Media Matters hit with sweeping layoffs after defamation suit by Elon Musk, federal probes

Liberal watchdog Media Matters fired at least a dozen staffers Thursday — and management and some of the laid-off journalists blamed X owner Elon Musk for the cuts.

The billionaire mogul sued the Washington, DC-based nonprofit organization for defamation last November, accusing the company of manufacturing images showing advertisements from major companies alongside posts made by white supremacists and neo-Nazis.

The lawsuit led to federal probes by Republican Attorneys General Ken Paxton of Texas and Andrew Bailey of Missouri into the outlet for possible fraudulent activity by allegedly manipulating data on the site formerly known as Twitter.

X CEO Elon Musk slapped Media Matters with a defamation lawsuit last November in Fort Worth, Texas federal court. Getty Images

Media Matters did not immediately return requests for comment but its president Angelo Carusone released a statement on Thursday regarding the layoffs.

“We’re confronting a legal assault on multiple fronts and given how rapidly the media landscape is shifting, we need to be extremely intentional about how we allocate resources in order to stay effective,” Carusone said.

“Nobody does what Media Matters does. So, we’re taking this action now to ensure that we are sustainable, sturdy and successful for whatever lies ahead.”

Media Matters has laid off a slew of staffers, following federal probes and a lawsuit from X boss Elon Musk. Media Matters

Ousted staffers took to social media Thursday to announce their sudden dismissal, with one having particularly harsh words for Musk.

“Bad News: I’ve been laid off from @mmfa, along with a dozen colleagues. There’s a reason far-right billionaires attack Media Matters with armies of lawyers: They know how effective our work is, and it terrifies them (him),” Kat Abughazaleh wrote.

The Post reached out to Musk for comment.

Other longtime Media Matters journalists lamented the layoffs.

“After nearly four years of working at media matters, I got laid off,” wrote a staffer named Beatrice. “So if anyone is looking for researchers with video experience, drop a line.”

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“Journalism milestone achieved (got laid off),” now-former Media Matters writer Bobby Lewis added.

“Layoffs at Media Matters today. Lots of smart people available for jobs now,” said Jared Holt, a senior researcher at the Institute of Strategic Dialogue.

At the time of the Musk lawsuit, Carusone called it “meritless” and pointed out that “major brands” are “rightly skittish of partnering” with the social media platform.

The suit — which was filed in federal court in Fort Worth, Texas — is still winding through the judicial system.

Media Matters president Angelo Carusone cited its “legal assaults” in a
statement about layoffs at the outlet. X/Angelo Carusone

Media Matters’ purge is the latest in a slew of layoffs in the industry — and notably at liberal outlets.

NowThis laid off half of its editorial team in February as part of a “broader initiative to realign our resources and structure to ensure a long-term sustainable business in the evolving media landscape,” The Daily Caller first reported.

The Intercept also laid off 15 staffers, including its editor in chief Roger Hodge, on the same day. Last month, The New York Times reported that the news site co-founded by Glenn Greenwald is running low on cash and that it is in danger of closing next year.



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