Mike Lindell's cyber symposium
Molly Butler / Media Matters

Research/Study Research/Study

Here are the right-wing outlets that promoted Mike Lindell's “cyber symposium” of election lies

Right-wing pillow magnate Mike Lindell, one of the most loyal purveyors of the big lie that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from former President Donald Trump, is hosting a three-day “cyber symposium” this week to continue boosting a wide range of far-out conspiracy theories about the 2020 election.

While he might seem like a comical figure, Lindell in fact poses serious dangers to American democracy. During the final days of the Trump administration, he met with the lame-duck president and apparently proposed declaring martial law in order to stop the inauguration of President Joe Biden. He has also been one of the main purveyors of the idea that Trump would be “reinstated” as president in August — though the timeline for that keeps slipping.

Following a decision by Fox News not to air Lindell’s ads promoting his latest event — perhaps influenced by the multibillion-dollar lawsuits filed against the network (and Lindell) by two voting machine companies — multiple far-right media organizations and fringe right-wing celebrities have now stepped in to spread the word. They are also trashing Fox News in the process, in a live example of the right-wing media civil war that was becoming apparent late last year following Trump’s election defeat.

Far-right news channels have taken the lead in promoting Lindell’s event, with no less than three of them airing his ads, interviewing him about the symposium, or generally covering it. Right-wing radio networks and shows have also helped promote Lindell’s event, as did far-right podcasts, social media networks, and individuals.

  • Real America’s Voice

  • Several shows on the channel Real America’s Voice either interviewed Lindell, ran an ad for his event, or announced they’d be broadcasting from it:

    But it was former Trump White House chief strategist Steve Bannon’s War Room: Pandemic which was the most obsequious and frequent of this channel’s shows in its promotion of Lindell’s event. Lindell appeared on Bannon’s program multiple times to promote his symposium, dating back to at least June 28.

  • One America News Network

  • Over the past month or so, the far-right One America News Network’s hosts repeatedly promoted Lindell’s symposium, and the channel also aired live a speech he gave on July 18 during which he talked about it. And while Fox News declined Lindell’s ads, OAN eagerly aired them -- more than 150 times between July 30 and August 5 alone.

  • Video file

    Citation From August 4, 2021, programming on One America News Network

  • Newsmax

  • Like the other two far-right channels already listed, Newsmax ran Lindell’s ads for his event and promoted it on multiple programs. From August 2-8, Newsmax aired his commercial for the symposium at least 171 times. Several Newsmax shows also specifically called out or criticized Fox News for declining to run the ads:

    Newsmax is also running Facebook ads promoting Lindell’s event, and Newsmax hosts Diamond & Silk talked about the event on their YouTube channel.

  • Salem Radio Network

  • At least three hosts from the conservative Salem Radio Network ran ads for Lindell’s symposium, discussed Lindell’s efforts, or interviewed him about it, either on the Salem shows or elsewhere:

    At least one non-Salem radio host, Scott Hennen, also interviewed Lindell on July 6 about his event. Hennen's program What’s On Your Mind broadcasts on several North Dakota stations.

  • Infowars and other far-right shows

  • Notorious conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has used his Infowars program The Alex Jones Show to promote Lindell’s event since July. On August 2, Jones said he’d probably attend the symposium, and between then and August 4, Jones aired Lindell’s ad for the symposium several times per day. And during an August 6 interview on Infowars, Lindell claimed that “at the symposium we’re going to also unveil a whole new way to do elections.”

  • Video file

    Citation From the August 6, 2021, edition of Genesis Communications Network's Infowars

  • Several other extremist shows, some connected to the far-right QAnon movement, also promoted Lindell’s event:

  • Gateway Pundit

  • In July, the right-wing website Gateway Pundit published several articles promoting Lindell’s event:

    • A July 21 post titled: “Mike Lindell Offers $5 Million Reward to Any Cyber Expert Who Can Prove His Voter Fraud Data Invalid.”
    • A July 23 post titled: “Cyber Expert ‘Code Monkey Z’ Posts Explosive Background Information on Mike Lindell’s Upcoming Cybersecurity Election Data.”
    • A July 29 post titled: “MyPillow Founder Mike Lindell Pulls Ads from FOX News After Network Refuses to Run Ads for His August Symposium.”
    • A July 30 post titled: “‘They Should Just Be a Weather Channel’ – Mike Lindell RIPS FOX News and Announces CNN Will Likely Air His Cyber Symposium Ads (VIDEO).”
  • QAnon grifters Michael Flynn and Ron Watkins

  • Disgraced former Trump national security adviser-turned-QAnon adherent Michael Flynn endorsed Lindell’s event in an August 3 interview and suggested he’d be attending it on the last day. But he isn’t the only QAnon-linked fringe figure to promote it; QAnon grifter Ron Watkins promoted Lindell’s event multiple times. (Watkins, also known as CodeMonkeyZ, ran the far-right message board with his father Jim where the Q messages appeared):

    • A July 30 Telegram post linked to a news article about Lindell’s symposium and listed the dates when it will occur.
    • Another July 30 post listed Lindell’s event as one of several “events scheduled for mid-August.”
    • A third July 30 post suggested the federal government would distract people if Lindell’s event produces “information that the govt wants to bury asap.”
    • And two posts on July 30 and August 1 mentioned possible revelations that could come at Lindell’s event.
  • Election lie promoters David K. Clements and Douglas G. Frank

  • Two men with large followings on Telegram,  David K. Clements (aka The Professor’s Record) and Dr. Douglas G. Frank (aka Follow The Data), have both repeatedly promoted Lindell’s symposium on their social media accounts. Both men have ceaselessly promoted the big lie that the 2020 election was stolen:

    • Frank on July 5 linked to a video on his website promoting Lindell’s event.
    • Frank reposted that link on his Telegram account on July 9.
    • Clements on July 10 reposted an article from Frank about the symposium.
    • On July 12, Frank posted to call for help from “cyber geeks” for Lindell’s event.
    • Frank repeated this call for help from “cyber geeks” on July 14.
    • Frank mentioned Lindell’s symposium in an August 4 post.
    • On August 4, Clements reposted a post referencing blue and red pills to promote Lindell’s event.
  • Patriots.win

  • Multiple users of Patriots.win, a pro-Trump message board that was founded after the pro-Trump subreddit The_Donald was removed from Reddit, have also promoted Lindell’s cyber symposium.

    • A July 30 post urged users to “cancel” Fox News for refusing to air Lindell’s ads for his event.
    • A post on July 31 included a delusional rant that the FBI was planning “false flags” on the dates of Lindell’s event.
    • An August 1 post also criticized Fox News for “undermining Lindell’s work” and urged users to stop sharing links from or screenshots of Fox.
    • An August 4 post linked to a video of Lindell promoting his event.
    • An August 5 post included a meme imposing Lindell and Trump on Back to the Future characters to promote Lindell’s event.