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Missouri Attorney General Investigates Media Matters Over Alleged Fraudulent Practices

Missouri Attorney General Investigates Media Matters Over Alleged Fraudulent Practices

Mar 25, 2024

Missouri Attorney General Investigates Media Matters Over Alleged Fraudulent Practices

Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey has taken legal action against Media Matters for America over claims of fraudulent business practices. On Monday, Bailey filed a petition in Missouri state court to enforce a civil investigative demand, akin to a subpoena, which would compel Media Matters to produce documents relevant to the investigation.

The probe into the nonprofit began in November 2023 when Media Matters released a report suggesting that social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, was placing advertisements alongside "pro-Nazi content." Following the report, several major companies, including IBM, Disney, Sony, and Apple, withdrew their advertisements from the platform. Elon Musk, filed a lawsuit against Media Matters, and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton also initiated an investigation.

Bailey's office suspects that Media Matters engaged in fraudulent activities to coax donations from Missouri residents, with the intention of pressuring advertisers to abandon X, which Bailey describes as "the last social media platform dedicated to free speech in America." In a statement, Bailey expressed determination to uncover any deceptive actions that may have infringed on the free speech rights of Missourians.

"Media Matters has pursued an activist agenda in its attempt to destroy X, because they cannot control it," Bailey stated in the petition. The Attorney General's action seeks to examine potential violations of the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act that involves deception, fraud, or misleading acts in sales, advertising, and solicitation of charitable funds.

Media Matters is identified on its website as a "progressive research and information center" that aims to rectify conservative misinformation in U.S. media. Despite this, Bailey accuses the group of having a "sordid history of refusing to cooperate with investigations," vowing not to allow Media Matters to obstruct the inquiry.

The petition requests the court's authorization to further investigate the allegations against Media Matters. Responding to Fox News Digital, Bailey reiterated his office's belief in the organization's use of fraudulent tactics to influence advertiser decisions on X, prompting the current investigation.

As of the time of reporting, Fox News Digital has reached out to Media Matters for comment but has not received a response. The situation remains ongoing, with potential future implications for both Media Matters and advertising practices on social media platforms. The outcomes of these investigations could have significant repercussions for the involved parties and the broader discourse on corporate advertising and free speech online.

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