Thursday, June 22, 2017

John Oliver being sued by "coal king" over segment which included threats of just such a lawsuit.

So you guys might remember that on Tuesday I posted a story about John Oliver's brilliant take on Donald Trump's inability to actually bring back coal jobs.

Part of that show also featured references to "Coal King" Bob Murray, a close friend of Donald Trump's, who threatened to sue Oliver if he included him in the segment.

Of course Oliver did just that, and even mocked a story told about Murray that suggests he once had a conversation with a talking squirrel.
Well for some reason Mr. Murray did indeed take offense, and now he is actually suing John Oliver and HBO: 

A Republican coal baron is suing John Oliver, HBO, Time Warner, and the writers for Oliver’s show over the most recent episode of Last Week Tonight. 

The suit, filed on June 21 in the circuit court of Marshall County, West Virginia, holds that Oliver and his team “executed a meticulously planned attempt to assassinate the character of and reputation of Mr. Robert E. Murray and his companies” by airing an episode that ripped into him. Murray runs the country’s largest privately owned coal company, Murray Energy Corporation. 

“They did this to a man who needs a lung transplant, a man who does not expect to live to see the end of this case,” reads the complaint, which also lists Murray’s companies as plaintiffs. 

The lawsuit isn’t a surprise to Oliver. In fact, the British comic said on the episode of his show that aired on June 18 that he expected it, noting that Murray has sued several other media outlets in the past (including, in May, the New York Times). In the episode, Oliver criticized Murray’s business practices, saying he doesn’t do enough to protect his miners’ safety. Oliver also noted that his team contacted Murray’s company before the episode aired, and that the company sent a cease-and-desist letter––the first time that had ever happened to his show. 

Parts of the complaint read like it had been written by President Donald Trump. One paragraph says Murray “has built a strong reputation as one of the as one of the staunchest defenders and most ardent champions of the United States coal industry and America itself.” The complaint also claims that “[d]efendants’ broadcasts have vigorously supported and advanced Mrs. Clinton’s agenda.”

God this is going to be good!

Personally I hope that the HBO lawyers put the giant squirrel on the stand to testify.

Speaking of lawyers HBO once hired 160 of them in preparation for the lawsuits they expected from Scientologists for broadcasting the documentary, "Going Clear."

Even the Scientologists were not crazy enough to go through with any lawsuits. But then again I don't think they talk to squirrels.

By the way if you have not seen the segment which inspired this hullabaloo you really owe it to yourself to do so. It is actually very good.  I anxiously await this upcoming episode, because you KNOW that much of it will focus on this lawsuit.


  1. Not available in Canada. C'mon, man.

  2. Anonymous10:22 AM

    That Fox News allowed Murray to spew his lies about President Obama on television time and time again absolutely sickens me. I wish the Obama White House had been able to send a "cease and desist" letter to Fox News! Murray deserves any negative press he gets. But, like Trump, he resorts to litigation instead of facing up to his lies.

    1. Anonymous1:05 PM

      Somehow the "mom" in "Beaglemom" got lost!

  3. Anonymous10:31 AM

    Interesting, lung cancer. What you been inhaling Mr. Murray?

  4. Anonymous10:32 AM


    Sarah Palin reduced to running click-bait rightwing website where she raves about "hot alpha males!!"

  5. Anonymous12:58 PM

    I wonder how many of his coal miners had their lungs destroyed by Silicosis ?

  6. Anonymous2:31 PM

    Over a million.

  7. WA Skeptic8:55 PM

    Well, Truth is a positive defense.

    Can't handle it, Mr Murray who killed dozens of miners???


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