Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey announced an investigation into the Show Me State’s belief that Media Matters used “fraud” to solicit donations to bully advertisers into pulling out of X, formerly known as Twitter.
Bailey wrote to Media Matters President and CEO Angelo Carusone:
As you are no doubt aware, a federal lawsuit has been filed against Media Matters, raising serious allegations that your firm falsely and deceptively manipulated the algorithm on X (formerly known as Twitter) through coordinated, inauthentic behavior and that you did so in an attempt to defame the organization and cause advertisers to pull their support from the platform, thus harming free speech. The lawsuit alleges that you lied to the public, falsely suggesting that fringe, extremist content regularly appears next to content from corporate advertisers when in fact the opposite is true. At the same time, you appear to have used this coordinated, inauthentic activity to solicit charitable donations from consumers across the country. [Emphasis added]
Media Matters alleged in a report that X/Twitter displayed advertisements from prominent companies next to “white nationalist” hashtags. X owner Elon Musk said that the leftist group misrepresented the situation to mislead advertisers. Nevertheless, this led to a mass exodus of major advertisers such as IBM, Apple, Disney, Lionsgate, and Paramount. Musk has promised his own “thermonuclear” lawsuit against Media Matters.
Bailey continued in his letter to Media Matters:
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. E.g., Mo. Rev. Stat. § 407.020.1. 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.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton also initiated its investigation into Media Matters.
Sean Moran is a policy reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.