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Media Matters sues Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton Over Investigation Into Its Demonetization Pressure

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Media Matters for America, a pro-censorship online monitoring group is making some censorship accusations of its own. The organization has initiated a federal lawsuit against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

The lawsuit accuses Paxton of infringing upon the First Amendment within the context of a dispute involving Elon Musk’s X app. The organization alleges that this action noticeably impacted its operations, calling Paxton’s probe an illegal reprisal conceived to penalize it due to its reporting on ad campaigns found alongside controversial speech on X.

We obtained a copy of the lawsuit for you here.

Media Matters’ pressure on X advertisers created complications for Musk’s X platform, proving influential in causing a massive advertiser exodus, involving high-profile companies like Disney.

Last month Paxton proclaimed he was launching an inquiry into Media Matters for suspected dishonest practices related to the probe of X. This declaration came at the same time that X leveled a lawsuit against Media Matters, accusing them of unlawfully meddling with their advertising relationships.

Media Matters’ lawsuit did note that Paxton was among a group of “politicians and media figures” who quickly rallied to Musk’s defense following the reports by Media Matters.

According to the complaint, filed on Monday, following Media Matters’ consequential reports about X, “Paxton issued a civil investigative demand (‘Demand’) to Media Matters, commanding it to ‘produce [] documentary material[s] and permit inspection and copying.’”

The complaint further adds, “The Demand seeks a sweeping array of materials from Media Matters and [reporter Eric] Hananoki, including documents and communications about their research and reporting, their communications with possible sources at X and its advertisers, as well as sensitive materials related to Media Matters’s operations.”

According to Media Matters, “Paxton’s retaliatory investigation and Demand are transparent attempts to punish Plaintiffs for their constitutionally protected speech and press activities, subjecting them to a baseless and arbitrary government investigation in a state to which they have no relevant connection, and demanding the right to rifle through their most sensitive journalistic and organizational documents and communication.”

Media Matters alleges Paxton’s actions violate not just the First Amendment, but also the 14th Amendment’s due process protections, with their reporter shield laws in Maryland and Washington, D.C. encroached upon as well.

The lawsuit also highlights that Media Matters is beyond Paxton’s jurisdictive reach as the watchdog is based in Washington and does not undertake business in Texas as per the local business regulations.

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