community — primarily those who live in the Kenmore-Winthrop corridor — are now using this law to strike back. People here are fed up with their neighborhood deteriorating. One eyesore they've targeted is Tourraine [sic]. The building's owner is Benjamin Rasky, a LaSalle Street Lawyer. Edgewater citizens say Rasky is a slumlord. To back up their charge, they point to falling plaster, peeling paint, exposed wiring and rats. One tenant here is Albert Griffin.
GRIFFIN: I noticed the toliet wouldn't flush, so I tried the facebowl. There weren't no water. Then I tried the bathtub — no water. (At this point, Mr. Griffin made a point concerning the controls under the sink which was inaudible.)
ANDERSON: And how much have you paid for this place? What's the rent?
GRIFFIN: One-hundred and twenty-five dollars.
ANDERSON: That one-hundred and twenty-five dollar figure is the maximum public aid lets its recipients pay for a so-called furnished apartment. Residents who live near this building say it was an attractive place * * * that is, until Rasky took it over three years ago.
ANDERSON: Dave Wallher [sic], Edgewater Community Council * * *
WALLHER [sic]: He just milked this building for whatever he could get out of it. He hasn't put anything into it. And, a building of this size, it's attracted the types of persons that are perpetrating much of the crime in this area.
ANDERSON: The citizens here have hauled Rasky into housing court for years * * * but they say he merely pays the fines for building violations as a cost of doing business and never bothers with repairs. At that point, the district's state representative found the slumlord law on the books. The result? ...