Trump-boosting pillow salesman Mike Lindell took a swing at Fox News this week, complaining that the conservative network—which essentially plays his MyPillow commercials on a loop—isn’t giving him a platform to peddle his baseless voting machine conspiracies. Fox might be “in” on a conspiracy against MAGA heads, Lindell ultimately suggested.
The pillow mogul, who has become the face of a dead-end MAGA coalition still trying to overturn President Joe Biden’s election victory, appeared on far-right pundit Eric Metaxas’ radio show on Monday to discuss his continued efforts to prove the lie that the 2020 election was “stolen” from Donald Trump. Lindell also discussed his fraught attempts to create a new social media site (he was booted from Twitter and other platforms earlier this year for repeatedly pushing voting disinformation).
After boasting that his new platform would automatically give so-called influencers “millions” of followers when they join—especially if they’ve been kicked off YouTube for making false claims—Lindell then grumbled about Fox News supposedly kowtowing to voting-software firms Dominion and Smartmatic in the wake of billion-dollar legal complaints.
“Lawsuits can be used as a way to silence people,” Metaxas noted in a moment first flagged by Salon staff writer Zachary Petrizzo. “They can be legitimate. But they can also be used as a way to silence people. And I’ve noticed that Fox and other people, rather than face the thing, they just say, We’re not gonna talk about that, we don’t want to get sued. That’s what’s happening in America.”
Last month, Smartmatic filed a $2.7-billion libel lawsuit against Fox News, three hosts (including recently canceled Lou Dobbs), and former Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, saying they all spread false information that the company rigged the 2020 election. Dominion, another voting machine company at the center of debunked election conspiracies, has sued Lindell himself for $1.3 billion.
“I want to say one thing here—here’s things that don’t make sense,” an animated Lindell replied. “Let’s just talk about Fox! You’re already sued! It’s too late to close the gate, the cows are already out of the barn!”
The MAGA maven continued, “Why can’t people go on there and say their free speech then?! You’re already sued, Fox. What do you have—are you going to get double sued? What’s the matter with you?”
Growing increasingly agitated, Lindell expressed anger and frustration with the network before finally asking, “What are they, in on it? I don’t get it. Is it a fake lawsuit?”
Notably, Lindell’s pillow commercials are by far the biggest advertiser on Tucker Carlson Tonight, Fox’s most-watched show. As host Tucker Carlson has courted controversy over the past couple of years, the vast majority of the network’s blue-chip advertisers have ditched the primetime show, leaving mostly MyPillow ads, Fox News promos, and direct marketers.
While it remains to be seen if Fox News reacts in any way to one of its largest sponsors directly calling the network out, Lindell has been able to force one right-wing outlet to come groveling back for not letting him spout crazed conspiracies on-air.
After Newsmax anchor Bob Sellers repeatedly interrupted Lindell during an interview before literally walking off the set when the MyPillow founder wouldn’t stop talking about voting machines, Sellers begged “friend of the network” Lindell for forgiveness while assuring viewers that the pillow tycoon would “continue to be an important guest on Newsmax.”