On the newest episode of Final Week Tonight, John Oliver desires to have a phrase about lawsuits. , lawsuits, “the explanation that the sentence ‘Greta Thunberg allegedly killed Jeffrey Epstein’ has the phrase ‘allegedly‘ in it,” the comic defined.
The rationale lawsuits have been on Oliver’s thoughts is as a result of the go well with coal tycoon Bob Murray had filed in opposition to him had been dropped, and based on Oliver, “It’s a loopy story.” As you could recall, Murray had sued Final Week Tonight over a 2017 section during which they joked that he appeared like “a geriatric Dr. Evil” — “which we did and he does,” Oliver doubled down — and that the present organized “for a workers member to decorate up in a squirrel costume and ship the message, ‘Eat sh**, Bob,‘” which additionally they did.
Along with looking for a large sum of cash, the lawsuit additionally sought a gag order to forestall the community from rebroadcasting the present or having the episode obtainable on-line. The case was initially dismissed, however Murray appealed to the West Virginia Supreme Court docket. In a shock twist, one of many judges set to listen to the case was Allen Loughry, whom Oliver occurred to have skewered in a 2015 episode of his present. However fortunately for Oliver, Loughry, together with three different state Supreme Court docket justices, have been impeached over inappropriate spending and by no means heard the case. Murray later supplied to drop the go well with, which Oliver notes was simply across the identical time that Murray’s coal firm, Murray Power, was reorganizing into chapter 11. Though the go well with was dropped, Oliver famous that the lawsuit ended up costing over $200,000 in authorized charges and resulted in a tripling of the present’s libel insurance coverage premiums.
Oliver advised the viewers that he believes “successful the case was by no means actually [Murray’s] objective.” As a substitute, it was a so-called SLAPP go well with, with SLAPP being an acronym for a “strategic lawsuit in opposition to public participation;” in different phrases, a lawsuit meant to punish and intimidate critics. “The entire level is to place the defendant by a troublesome, painful expertise,” Oliver stated. Such fits can be utilized as a scare tactic to silence journalists in addition to citizen activists.
SLAPP fits are a scourge, based on Oliver, so 30 states have anti-SLAPP legal guidelines that require plaintiffs to justify their claims early on, and if they’ll’t, fits are dropped and defendants could be awarded attorneys’ charges. “Sadly, 20 states don’t have these legal guidelines,” Oliver stated, together with West Virginia, which is the place Murray sued Oliver, even though neither of them stay there. “Lawsuits like his make individuals suppose twice earlier than reporting on his enterprise or pointing issues out like the truth that Bob Murray’s normal facial features solutions the query, ‘What would it not appear to be if an egg was mentally undressing you?” Oliver joked.
Because the Final Week Tonight workforce was researching Murray once more, they uncovered what they consider are critical allegations of sexual misconduct in opposition to Murray. Murray denies the allegations, and Oliver admits that by airing them Murray will more than likely sue them once more, however they felt it was within the public curiosity to do it anyway.
“Right here we go once more,” stated Oliver. “It’s one more Bob Murray try and bully individuals into silence and he has been doing this for many years. I’ll stand behind our first piece and I’ll stand behind this one.”
Since Murray was more than likely already going to sue the present, Oliver determined to exit in a blaze of glory. Particularly, with an outrageously bawdy, hilarious tune stuffed with lewd jibes on the coal boss. And sure, there was a large squirrel concerned as soon as once more.