Pop Culture

The MyPillow Guy Has Had It With Fox News

Trump loyalist Mike Lindell says he’s pulling ads after the network refused to air a spot advertising an online event that would promote his election-fraud conspiracies

MyPillow founder Mike Lindell, who has stuck with Fox News amid controversies that drove other advertisers away, has apparently had enough. “I am pulling all my ads of MyPillow on Fox indefinitely and immediately. Shame on Fox,” Lindell said Thursday during an appearance on his own livestream network. His exit isn’t due to anything controversial Tucker Carlson said, but rather what he claims Fox News won’t do. The right-wing pillow magnate, who has dedicated his post-2020 election life to trying to prove the fantasy that it was stolen from Donald Trump, said the network “refused to run [a MyPillow] commercial for our country,” prompting him to drop Fox altogether. (Dominion Voting Systems filed a lawsuit against MyPillow and Lindell earlier this year after the CEO falsely claimed that the company illegally tipped the election scales for Joe Biden.)

The Lindell commercial that Fox News refused to air included an advertisement for an online event that will be held in August, during which Lindell’s election conspiracy theories will be further promoted. In a statement to Salon, Lindell said that Fox News “denied the [cyber-symposium] ad, and they based it on ‘pending litigation.’” In response, the company released a statement saying, “It’s unfortunate Mr. Lindell has chosen to pause his commercial time on Fox News given the level of success he’s experienced in building his brand through advertising on the number one cable news network.” Fox News is currently involved in defamation litigation from two voting companies, Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic, after hosts on the network propagated false claims about Biden’s “stolen election” over Biden. (In response, Fox News has claimed that its hosts were within their free speech rights and only repeated the election-fraud allegations made by Trump, rather than create them.)

As for Lindell, he has also openly admitted that he no longer needs the network—despite all that it has done to help build his pillow empire—because his deranged election conspiracy theories now receive more than enough coverage from left-leaning and mainstream journalists trying to debunk them. “Lindell told me that if it weren’t for attacks by ‘the left’—by which he means Politico, the Daily Beast, and, presumably, me—his message would never get out, because Fox News ignores him,” the Atlantic’s Anne Applebaum wrote in a recent profile. However, some of Fox’s most controversial programs, having lost more mainstream advertisers following boycotts, ran Lindell’s ads. Media Matters reported last year that Carlson‘s show aired 302 mins of MyPillow ads during a three-month period, compared to 443 minutes for all other advertisers combined during that span. Overall, Lindell told The Wall Street Journal that the company spent $19 million in 2021 and $50 million in 2020 on advertising on the network.

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