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(Daily Caller)—Republican Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey is launching an investigation into Media Matters for America, a left-wing organization that released a report about alleged antisemitism on Elon Musk’s X in November.
Media Matters published research in November alleging that X had been placing ads from major brands next to pro-Nazi content; however, X later sued Media Matters over the study, claiming it was manipulated and defamatory. Baily sent a letter to Media Matters on Monday asserting that the group may have run afoul of Missouri consumer protection laws if X’s allegations are true and instructing Media Matters to preserve documents related to group’s research on X.
🚨BREAKING: We have reason to believe Media Matters used fraud to solicit donations from Missourians in order to bully advertisers into pulling out of X, the last platform dedicated to free speech in America.
We have launched an investigation. pic.twitter.com/jBUJqdsFYL
— Attorney General Andrew Bailey (@AGAndrewBailey) December 11, 2023
“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,” Bailey wrote.
Bailey argued that, if Media Matters did indeed publish false and defamatory information about X, then their efforts to fundraise off their research may have violated Missouri laws against fraud.
Media Matters must maintain documents, including internal correspondences and correspondence with advertisers about withdrawing ads from X, according to the letter. It also must maintain “internal communications regarding [its] policies, strategies or operations related to generating stories or content intended to ‘cancel,’ ‘deplatform,’ ‘demonetize,’ or otherwise interfere with businesses or organizations located in Missouri, or utilized by Missouri residents” and “communications and documents related to soliciting charitable funds from residents of Missouri.”
Apple, Comcast, IBM, Lionsgate, Paramount Global, Sony and Warner Bros. Discovery all withdrew their advertising from X following Media Matters’ report.
“Media Matters accessed accounts that had been active for at least 30 days, bypassing X’s ad filter for new users,” X’s lawsuit says. “Media Matters then exclusively followed a small subset of users consisting entirely of accounts in one of two categories: those known to produce extreme, fringe content, and accounts owned by X’s big-name advertisers. The end result was a feed precision-designed by Media Matters for a single purpose: to produce side-by-side ad/content placements that it could screenshot in an effort to alienate advertisers.”
Media Matters has raised funds from organizations managed by Arabella Advisors, a consultancy that supports a dark money network aligned with left-leaning groups and causes. The Arabella-managed Hopewell Fund contributed $250,000 to Media Matters in 2022 and $150,000 in 2020, while the New Venture Fund has contributed $150,000 to Media Matters since 2018, according to tax documents.
Left-wing billionaire George Soros’ Open Society Foundations also granted the group $500,000 in 2021, according to its grant database.
Bailey’s press office and Media Matters did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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