A pillow manufacturer well-known for spreading the ‘stolen election’ conspiracy theory launched a pillow fight against Fox News.
MyPillow founder and CEO Mike Lindell accused Fox News of trying to “silence” him after the network pulled Lindell’s company’s ads. The pillow fight, as Fox News tells it, however, really involves unpaid advertising bills.
Media watchdog group Media Matters claims Lindell’s company has been a leading advertiser on Fox News. The Washington Post reported that MyPillow was Fox’s second most frequent advertiser in 2023.
But at the moment, that relationship seems to have ended.
Lindell told Steve Bannon during his “War Room” podcast that Fox News had canceled his advertising.
Let the conspiracy theories roll
But he painted a picture of Fox News being the last in a series of attacks that he dubbed “cancel culture.”
“Well, as you know, Steve, ever since I was speaking out about our election platforms since January of ‘21, they’ve been attacking my company, MyPillow, with cancel culture, the box stores, the shopping channels, and now, Fox News,” Lindell said. “Fox News has canceled MyPillow, and I don’t have the reasons why yet.”
He then appeared to link the timing of the pillow fight with the Iowa Caucuses. He even suggested it may be that he hired Lou Dobbs, who Fox News fired years ago, for his right-wing network.
If Fox News is so right-wing, why would they attempt to “silence” not only a major sponsor but also someone who is known for right-wing activism? Does that add up to you?
Maybe the pillow fight is really about money
A Fox News spokesman denied claims that the network “canceled” MyPillow. The spokesperson told Rolling Stone they only “paused” the ads. The reason is that Lindell “hasn’t been able to finance the commercials.” They added the communicated that to Lindell’s media agency “at length.”
The Associated Press reported that Lindell acknowledged owing the network $7.8 million in advertising. But that total, he claims, is well within his credit line with the network. So there’s no reason they should stop his advertising.
In fact, the aforementioned Fox News spokesman said “as soon as their account is paid, we would be happy to accept their advertising.”
At one point, Lindell claims his company sent Fox News a multi-million-dollar payment just last month. A representative of Fox News, however, indicated that the payment covered ads that aired months earlier.
We don’t have any way to know whether the company is on time with its payments — regardless of its credit limit with the network.
Think about it this way: Let’s assume you have a VISA card with a $5,000 credit limit and some amount — let’s say it’s $750 — is past due. You may well send a payment of $600 toward that balance. But until you pay off every past due dollar, the card issuer isn’t going to allow you charge more.
There’s no way to know if that’s the case here. But we don’t have any way to see the billing.
If the company pays whatever Fox News thinks is due and they still aren’t allowed to advertise, that might be a story. But until that happens, and both sides acknowledge there’s a zero balance, we’ll have to wait and see whether this war of words ends in more ads for the company airing or the loss of future ad revenue from what has been a big client.