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Tags: andrew bailey | missouri | media matters | elon musk

Missouri AG Launches Fraud Probe Into Media Matters

By    |   Monday, 11 December 2023 04:04 PM EST

Republican Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey on Monday accused left-wing media outlet Media Matters for America of fraudulently soliciting donations from Missourians in its efforts to target X, formerly Twitter, and is launching an investigation.

"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," Bailey said in a news release. "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.

"I'm fighting to ensure progressive tyrants masquerading as news outlets cannot manipulate the marketplace in order to wipe out free speech."

Bailey is the second Republican attorney general to launch an investigation into Media Matters after Texas' Ken Paxton announced a similar one Nov. 20.

On Nov. 17, Media Matters published an investigation that revealed the advertisements of major companies on X were shown alongside white supremacist content.

Companies such as IBM, Lionsgate, Paramount, Apple, and Disney said they were leaving X, and the European Union also said it would halt advertising.

Billionaire Elon Musk, the owner of X, Tesla, and SpaceX, threatened a "thermonuclear lawsuit" against Media Matters, which the company filed in Texas on the same day Paxton announced his investigation.

The lawsuit claims Media Matters falsely portrayed X "as a risky, unsafe platform for advertisers."

"Media Matters has manipulated the algorithms governing the user experience on X," the lawsuit states, "to bypass safeguards and create images of X's largest advertisers' paid posts adjacent to racist, incendiary content, leaving the false impression that these pairings are anything but what they actually are: manufactured, inorganic, and extraordinarily rare."

In a letter to Media Matters dated Monday, Bailey ordered the company "to preserve all records that may relate to your alleged effort to engage in coordinated, inauthentic behavior on social media platforms in order to generate false statements that were used to solicit charitable contributions under false pretenses.

"I have reason to believe that your firm's alleged actions may have violated Missouri consumer protection laws, including laws that prohibit nonprofit entities from soliciting funds under false pretenses," Bailey wrote. "I am especially concerned that Media Matters' actions, if proven true, have hampered free speech by targeting an expressly pro free speech social media platform in an attempt to cause it financial harm while defrauding Missourians in the process."

Newsmax reached out to Media Matters for comment. But in response to Musk's threat of a lawsuit, Media Matters President Angelo Carusone said Nov. 18 in a statement on the company's website: "Far from the free speech advocate he claims to be, Musk is a bully who threatens meritless lawsuits in an attempt to silence reporting that he even confirmed is accurate.

"Musk admitted the ads at issue ran alongside the pro-Nazi content we identified. If he does sue us, we will win."

Michael Katz

Michael Katz is a Newsmax reporter with more than 30 years of experience reporting and editing on news, culture, and politics.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


Newsfront
Republican Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey on Monday accused left-wing media outlet Media Matters for America of fraudulently soliciting donations from Missourians in its efforts to target X, formerly Twitter, and is launching an investigation.
andrew bailey, missouri, media matters, elon musk
491
2023-04-11
Monday, 11 December 2023 04:04 PM
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