Judge recuses himself from Elon Musk’s case against Media Matters

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The judge presiding over tech billionaire Elon Musk’s lawsuit against Media Matters for America has recused himself from the case, according to court documents.

In a notice filed with the court on Tuesday, Judge Mark Pittman of the U.S. District Court in Northern Texas wrote that he was recusing himself from the case and requested the clerk of the court assign it to another judge.

Pittman, who was appointed to his position by former President Trump, did not give a reason for stepping away, and it was not immediately clear why the request was made.

Federal judges are mandated to recuse themselves when their “impartiality might reasonably be questioned,” including when they have a financial interest or personal bias.

Musk sued Media Matters, a progressive watchdog, last week for what his attorneys argued was the company’s misrepresentation of how content appears on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, “as if they were what typical X users experience on the platform.”

Media Matters had days earlier published a report on X, revealing it was placing advertising next to hateful content. The report came around the same time Musk had embraced an antisemitic conspiracy theory on the platform, which he owns.

The Media Matters report and Musk’s post triggered a wave of major companies pulling advertising from X.

“This is a frivolous lawsuit meant to bully X’s critics into silence,” Media Matters President Angelo Carusone said in a recent statement to The Hill on Musk’s suit. “Media Matters stands behind its reporting and looks forward to winning in court.”

Zach Schonfeld contributed reporting.

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