Media Matters Hit With More Than a Dozen Layoffs Amid Conservative ‘Legal Assault on Multiple Fronts’

Liberal, nonprofit watchdog organization Media Matters for America was hit with major layoffs Thursday. A number of the company’s former employees, including Katherine “Kat Abu” Abughazaleh, took to X to announce the news.

“Bad News: I’ve been laid off from @mmfa, along with a dozen colleagues,” Abughazaleh said. “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).”

The far-right billionaires she’s referring to include X owner Elon Musk, who filed a defamation suit against Media Matters back in November following a report accusing X of placing ads for brands next to pro-Hitler and white nationalist accounts. Musk said at the time he’d file a “thermonuclear lawsuit” against the organization.

“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,” Media Matters President Angelo Carusone said in a statement released Thursday about the layoffs. “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.”

Although specific amounts weren’t named, TheWrap reported at the time of Musk’s threat that the suit sought “actual and consequential damages caused by Defendants’ misconduct.”

“This is a frivolous lawsuit meant to bully X’s critics into silence,” Carusone had said in a November statement. “Media Matters stands behind its reporting and looks forward to winning in court.”

Other laid-off members of Media Matters also announced their departures on X.

“journalism milestone achieved (got laid off),” Bobby Lewis wrote.

“I got laid off from Media Matters @mmfa today, proud of the 5 years of intense work I put into fighting right-wing hatred,” Alex Paterson said.

“got laid off, lmk who wants research done,” Brendan Karet added.

The multi-front legal assault referenced by Carusone likely also refers to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, who announced an investigation into Media Matters following Musk’s suit in November.

“We are examining the issue closely to ensure that the public has not been deceived by the schemes of radical left-wing organizations who would like nothing more than to limit freedom by reducing participation in the public square,” Paxton said.

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