While media outlets left and right are covering election-denying MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell’s bonkers “symposium,” one powerful network is completely ignoring it: Fox News.
And the pillow mogul is making sure everyone knows how pissed he is about that.
While a denizen of fraudsters, grifters, wannabe politicians, and right-wing media outlets have descended upon Sioux Falls to witness Lindell’s unveiling of “world-changing” data that will—in his words—force the Supreme Court to reinstate a President Donald Trump, mainstream news outlets and actual cybersecurity experts are also in attendance.
Many journalists, such as CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan, who cover right-wing disinformation and how Lindell's baseless claims of widespread election fraud have spread through MAGA world, traveled to South Dakota for the three-day event.
At the same time, other reporters have expressed surprise that any journalists or cyber experts would attend an event that is “so obviously a farce.” And much like his previous “documentaries” that promised to show evidence of a “stolen” election, Lindell has shown little to nothing in the way of actual evidence or data as viewers enter day two of his symposium. (One expert said all he showed was “random garbage that wastes our time.”) Instead, the MyPillow mogul has devoted much of his stage time to ranting and raving about the media—most especially his old friends at Fox News.
“Shame on you, Fox! They’re disgusting that they haven’t talked about this election!” Lindell shouted early on Tuesday. “At least we know where CNN and all these terrible outlets come from, but at least they attack, and then we can at least get the word out.”
While the pillow salesman has fretted about Fox for months now—complaining at length that the network hasn’t covered his dead-end mission to install Trump back in the White House—the bad blood boiled over last month when Fox refused to air his promo for this week’s event. This prompted Lindell to pull all his company’s ads from the network (MyPillow spent $50 million on advertising with Fox last year) and vow to never return.
Lindell, who has been hit with a $1.3 billion defamation suit from Dominion Voting Systems over his election lies, repeatedly heaped praise on Fox’s right-wing competitors One America News and Newsmax for sticking with him despite recently getting hit with similar lawsuits. (After Fox declined the symposium ad, both OAN and Newsmax ran the promo spot hundreds of times, and OAN has aired non-stop live coverage of the event.)
After bringing up the lawsuits filed against OAN and Newsmax on Tuesday, Lindell praised them for still covering his event before pivoting to yet another attack on Fox.
“I mean, it’s just disgusting,” he seethed. “Look at Fox, who’s not here. What are they, cowards? Are they in on it? I don’t know. But it’s just bad.”
At one point in the symposium, Lindell even asked the live audience to vote for either CNN or Fox News as the most destructive media influence in the U.S. He then promised he would have a hacker flip the results as “proof” of his claim that China rigged the election by using Dominion voting machines to change millions of Trump votes.
Throughout the day on Tuesday, the Trump-worshipping businessman continued to hammer away at the network he once had a very cozy relationship with, claiming “they don’t report nothing” and repeatedly yelling “shame on Fox.” He also sniped at Fox for the network’s early (and correct) call of Arizona for Joe Biden, still a lingering sore spot for MAGA diehards.
Furthermore, while promising to reveal “such big news” on Tuesday evening that “Fox might even report it”—there was no “big news,” at least in terms of evidence presented—Lindell bashed the network for canceling fervent pro-Trump host Lou Dobbs’ Fox Business show earlier this year.
“Look what happened to Lou Dobbs because Fox said, ‘OK, we’re getting sued. Lou loses his job,’” Lindell grumbled, referencing the billion-dollar lawsuits Dominion and fellow voting software firm Smartmatic have filed against Fox News and its hosts. (The network has filed a motion to dismiss both lawsuits, defending its reporting and commentary about false election claims on First Amendment grounds.)
Meanwhile, as Lindell continued to whine about Fox, the cable-news giant has turned a deaf ear.
In a statement to CNN on Tuesday night, a Fox News spokesperson confirmed that the network had not sent any reporters to cover Lindell’s event. Fox coverage of the MyPillow mogul’s various antics has been virtually non-existent in recent months, despite his repeated attempts to make MAGA-friendly news (including a rally this summer that featured Trump himself).
According to media monitoring service TVEyes, Lindell has only been mentioned on Fox News five times in the past six months—and only in passing. Fox’s digital site has similarly ignored the pillow boss, publishing zero articles about him in recent months. (A June column from media analyst Howard Kurtz on Trump’s “wild chatter” about returning to office in August briefly mentioned Lindell, who was a key catalyst for the ex-president’s delusional belief.)
And after Lindell abruptly pulled his commercials from the network last month, Fox News responded with a diplomatic message: “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.”
The one recent instance of a Fox News personality not just outright ignoring Lindell, however, appears to show some network desire to discredit and shun him as a crank.
In a column for The Hill this week, Fox News contributor Joe Concha questioned why the media has covered Lindell in the first place. Taking issue with CNN’s recent interview with the MyPillow CEO, which featured an in-depth debunking of Lindell’s election fraud claims, Concha wrote it was the “lowest of low-hanging fruit to fact-check someone like Lindell” while likening the pillow salesman to flat earthers and 9/11 truthers.
Trump, however, made it abundantly clear on Wednesday that he was not pleased with Fox’s decision to turn a blind eye to Lindell.
“Fox doesn’t understand that it is missing a rating bonanza by not covering the 2020 Election Fraud, the Crime of the Century, which is being exposed throughout many states on a daily basis,” the twice-impeached ex-president declared in a statement. “They are also doing a disservice to our Country. People have turned them off!”