Media Matters Hits Ex-Staffer With Lawsuit Threat Over Vague Claims

Liberal watchdog Media Matters for America has issued a threat of lawsuit against a longtime former employee after he posted a series of vague statements about the nonprofit’s alleged cover-up. sexual misconduct by another employee.

In a lengthy Twitter thread Monday morning, Timothy Johnson—a senior writer focusing on gun safety and right-wing extremism—Announced that he no longer works with the media watchdog after about 10 years. While it seemed to hint that his departure was related to COVID-19, Johnson denounced Media Matters and accused his former supervisor of misconduct.

“Ben: Would you like to talk about how you covered up a fellow predator of ours?” Johnson wroteconsult Editorial Director Ben Dimiero of Media Matters.

Johnson then went on to state that although an employee was “fired for sexual misconduct,” it was initially described as an abrupt resignation. According to Johnson, “people in authority” had known what the employee was doing for years, and even after he was fired, allowed the fired employee into the office to meet.

In addition, Johnson argued that it was only because of his subsequent personal confrontation with the former employee that “stricken him with divine fear” that the former employee stopped returning to the office.

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“I am ashamed that I did not share this publicly until now. It could very well make me a clown. But I didn’t have the copper bag and I’m sorry,” Johnson noted further in your topic.

Hours after Johnson posted his thread and attracted attention from the right-wing mediaMedia Matters President Angelo Carusone sent an internal note to employees on the company’s Slack channel, which The Daily Beast collected and reviewed.

While noting the vague and speculative nature of Johnson’s statements, Carusone addressed the central allegation of an employee being fired for sexual misconduct. According to the Media Matters director, the incident Johnson is referencing happened more than seven years ago when an employee was accused of sexual harassment. Hours after the harassment report was filed, Carusone noted, the employee was fired. Furthermore, he told employees in the note that the process is confidential and that all parties involved are informed of the results.

While the Media Matters boss told employees it would not be appropriate to delve into private personnel matters related to Johnson’s employment, Carusone dismissed Johnson’s suggestion that Dimiero was involved in the employment. cover. Carusone further asserted in his memo that Johnson’s statements were completely untrue and inflammatory as Dimiero was at the time a junior employee and had no managerial or administrative duties.

However, on Monday night, Johnson shared a legal letter from Media Matters counsel at Elias Law Group threatening a lawsuit because his tweets violated a conversion and release agreement he signed he signed when he left.

According to the letter posted by Johnson, “the MMFA removed your job in April because your conduct did not meet MMFA’s expectations,” including skipping shifts and “bullying communication” with co-workers. Karma.

“While the MMFA is not satisfied with your work, the MMFA wants to make your transition as smooth as possible,” the letter continued. “To that end, the MMFA offered you a conversion agreement, which you accepted and signed. Among other things, you have agreed, as a condition of receiving severance payment, that you will not ‘directly or indirectly, disparage MMFA, its officers, directors or employees, or MMFA’s business, and will discourage any third party from doing so. ‘”

Noting that Johnson was “in breach of duty” with his Twitter thread, the law firm wrote that Johnson’s allegations against Dimiero were “false and defamatory” and that his tweets were “disparaging.” MMFA and a current MMFA employee”, in violation of the agreement.

The letter also said Media Matters reserves the right to take other legal action, including a lawsuit, if Johnson doesn’t take down his tweets. Finally, the group’s attorneys noted that due to Johnson’s social media activity, the company has no other contractual obligations in the agreement and will stop paying former employees’ premiums.

While publicly sharing the letter, Johnson stated that he would not delete the tweets because “every statement in the stream is true.” He added that skipping his shift was due to “getting sick and trying to work as long as you can until you get too dizzy”.

Then he brief response to the threat of a lawsuit: “Eat shit.”

Media Matters and Johnson did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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