MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell is launching yet another effort to discredit the 2020 presidential election, and One America News Network is once again assisting him. On August 10-12, Lindell is hosting what he calls a “cyber symposium” on alleged election fraud, and over the last week, OAN soaked its airwaves in ads for this “historical event” -- ads which conveniently contain a MyPillow discount code.
A Media Matters review of OAN programming from July 30, 2021, through August 5, 2021, found that OAN aired Lindell’s advertisement at least 156 times. The ad aired 145 times during traditional commercial breaks. The other 11 came from the network re-airing a rambling, seven-minute interview Lindell did with try-hard OAN correspondent, election liar, and execution enthusiast Pearson Sharp, which began with the full advertisement.
Lindell’s formerly rosy relationship with Fox News has recently cooled since the CEO has become more obsessed with lies that the 2020 election was stolen from former President Donald Trump. Although Fox News has also helped fuel lies about the 2020 election, in late July, it declined to air Lindell’s “cyber symposium” ad. In response, Lindell declared that he’d pull all MyPillow ads from Fox, ending the network’s single largest source of ad revenue. OAN, however, was apparently eager for the pillow magnate’s money, and it began running the ad over and over again.
Most of Lindell’s discordant interview with Sharp was dedicated to his complaints about Fox declining his advertisement. Lindell suggested that Fox News is cowardly and disloyal for refusing his election fraud ad, calling the network “as bad for the cancel culture as anything.” Sharp and Lindell also falsely claimed that Fox declining his ad was somehow “a First Amendment issue.” Eventually, Lindell again accused the Chinese government of stealing the 2020 election and claimed that once this is known, Trump will somehow be “immediately” reinstated to the presidency. Sharp simply replied, “That sounds pretty interesting, can’t wait to see it.”
OAN’s deluge of Lindell advertisements -- frequently paired with other ads for MyPillow, silver and gold bullion, or free samples of generic Viagra -- are the network’s latest pathetic attempt to undermine the 2020 election. OAN has boosted false and misleading claims of voter fraud since before the election results were announced, including airing at least three different “documentaries” from Lindell, each of which falsely alleged ironclad proof of voter fraud.
OAN also devoted breathless coverage to the widely-denounced “forensic audit” of election results in Maricopa County, Arizona -- coverage led by OAN host Christina Bobb, who also raised over $600,000 for the same “audit.” Bobb is using her nonprofit, Voices & Votes, to raise money to spread similar “audits” to other states, further undermining democracy with lies. For OAN, it’s good business.