Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey Files Suit Against Media Matters for Stonewalling Investigation

Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey has filed a lawsuit against far-left Media Matters to force the nonprofit to turn over documents related to its allegedly fraudulent business practices.

Bailey opened an investigation into Media Matters in November 2023 based on evidence that the organization had solicited donations from Missourians under false pretenses to target X, formerly known as Twitter. Arguing that such solicitations are in “direct violation of the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act,” the Missouri AG announced his investigation into Media Matters on December 12, 2023.  A month earlier,  X owner Elon Musk had announced that he would sue Media Matters for smearing his social media platform as anti-Semitic and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R-Texas) announced that his state would launch a fraud probe into the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization’s practices.

In a press release Monday, Bailey explained that Media Matters has failed to cooperate with his investigation, necessitating the lawsuit.

“My office has reason to believe Media Matters used fraud to solicit donations from Missourians in order to bully advertisers into pulling out of X, the last social media platform dedicated to free speech in America, so we launched an investigation to get to the bottom of it,” the Missouri AG said.

“However, Media Matters has a sordid history of refusing to cooperate with investigations. I’m not going to let this activist group stonewall us. If there has been any attempt to defraud Missourians in order to trample on their free speech rights, I will root it out and hold bad actors accountable,” he added.

Last year, Media Matters was accused of manipulating X’s algorithm to place advertisers’ content next to controversial posts, “causing X to suffer astronomical financial losses when affected advertisers pulled their money from the site,” Baily’s office said. “Media Matters has been outspoken in its attempts to defame X for its refusal to censor disfavored viewpoints.”

Bailey’s lawsuit details how “Media Matters, a self-styled not-for-profit ‘progressive research and information center,’ envisions itself monitoring, analyzing, and correcting ‘conservative misinformation’ in the U.S. media. In fact, this description falls far short of reality for this political activist organization. Instead, rather than passively ‘monitoring,’ Media Matters has used fraud to solicit donations from Missourians in order to trick advertisers into removing their advertisements from X, formerly Twitter, one of the last platforms dedicated to free speech in America.”

The suit further alleges “Media Matters has pursued an activist agenda in its attempt to destroy X, because they cannot control it. And because they cannot control it, or the free speech platform it provides to Missourians to express their own viewpoints in the public square, the radical ‘progressives’ at Media Matters have resorted to fraud to, as Benjamin Franklin once said, mark X ‘for the odium of the public, as an enemy to the liberty of the press.’ Missourians will not be manipulated by ‘progressive’ activists masquerading as news outlets, and they will not be defrauded in the process.”

Additionally, the suit asserts “Based on serious allegations of false and deceptive behavior, the Attorney General’s Office has issued a Civil Investigative Demand (CID), as authorized by Missouri Law, to Media Matters to investigate possible violations of the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act.”

The Attorney General is seeking an order from the Court compelling Media Matters to comply with the CID within 20 days.

Elon Musk expressed his gratitude for the Mo. AG’s actions Monday, posting on X:  “Much appreciated! Media Matters is doing everything it can to undermine the First Amendment. Truly an evil organization.”

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About Debra Heine

Debra Heine is a conservative Catholic mom of six and longtime political pundit. She has written for several conservative news websites over the years, including Breitbart and PJ Media.

Photo: WASHINGTON - JANUARY 10: Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey arrives to testify during the House Homeland Security Committee hearing on "Havoc in the Heartland: How Secretary Mayorkas' Failed Leadership Has Impacted the States" on Wednesday, January 10, 2024. (Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)