Media Matters Lays Off a Dozen Staffers Amid Elon Musk Lawsuit

Apu Gomes/Getty
Apu Gomes/Getty

Months after edgelord billionaire Elon Musk launched a “thermonuclear lawsuit” against Media Matters for America, the liberal media watchdog announced that it was laying off a dozen staffers on Thursday to remain “sustainable” amid a “legal assault on multiple fronts.”

Besides Musk’s defamation complaint, which was launched by the X owner in November after Media Matters reported his social media site placed ads next to pro-Nazi content, the outlet has also been hit with lawsuits and probes from Republican attorneys general.

“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.

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

Laid-off staffers, some of whom have been at the left-leaning nonprofit for years, took to social media on Thursday morning to announce they were let go. Some even pointed the finger directly at Musk for causing them to lose their jobs.

“Bad News: I’ve been laid off from @mmfa, along with a dozen colleagues,” Kat Abughazaleh, who was recently featured in The New Republic’s list of political influencers to watch in 2024, tweeted. “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).”

Other researchers and writers who were laid off on Thursday included Brendan Karet, Bobby Lewis, Alex Paterson, Ethan Collier and Carly Evans, among others. “[J]ournalism milestone achieved (got laid off,” Lewis snarked online after he was let go.

The layoffs at Media Matters come as digital and legacy media outlets across the country are facing sweeping cuts and even extinction amid dwindling advertising revenues and dropping online traffic. In just the last few months, the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Business Insider, Vice Media, CBS News and others have slashed thousands of jobs while outlets like The Messenger have shuttered completely.

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