Dominion Voting Systems’ billion-dollar defamation lawsuit against Fox News continues to provide an unparalleled look at the inner workings of Fox News and the network's knowing dissemination of misinformation for profit. One prominent example surrounds MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, one of the network’s most prominent advertisers and a one-time guest on Tucker Carlson Tonight.
According to Media Matters’ internal database, from Election Day 2020 through January 6, 2021, MyPillow was -- by a significant margin -- the most prolific advertiser on Fox News, with 678 ads during that period. And while Lindell briefly throttled back advertising in 2021 due to a dispute about his ridiculous cyber symposium, his company continues to be a major advertiser on the network, running over 1,000 ads in January and February of this year.
The Dominion filing confirmed the obvious: that when it came to lies about the 2020 election, Fox’s profit motive won the day. According to the filing, Murdoch testified that he could order Fox to stop running MyPillow ads, “but I’m not about to.” Murdoch said that “the man is on every night. Pays us a lot of money. … At first you think it’s comic, and then you get bored and irritated.” When asked why he still airs Lindell’s ads, Murdoch agreed that “it is not red or blue, it is green.”
On the February 27 edition of The Lindell Report, the MyPillow CEO responded to Murdoch’s ad defense with great praise and thanks. “Thank God that Mr. Rupert Murdoch doesn't cancel MyPillow because of a -- because their president goes out there with his First Amendment right of free speech and talks about, tries to save our country.”
“I have over 2,000 employees that have families that rely on all those ads across the country,” Lindell said. “So all you horrible machine companies out there that sued MyPillow for billions of dollars, shame on you.”
Defending his monsoon of MyPillow ads, Lindell asked, “So is what, is Fox supposed to be like the machine companies?” Mocking Dominion and his other detractors, he continued, “‘Oh I'm not gonna — boy, because Mike Lindell, he’s saying those lies about Dominion.’ I'm not saying lies. It’s the truth.”
Lindell then moved on to his January 26, 2021, appearance on Tucker Carlson Tonight, also extensively discussed in Dominion’s filing. According to Lindell, he was there “to talk about cancel culture” and “why these [big] box stores are taking me off everywhere, and destroying a great company like MyPillow.” Around that time, several large retailers stopped carrying MyPillow products in response to Lindell’s fanatical obsession with 2020 election conspiracy theories.
However, Lindell suggested he had no choice but to reference Dominion on Tucker: “What was I supposed to say? ‘I don’t know why they’re doing that. I don’t know why they’re destroying MyPillow. I don’t know why these box stores are doing such evil things to them?’”
“Instead I had to tell the truth,” Lindell yelled. “They’re doing it because their CEO is out there and he's got evidence that our country was attacked. He’s got evidence that it was done through machines. Period.”
On this point at least, Lindell and Dominion agree. In the filing, Dominion also notes that “Fox’s central defense to this segment appears to be that they were surprised Lindell falsely attacked Dominion that day, because they just wanted him to talk about ‘cancel culture.’ … That is not plausible.”