Why defamation law protects opinion

“Wouldn’t that make for an entertaining factual inquiry: ‘The court finds as a matter of fact that the supermodel is/is not “a skank”‘” (Planet Kauai, Jan. 7). Underlying story:

Canadian model Liskula Cohen has sued Google for a number of snarky remarks that were made by a blogger using the company’s Blogger service. The NY Daily News reports that the former Vogue cover girl has been called ‘skanky’ and ‘an old hag’ by an anonymous blogger on a website called Skanks in NYC (could be deemed NSFW).

(Robin Wauters, TechCrunch/Washington Post, Jan. 7). It should be noted that the site seems to have little purpose but to engage in vitriolic attacks on Cohen, not all of which are as obviously grounded in “opinion” as those quoted. More: ArsTechnica, Bayard/Citizen Media Law.