Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has launched a fraud investigation into Media Matters for America at the same time as X owner Elon Musk filed a “thermonuclear” lawsuit against the progressive media watchdog.
Both actions stem from a recent report by Media Matters claiming that Musk’s X had placed ads alongside pro-Nazi content which prompted the exodus of major advertisers like IBM, Apple, Walt Disney, Comcast, and Warner Bros.
Musk alleges that Media Matters manipulated its findings by selectively observing extremist accounts and major advertisers, selectively highlighting instances where posts from both categories were juxtaposed.
In Musk’s lawsuit, filed in Texas, X Corp accuses Media Matters of conducting a “blatant smear campaign” against the social media platform. The lawsuit contends that Media Matters fabricated its report by continuously refreshing a biased feed, and it demands the removal of the report along with unspecified damages.
Media Matters President Angelo Carusone dismissed Musk’s lawsuit as “frivolous” and accused it of attempting to silence X’s critics. Carusone expressed confidence in their reporting and said that they are looking forward to winning the case.
Paxton’s office, expressing concern over Musk’s allegations, referred to Media Matters as a “radical anti-free speech organization” and stated that they are closely examining the matter to ensure transparency.
This isn’t Paxton’s first time playing attack dog for Musk. He launched an investigation into Twitter (now X) in June 2022 when Musk raised questions about bot accounts while negotiating to purchase Twitter for $44 billion. The outcome of the investigation was never disclosed.
The Texas AG is also facing a long-delayed trial for securities fraud. He was indicted on the charges in 2015, just months after the start of his first term as AG. The charges allege that in 2011, while he was a member of the House of Representatives, he sought investors for a McKinney technology company without revealing that he was being paid to promote its stock. The trial is set for April 15.
Paxton also very recently escaped the possibility of being kicked out of office when the state’s Republican-dominated senate voted to acquit him of all 20 articles of impeachment.
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