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Missouri AG Launches Investigation Into Media Matters

AG Andrew Bailey: 'I'm fighting to ensure progressive tyrants masquerading as news outlets cannot manipulate the marketplace in order to wipe out free speech'

Missouri AG Launches Investigation Into Media Matters

Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey has launched an investigation into liberal activist media watchdog group Media Matters.

The investigation follows Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's late-November investigation into Media Matters.

The Missouri AG said he has reason to believe the activist media watchdog group "used fraud to solicit donations" from state residents to "bully advertisers" into pulling ads from the platform.

Bailey also referred to X as "the last platform dedicated to free speech in America."

The investigation alleges Media Matters "deceptively manipulated" X's algorithm through "coordinated, inauthentic behavior" in hopes to defame the platform and encourage advertisers to pull support from X.

"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," the Bailey's filing reads. "At the same time, you appear to have used this coordinated, inauthentic activity to solicit charitable donations from consumers across the country."

"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," Bailey continued. "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."

Per Bailey's investigation, Media Matters is instructed to preserve all records that may relate to their effort to "engage in coordinated, inauthentic behavior on social media platforms in order to generate false statements that were used to solicit charitable contributions under false pretenses."

Bailey elaborated on the investigation in a follow-up X post.

"Enemies of free speech are attempting to kill X because they cannot control it," he wrote. "We are not going to let Missourians be subject to fraud in the process."

"I'm fighting to ensure progressive tyrants masquerading as news outlets cannot manipulate the marketplace in order to wipe out free speech," he concluded.

Media Matters is obligated to preserve physical and electronic copies of documents including letters, emails, instant messages, text messages, drafts, informal files, desk files, handwritten notes, faxes, memoranda, forms, calendar entries, address book entries, and voicemails.

"Failure to preserve documents of probative value to this case, even if inadvertent, will constitute spoliation of evidence and may result in a finding of contempt from the court or in sanctions," Bailey warned.

On Nov. 21, X officially filed a lawsuit against Media Matters similarly alleging the activist watchdog group "knowingly and maliciously manufactured" images depicting X advertisers appearing next to posts featuring "Neo-Nazi and white nationalist fringe content."

"Media Matters designed both these images and its resulting media strategy to drive advertisers from the platform and destroy X Corp.," reads the lawsuit.

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