Mike Lindell guarantees customers on his company website “the most comfortable pillow you’ll ever own,” but it appears Fox News could not sleep easy over an upcoming commercial he wanted the network to run.
The MyPillow CEO is one of the biggest sponsors on the network, telling The Wall Street Journal that he had spent $19 million in advertising in 2021 alone and $50 million in 2020 on the channel that, until now, has aligned with his world view.
However, that has been put on pause with the WSJ reporting that he ordered his ad buyer not to place commercials on the network because it rejected an ad promoting a cyber symposium taking place in August in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Lindell said while the ad would not directly mention claims of election fraud, the symposium itself would tout the unfounded claims he has consistently promoted that the 2020 ballot was stolen from Donald Trump through the manipulation of election machines.
He told Salon.com that Fox News had “denied the [cyber symposium] ad, and they based it on ‘pending litigation.'” He added: “Shame on you Fox News.”
Fox News has not confirmed whether it blocked the ad, but it did confirm that there would be a halt to advertising from the company.
“It’s unfortunate Mr. Lindell has chosen to pause his commercial time on Fox News given the level of success he’s experienced in building his brand through advertising on the number one cable news network,” it said in a statement to the WSJ and other media outlets.
In February, Dominion Voting Systems sued MyPillow and Lindell for defamation over his false accusations that it had rigged the 2020 election in favor of President Joe Biden.
Fox News also faces legal action from DMV and Smartmatic, which alleged its products were the subject of defamatory comments on the network. Fox News has moved to dismiss the lawsuits, citing a free speech argument that it did not invent the claims, it was only reporting them.
While he buys advertising on other right-wing outlets such as Newsmax and has not appeared on Fox News as a guest for some time, Lindell’s pillows have been propping up the network.
In 2020, his company comprised a fifth of the ad time on Tucker Carlson Tonight, at a time when advertisers had deserted the program because they were unhappy with the anchor’s rhetoric.
However, Lindell is said to have been unhappy with Fox News for some time, after he told The Atlantic that if it weren’t for attacks by “the left” his message would never get out, “because Fox News ignores him.”
CNN Business reported that Lindell may need Fox more than Fox needs him because he relies on direct response ads to sell his products and he is a household name on the network largely due to his ads.
Newsweek has contacted Fox News and MyPillow for comment.