- Media Matters faced a double whammy on Monday after reporting on Ax’s advertising strategy.
- It said X placed ads next to pro-Nazi content – leading to an exodus of advertisers from the platform.
- Elon Musk is now suing Watchdog, and Texas AG Ken Paxton is investigating the group for fraud.
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Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton launched an investigation into fraud at Media Matters for America on Monday, the same day that Elon Musk filed a lawsuit against the nonprofit.
Both actions, announced on Monday, are a double blow to Media Matters over its report that Musk’s ex was placing ads next to pro-Nazi material.
The report, published Thursday, triggered an advertiser exodus from X, followed by Musk announcing he would file a “thermonuclear” lawsuit against Media Matters.
Musk alleged that Media Matters deliberately manipulated its findings by only following extremist accounts and a small selection of large advertisers, then cherry-picking examples when posts from both categories were next to each other.
Now Paxton is also jumping into the fray, with his office saying in a statement that he was “deeply troubled” by Musk’s allegations. Their statement called Media Matters a “radical anti-free speech organization.”
“We are closely investigating this issue to ensure that the public is not deceived by the plans of radical left-wing organizations that seek to limit freedom by reducing participation in the public square,” Paxton said in the statement. Don’t want anything else.”
On Musk’s behalf, the billionaire’s X Corp filed a lawsuit in Texas alleging that Media Matters conducted a “gross defamation campaign” against the social media platform.
The lawsuit, seen by Business Insider, accuses Media Matters of “constantly scrolling and refreshing its non-representative, hand-selected feed” to produce its report, which was released Thursday.
The watchdog’s analysis showed examples of ads from five companies – IBM, Oracle, Xfinity, Bravo and Apple – shown next to anti-Semitic posts.
But X’s lawsuit alleges that no “authentic” users on
The lawsuit demands Media Matters to retract its report and seeks an undisclosed amount of damages.
In a statement to BI, Media Matters president Angelo Carusone said that X’s lawsuit was “frivolous” and “aimed at intimidating X’s critics into silence.”
“Media Matters stands behind its reporting and looks forward to winning in court,” Carusone said.
A representative for Media Matters did not immediately respond when asked to comment on Paxton’s investigation.
This is not the first time that Paxton, a staunch conservative, has scrutinized the party with which Musk has also taken issue. In June 2022, the Attorney General launched an investigation into Twitter, now known as X, into whether it falsely reported on bot accounts.
The announcement came after Musk raised questions about bot accounts during talks to buy Twitter for $44 billion.
Paxton’s office has not announced the outcome of the investigation into the bot account.
Meanwhile, Musk has recently been embroiled in a separate anti-Semitism controversy. On November 16, he retweeted an anti-Semitic post on Twitter, writing, “You told the real truth,” sparking a response from other tech leaders and investors.