Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced that the State of Texas, The Daily Wire, and The Federalist are suing the U.S. Department of State and its secretary, Antony Blinken, for censoring American media. 

Paxton argues that the State Department has routinely intervened in the news market through its Global Engagement Center—which was initially created to combat foreign propaganda. 

However, the Global Engagement Center has instead weaponized its authority and infringed on the First Amendment rights of media companies by funding censorship technology, according to the official complaint.

“I am proud to lead the fight to save Americans’ constitutional rights from Joe Biden’s tyrannical government,” Paxton said in an X post today. 

The State Department’s mission to obliterate the 1st amendment is completely un-American. This agency will not get away with their illegal campaign to silence citizens & publications they disagree with.

The lawsuit further explains that The Daily Wire, The Federalist, and other media outlets were branded as “unreliable” and “risky” by government-funded and government-promoted enterprises. 

According to the complaint, this resulted in “starving them of advertising revenue and reducing the circulation of their reporting and speech—all as a direct result of [the State Department’s] unlawful censorship scheme.”

“The complaint describes the State Department’s project as ‘one of the most egregious government operations to censor the American press in the history of the nation,’” Paxton said. 

The Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro also commented on the lawsuit. 

Shapiro stated that “The U.S. State Department is funding the development, testing, and marketing of censorship technology used to suppress First Amendment-protected activity by American media outlets like The Daily Wire.” 

“The State Department uses its Global Engagement Center (GEC) to finance the development and promotion of censorship technology and enterprises, including organizations like NewsGuard and the Global Disinformation Index,” Shapiro continued. 

The Global Engagement Center was established in 2011 initially as the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications, with the primary goal of countering propaganda from terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda. 

In 2016, the center was given its current title: The Global Engagement Center. While it continued to focus on countering foreign propaganda, The Daily Wire states that it also turned its effort on American citizens. 

At the time of publishing, The Global Engagement Center has not responded to a request for comment. 

Will Biagini

Will was born in Louisiana and raised in a military family. He currently serves as a journalist with Texas Scorecard. Previously, he was a senior correspondent for Campus Reform.