Gehrke: Coal exec Bob Murray’s lawsuit and attacks on John Oliver shouldn’t silence critical voices | The Salt Lake Tribune

The lawsuit is straight out of the Murray playbook.

In the past 15 years, he has sued journalists from the The New York Times, Huffington Post, The Charleston Gazette, the Akron Beacon Journal and the Chagrin Valley Times in Ohio. He’s also brought suit against the United Mine Workers, the good-government group Public Citizen, and has threatened the editor of Coal Age and Engineering & Mining Journal, and a former Penn State University professor.

On occasion, the litter of lawsuits has yielded apologies, but the overwhelming majority have been tossed out of court.

When The Salt Lake Tribune was aggressively reporting on the collapse of the Crandall Canyon Mine, we were the first to report that the mining practices helped cause the collapse, that Murray’s company knew of the problems and risks at the mine before the collapse, and that the problems were not properly reported to federal authorities.

We were threatened again and again with litigation, but we knew all along we had this right and our editors, to their credit, backed us up.

via Gehrke: Coal exec Bob Murray’s attacks on John Oliver shouldn’t silence critical voices | The Salt Lake Tribune


“In the face of these attacks, we need a strong, free press and we need people — like John Oliver — who won’t be intimidated and who will keep speaking truth to power.”

“Otherwise, Murray and his kind will keep treating the First Amendment like one of Murray’s played-out coal mines, hacking away at the underpinnings until it, too, inevitably collapses.”
~`~ Robert Gehrke ~`~