At the end of July, Mike Lindell, the CEO of MyPillow who made a new name for himself as one of Donald Trump’s most hard-line political supporters and the failures of the 2020 election, angrily announced that he was withdrawing the Pillow ads from his company air on Fox News.
The immediate source of tension between pillow mogul MAGA and pro-Trump cable news giant – a relationship that for years has been financially fruitful for both, and has led to Lindell’s apparent ubiquity on the Fox Universe – was the network’s refusal to run a TV commercial mentioning Lindell’s upcoming “cyber-symposium” featuring baseless electoral “fraud” conspiracy theories in 2020.
It was the latest salute in a media mini-saga of bruised sentiment, constant accusations of censorship and election hacking, and extreme politics, with the feud between Lindell and Fox serving as a microcosm of the fiercely undemocratic state of the world. American conservatism in the shadow of a Trump presidency.
In August, however, according to Lindell and Fox, the pillow mogul began trying to rekindle the advertising link with Fox, following MyPillow’s rapid withdrawal. But the opening to a Fox-Lindell detente has only gone so far, with Fox rejecting its new commercials on several occasions, including as late as Monday and Wednesday.
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“MyPillow is finished with them, MyPillow is finished! Lindell asserted in an interview earlier this week.
But he revealed that “about a week or two” after he said he was pulling the MyPillow ads, he and his ad buyers again approached Fox, this time with a new ad for FrankSpeech, Lindell’s attempt to create a social media website.
Lindell stated that although this second advertisement was for FrankSpeech, she was also promoting MyPillow with “promo codes” and “exclusive promotions on FrankSpeech dot com” for “MyPillow products and MyStore products”.
This announcement, however, was quickly rejected by Fox because, according to Lindell, it also managed to refer to the summit on electoral fraud conspiracy theories. “They still didn’t like the ‘cyber-symposium’ always being mentioned,” Lindell said.
But the pillow mogul hadn’t finished yet.
After that, Lindell said he and his associates produced a third FrankSpeech advertisement to be broadcast on the network, this time leaving out “everything related to the machines and the symposium or the election”.
But then Lindell continued, “They denied that one anyway! We got a message from them on Monday September 13th, saying that they didn’t like the content on FrankSpeech dot com… They went from disliking the ad content to disliking the website content !
On Wednesday evening, a Fox News spokesperson confirmed to the Daily Beast that the two FrankSpeech ads most recently submitted by Lindell had in fact been rejected.
“I’m going to make another announcement this week and see if they deny this announcement,” Lindell promised Monday.
The next day he tried a fourth time.
According to Lindell, after Monday’s rejection, he fired yet another new ad Tuesday, in which he sits at a desk, with a photo of Jesus Christ and a lion in the background. In the announcement, he said, Lindell thanked viewers for their support and told them to “check out my new platform, FrankSpeech”, mention special offers on “towels” and recommend viewers to go to the MyPillow website.
Lindell said he and his ad buyers sent the rough cut to Fox the same day it was set. Wednesday he says he has another hard no.
“They said I couldn’t mention the words ‘Frank’ or ‘FrankSpeech’,” he said Thursday afternoon. “It was the fastest response we received. But if I had deleted the words “FrankSpeech” it could have been deleted, but it would have just been a MyPillow ad, which I said I don’t! Scandalous! I told them to tell Fox, “Shame on you!
On Wednesday evening, a Fox News spokesperson confirmed to the Daily Beast that Lindell’s two more recently submitted FrankSpeech ads had in fact been rejected, but denied Lindell’s characterization of the conversation.
Since the tumultuous and at times violent fallout of last year’s US presidential election, Fox, Lindell and MyPillow have all faced massive lawsuits targeting them for baseless election allegations.
The Fox family mainly sought to avoid other legal risks. But Lindell (who remains a friend and close ally of the twice-indicted former president who sparked the bloody Capitol Riot on Jan.6 and continues to push the GOP to spread election lies) did not give up on the cause and regularly attacked Fox for months.
“Shame on Fox News! Shame on them, ”Lindell said in late July. “When I was told that they weren’t going to run the ad, I said to cut the ad on Fox immediately and indefinitely… Things are changing, but at the moment I have no plans to do it again. advertising on Fox News. “
Something has changed, but not to the taste of the founder of MyPillow.
While the network has not publicly explained why it still refuses to run Lindell’s ads, Fox has tried to avoid any further connection to the pillow mogul’s false claims that the 2020 election was rigged – wild claims that enraged two voting technology companies.
Lindell not only remained a primary driver of these theories and a part-time adviser to Trump, but also emerged during the 2020-2021 presidential transition as the primary financial backer of efforts to reverse clear defeat. and decisive Joe Biden against incumbent President Trump. . Earlier this year, the voting machine companies Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic each filed major libel lawsuits against the conservative cable channel, noting that it aired false reports of voter fraud in the immediate wake of the election. 2020 (Fox News filed multiple motions to dismiss both cases).
Lindell was previously one of Fox’s biggest sponsors on the network (and, at times, was the primary advertiser during Tucker Carlson’s prime nightly prime hours). According to the Wall Street newspaper, MyPillow spent nearly $ 50 million on TV commercials with Fox last year. Since removing his ads from the network, Lindell has continued to advertise relentlessly with Fox’s less-seen competitor: the hyper-Trumpy Newsmax.
“I think Fox News has done more damage to the country than any left-wing media has put together, by not talking about the issues and choosing to censor what they talk about!” Lindell pointed out earlier this week.
“Fox is part of the culture of cancellation,” he added.