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Al Franken had to explain the scientific method to Rick Perry.

The nation’s largest privately owned coal company, Murray Energy, just filed a lawsuit against the Last Week Tonight host over the show’s recent segment. Oliver had criticized the company’s CEO, Robert Murray, for acting carelessly toward miners’ safety.

Murray Energy’s complaint stated that the segment was a “meticulously planned attempt to assassinate the character and reputation” of Murray by broadcasting “false, injurious, and defamatory comments.”

Oliver shouldn’t be too concerned, according to Ken White, a First Amendment litigator at Los Angeles firm, who told the Daily Beast that the complaint was “frivolous and vexatious.”

The lawsuit is hardly a shocking development. Before the show aired, Oliver received a cease-and-desist letter from the company. He noted that Murray has a history of filing defamation suits against news outlets (most recently, the New York Times).

Oliver said in the episode, “I know that you are probably going to sue me, but you know what, I stand by everything I said.”


John Oliver wants America to clean its plate

John Oliver wants America to clean its plate

By on 20 Jul 2015commentsShare

As Last Week Tonight host John Oliver suggests in the video above, what is more American than food waste? From farm to table to dump, Americans toss out up to a whopping 40 percent of it.

“Food waste is like the band Rascal Flatts,” jokes Oliver. “It can fill a surprising number of stadiums, even though many people consider it complete garbage.” It’s garbage for the climate too: Annual greenhouse gas emissions due to food waste add up to about twice the annual emissions of India.

Much of the dumping can be pinned to arbitrary sell-by dates and aesthetic criteria formally and informally governing the food that makes it to market. The Canadian regulatory text on apples, for example, runs upwards of 30 pages and covers everything from apple shape and firmness to hail injury and sunburn (which is apparently a thing that can happen to apples). Revising regulations like these and getting ugly produce onto the shelves could be a good first step toward curbing the waste trend.

There’s probably a food for thought joke to be made, but I’ll spare you.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Food Waste

, HBO.



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