Finance

Coal company sues HBO's John Oliver for defamation

Coal company sues HBO's John Oliver for defamation

A USA coal company is firing back at John Oliver after the Last Week Tonight host slammed its CEO in a June 18 show.

"Because Defendant Oliver omitted any mention of the other reports he was aware of that evidenced that an natural disaster 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 says, per The Daily Beast.

Finally, in a stunt fit only for late-night television, Oliver brought out a man in a giant squirrel costume and paraded him around the stage.

The lawsuit claims the show's "callous, vicious and false" segment about Murray ignored facts and advances "biases against the coal industry" and disdain for Trump's pro-coal policies.

He clearly anticipated the suit, saying: "And I know you're probably going to sue me over this".

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While preparing for the segment, Oliver's staff had reached out to Murray's company.

"Hey Bob, just wanted to say, if you plan on suing, I do not have a billion dollars", Mr. NutterButter, the squirrel mascot on Oliver's show said. But, you know what?

"But instead of reporting on the facts, including those facts which Defendants secured through their (what turned out to be) disingenuous outreach to Mr. Murray and his companies before the June 18, 2017 broadcast, Defendants ignored them and "doubled-down" on their character assassination of Mr. Murray and the business reputation of his companies, ending their recorded broadcast with the phrases "Eat Shit, Bob" and 'Kiss my ass, Bob, '" the 24-page filing in the Circuit Court of Marshall County, West Virginia bluntly recollects. According to the suit, the company's website was hacked, after Oliver's show aired, and flooded with "Eat s**t, Bob" messages. More substantively, Murray accuses Oliver of ignoring evidence that the Utah mine collapse was caused by an natural disaster, though a government report concluded that the root of the tragedy was unauthorized mining practices.

The complaint alleges one count each of defamation, false light invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Murray has a history of filing lawsuits against media outlets that report on him, including The New York Times. The case was dismissed the following year.

On Wednesday, Murray Energy filed suit against Oliver, HBO, and Time Warner for defamation. The firm, Reorg Research Inc., is fighting a court order to reveal the sources.


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