Media Matters Files Lawsuit Against Texas Attorney General in Maryland Regarding Investigation of Its Article on Musk’s X

Media watchdog group Media Matters for America has filed a lawsuit against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, claiming that the AG’s investigation into the group has chilled the reporting of its senior investigative reporter on Elon Musk’s X app. The progressive watchdog group’s lawsuit alleges that their reporting on the X app platform hosting bigots has been affected by the investigation.

The report by Media Matters, released last month, claimed that X was hosting bigots and had paid far-right extremists, leading major companies like Apple, Disney, Sony, and Fox Sports to boycott the platform from their advertising campaigns. This prompted Mr. Paxton to announce an investigation into Media Matters for potential fraudulent activity in its report, after X disputed the allegations.

X has countered Media Matters’ report with a defamation lawsuit in a Texas federal court. According to X, the report author was among only two users to see an Apple ad next to hateful content, while explaining that content follows the search history of users.

The Office of the Attorney General in Texas stated that Mr. Paxton’s investigation was in response to the allegations that Media Matters fraudulently manipulated data on X.com, and that his case aimed to protect the First Amendment rights of Texans. X has faced criticism from progressive groups after Mr. Musk’s takeover of Twitter and the release of internal communications revealing censorship in favor of then-candidate Joe Biden.

Mr. Paxton’s office explained that the investigation of Media Matters’ report is being pursued under the Texas Business Organizations Code and the Deceptive Trade Practices Act, aimed at nonprofits committing fraudulent acts affecting the state of Texas.

Media Matters, founded in 2004, is asking a judge in a federal court in Maryland to permanently block Mr. Paxton’s investigation. It alleges that the AG’s request to rifle through their documents would violate their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights.

The investigation didn’t request Media Matters to stop publishing its findings, but the group claimed that the actions of Mr. Paxton have chilled the speech of their reporter, who intended to publish articles about extremism on the X app.

Mr. Musk, the owner of X, welcomed Mr. Paxton’s probe, stating that “Fraud has both civil & criminal penalties.” X also filed a lawsuit against Media Matters for unlawfully interfering in its relationship with advertisers.

In a separate development, Missouri AG Andrew Bailey announced his own investigation into Media Matters for potentially unlawful business practices, accusing the progressive organization of attempting to defame the organization and cause advertisers to pull their support from the platform, thus harming free speech. Mr. Bailey vowed to fight against progressive tyrants masquerading as news outlets and prevent them from manipulating the marketplace to wipe out free speech.

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