John Oliver Predicted He'd Get Sued, and He Was Right
Coal baron Robert E. Murray accuses show of character assassination
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 22, 2017 1:32 PM CDT

(Newser) – It didn't take long for coal baron Robert E. Murray to sue John Oliver: It was just days ago that Oliver ripped into the coal industry on Sunday's Last Week Tonight, and by Wednesday, Murray had filed a lawsuit against Oliver, the writers of the show, HBO, and Time Warner, the Daily Beast reports. Oliver focused on President Trump "lying" to coal miners: "Stop telling them that their jobs are all coming back when they’re not. Stop telling them that coal is clean when it isn’t. And stop pretending that this isn’t an industry in the middle of a painful—albeit necessary—transition." But during the segment, he also ripped into Murray for, per Oliver, not doing enough to safeguard his miners.

During the episode, Oliver revealed his team had contacted Murray's company before the segment aired, and the company had responded with a cease-and-desist letter. Oliver also pointed out that Murray has a history of suing media outlets, the Independent reports, and predicted that his show would soon get a lawsuit of its own. The suit accuses Last Week Tonight of "execut[ing] a meticulously planned attempt to assassinate the character of and reputation of Mr. Robert E. Murray and his companies." One of the issues brought up by Oliver was a collapse of one of Murray's Utah mines that killed nine people; Oliver cited a government report finding that unauthorized mining practices were to blame, but Murray's lawsuit insists an earthquake was to blame and says Oliver ignored studies supporting that claim.

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