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Tags: media matters | elon musk | layoffs | ken paxton | david brock | defamation | lawsuit

After Musk Sues, Media Matters Lays Off a Dozen Staffers

By    |   Thursday, 23 May 2024 08:18 PM EDT

Media Matters for America laid off at least a dozen staffers on Thursday following a defamation lawsuit by X owner Elon Musk and a federal investigation by two Republican attorneys general.

Staffers for the progressive outlet took to Musk's social media platform to announce their abrupt separation from Media Matters.

"Bad News: I've been laid off from @mmfa, along with a dozen colleagues," Kat Abughazaleh wrote. "There's a reason far-right billionaires attack Media Matters with armies of lawyers: They know how effective our work is, and it terrifies them (him)."

Referring to the volatility of the media industry, Bobby Lewis said, "journalism milestone achieved (got laid off)."

"After nearly four years of working at media matters, I got laid off," an ex-staffer named Bee wrote. "So if anyone is looking for researchers with video experience, drop a line."

The layoffs came after Musk filed a federal lawsuit in November accusing the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit of "knowingly and maliciously" manufacturing images showing ads from major corporations adjacent to neo-Nazi and white supremacist posts.

In the complaint, X alleges that Media Matters manipulated the social media platform's algorithms to create images of advertisers' paid content next to racist, inflammatory posts.

According to the suit, the combinations were "manufactured, inorganic and extraordinarily rare." They were also intended to "drive advertisers from the platform and destroy X Corp," the social media company claimed.

Media Matters said at the time that it stood by its reporting and expected to prevail in court.

GOP Attorneys General Ken Paxton of Texas and Andrew Bailey of Missouri also announced late last year that they were launching investigations into Media Matters for potentially fraudulent activity by allegedly manipulating data on X.

In an unusual development, Judge Mark Pittman of the U.S. District Court in Northern Texas recused himself from presiding over Musk's lawsuit against Media Matters, The Hill reported in late November.

Pittman wrote in a notice filed with the court that he was recusing himself from the case and requested that it be assigned to another judge.

Federal judges are required to recuse themselves when their "impartiality might reasonably be questioned," including when there is personal bias or a financial interest involved.

The judge, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump, reportedly did not give a reason for the recusal in the notice.

Media Matters was founded by David Brock, who wrote "The Real Anita Hill" and "The Seduction of Hillary Rodham" before becoming a Democrat and writing "Blinded by the Right" and "The Republican Noise Machine."

Nicole Wells

Nicole Wells, a Newsmax general assignment reporter covers news, politics, and culture. She is a National Newspaper Association award-winning journalist.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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Media Matters for America laid off at least a dozen staffers on Thursday following a defamation lawsuit by X owner Elon Musk and a federal investigation by two Republican attorneys general.
media matters, elon musk, layoffs, ken paxton, david brock, defamation, lawsuit, investigation
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2024-18-23
Thursday, 23 May 2024 08:18 PM
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