Reaction To Brief In Marshall Cty Coal Co. V. Oliver
28 January 2018
Title: Reaction to brief in Marshall Cty Coal Co. v. Oliver
The amicus brief that the ACLU filed to support John Oliver was to defend Oliver from being sued by Bob Murray, of Marshall Count Coal, with regards to a comedy segment in his television show. Oliver discussed safety violations occurring in their mines in a satirical way which gave the impression that business interests were more important than the workers' safety.
Despite the fact that the brief discusses a number of elements related to comedy and satire, the main subject matter of the case carries serious implications. The arguments from the ACLU that showcase Murray as a habitual litigant often trying to suppress media outlets by suing them are also convincing. Many such organizations try to exploit the legal system to suppress any voices raised against labor violations.
Furthermore, proving defamation requires that there is suitable and sufficient evidence indicating malice. Malice is indicated by making false statements in obvious disregard of the truth. The legal implications of the otherwise absurd case are serious, since it discussed the right of the press to satire, be rude and irreverent; a critical debate in the matter of 1st amendment protected free speech.
The people who would go through the brief may find it funny and non-serious. Although, the lawsuit holds little merit in my view; however, the ACLU’s personal interest in going at lengths to defend John Oliver may, in fact, be driven by the need to generate PR and increase donations for the body. Therefore, it is likely that there were certain organizational goals at the backend of the brief.
Moreover, Oliver is able to successfully defend himself as a comedian whose job revolves around satire. His job is precisely to poke fun, be proactive, say the unusual and do what is absurd. Whether Bob Murray resents it or not, it is still legal speech protected under the 1st Amendment, and thus an America right.
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