Thursday 14 December 2023

‘Progressive Tyrants’: Missouri AG Launches Investigation Into Media Matters

 Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey announced this week an investigation into Media Matters for America over accusations that the outlet intentionally misled readers about X to pressure advertisers to pull support from the social media platform. 

Last month, Bailey indicated that he would be looking at Media Matters after it published an article claiming X was placing ads for major corporations alongside Nazi-related content. Musk responded to the article by filing a lawsuit and saying it was “contrived” and a “fraudulent attack.” After the report, several major corporations like Apple and IBM announced they would pull advertising from X.

“We have reason to believe Media Matters used fraud to solicit donations from Missourians in order to trick advertisers into pulling out of X, the last platform dedicated to free speech in America. Radicals are attempting to kill Twitter because they cannot control it, and we are not going to let Missourians get ripped off in the process,” Bailey said in a statement. “I’m fighting to ensure progressive tyrants masquerading as news outlets cannot manipulate the marketplace in order to wipe out free speech.”

In a letter on Monday to Media Matters President Angelo Carusone, Bailey said that he believed the outlet might have violated Missouri consumer protection laws, “including laws that prohibit nonprofit entities from soliciting funds under false pretenses.” 

Bailey told Carusone to preserve any communication regarding the outlet’s story on X and any communications on their “efforts to manipulate those advertisers into pulling their ads from the platform.” 

Missouri’s investigation follows an announcement from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton that he would be probing the outlet. 

“We are examining the issue closely to ensure that the public has not been deceived by the schemes of radical left-wing organizations who would like nothing more than to limit freedom by reducing participation in the public square,” Paxton said last month. 


Media Matters has responded to Paxton’s investigation by filing a lawsuit, arguing that he had violated the First Amendment. 

“[The] chill imposed by his retaliatory scheme injures Plaintiffs’ ability to investigate and publish news stories and further chills their ability to participate in a robust public discussion around political extremism on the X platform,” Media Matters lawyers claimed.

Musk has claimed Media Matters was trying to undermine free speech on X because “they perceive it as a threat to their ideological narrative and those of their financial supporters.”

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