Robert Murray, who heads up America’s biggest coal company, is suing comedian John Oliver over a segment on his comedy show Last Week Tonight.
Along with Oliver, Murray is also suing Time Warner and HBO, according to the Daily Beast. Murray’s suit, which was filed on Wednesday in West Virginia, alleged that Oliver and his staff “executed a meticulously planned attempt to assassinate the character of and reputation of Mr. Robert E. Murray and his companies” by broadcasting the segment that heavily criticized the coal industry and Murray, 77, the CEO of 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,” the complaint stated.
However, Oliver said during the episode that he expected Murray to sue him.
“I’m going to need to be careful here,” Oliver said. “Because when we contacted Murray Energy for this piece, they sent us a letter instructing us to ‘cease and desist’ from any effort to defame, harass, or otherwise injure Mr. Murray or Murray Energy,’ and telling us that ‘failure to do so will result in immediate litigation.’”
The comedian then proceeded to lambaste Murray and the U.S. coal industry in the show’s main segment.
Oliver is often the subject of clickbait headlines about how he TOTALLY DESTROYED someone or something in one of his satirical news rants. His comedy gets pushed on left wing political blogs as if it were real news or analysis.
These days you can’t even rely on real journalists to to provide balanced coverage of any given issue, a left wing comedian is certainly not going to be objective.
Oliver called Murray a “geriatric Dr. Evil,” and claimed the coal magnate treated his employees poorly. The HBO host also disapproved of Murray’s response to a deadly collapse in August 2007 in the Crandall Canyon Mine in Utah, which is owned by Murray’s company. Murray said the collapse was caused by an earthquake but a government investigation said the accident was triggered by safety violations, Oliver said.
The complaint stated Oliver ignored the company’s data that supported Murray’s reasoning.
“Because Defendant Oliver omitted any mention of the other reports he was aware of that evidenced that an earthquake caused the collapse, as Mr. Murray correctly stated following the collapse, Defendant Oliver’s presentation intentionally and falsely implied that there is no such evidence,” the complaint stated.
Like Comedy Central’s Daily Show, HBO’s Last Week Tonight is one of those news themed comedy shows that many people—especially millennials—think delivers an accurate rundown of current events. There are many who readily admit that they get their news from comedy programs like this.
The lawsuit alleges that the show contacted Murray Energy for information which they supplied but the comedy bit relied exclusively on discredited media reports.
31. When Defendants contacted Murray Energy, Mr. Murray and his companies were under the false impression that Defendants would use this supplied information to accurately and responsibly broadcast the facts and circumstances regarding the topics of the upcoming broadcast.
32. Mr. Murray and the other Plaintiffs warned Defendants prior to the June 18, 2017 broadcast that their sources of information and the information itself were outdated, and were false and defamatory when they were made, and remain so. You recklessly rely exclusively on previously discredited media reports. At Defendants’ invitation, Plaintiffs provided detailed information and facts directly contrary to the injurious, false, and defaming statements that Defendants threatened to broadcast. Plaintiffs demanded that Defendants cease and desist from any effort to defame, harass, or otherwise injure Mr. Murray or Murray Energy.
33. One subject that Defendants noti?ed Mr. Murray and his companies that they intended to discuss was the collapse of and subsequent rescue efforts at the Crandall Canyon Mine, operated by Genwal Resources, Inc.
34. To ensure accurate reporting, and given the sensitivity surrounding these tragic events, which resulted in the loss of nine lives and injuries to several others, Mr. Murray and Murray Energy provided summaries of and citations to reports evidencing that the mine collapse was in fact triggered by what is commonly understood as an earthquake. Among other things, Mr. Murray and Murray Energy provided Defendants with the following facts and information:
a. When Mr. Murray first learned of the initial collapse, he was in Montana and rushed to the Mine, arriving within four hours of the accident.
b. Mr. Murray then spent the next twenty~eight days at the Mine, directing rescue efforts, personally attending to the families tragically affected by the collapse, and directing the recovery efforts.
c. Although Mr. Murray was understandably unable to satisfy all of the expectations of the public and the family members of the trapped miners, he and his team worked around the clock to try and rescue the miners, and showed honesty, sincerity, and compassion every day in his communications and dealings with the families and the public. Mr. Murray held frequent meetings, several times every day, and provided for every possible need
Leftists typically believe that nothing is sacred when it comes to attacking an industry that they feel is harming the planet. Exploiting a tragedy in order to defame a leader in that industry by falsely characterizing events is not surprising for comedy pseudo-news. Actually it wouldn’t be surprising coming from actual journalists. I hope the fact that Oliver’s program isn’t real news doesn’t give them an out.