Fox News stops running MyPillow commercials due to payment dispute

Jan 12, 2024, 8:36 PM

FILE - MyPillow chief executive Mike Lindell talks to reporters at the Republican National Committe...

FILE - MyPillow chief executive Mike Lindell talks to reporters at the Republican National Committee winter meeting in Dana Point, Calif., Friday, Jan. 27, 2023. An arbitration panel has ordered Lindell to pay $5 million to a software engineer for breach of contract in a dispute over data that Lindell claims proves that China interfered in the U.S. 2020 elections and tipped the outcome to Joe Biden. But Lindell told The Associated Press, Thursday, April 20, 2023, that he has no intention of paying and that he expects the dispute to land in court. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — MyPillow chief executive and prominent election denier Mike Lindell said Friday that Fox News has stopped running his company’s commercials, disputing the network’s assertion that it is simply because he hasn’t paid his bills.

Lindell went public by tweeting that Fox, which had been one of MyPillow’s biggest advertising outlets, had canceled him. He said in his tweet that he didn’t know why but that he suspected that the network was trying to silence him. Fox denied that.

Losing Fox was just the latest in a series of financial and legal setbacks for Minnesota-based MyPillow and Lindell, who continues to propagate former President Donald Trump’s lies that the 2020 election was stolen from him, in part by rigged voting machine systems. Several big-box retailers, including Walmart, have discontinued his products, and lawyers who were defending him against defamation lawsuits by voting machine companies quit.

“As soon as their account is paid, we would be happy to accept their advertising,” Fox spokeswoman Irena Briganti said.

Supreme Court allows defamation lawsuit against MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell to proceed

In an interview with The Associated Press, Lindell acknowledged that MyPillow owes money to Fox. He put the figure at $7.8 million, but he insisted that the sum is within his credit line with the network. He said MyPillow has long spent an average of $1 million a week to run its ads on Fox. And he said the network had long allowed him 12 weeks of credit until it recently cut that to eight weeks.

Lindell said he believes Fox wants to silence him “because I want to secure our election platforms” — an assertion that Fox disputes. And he said he suspects the network is sore because his Lindell TV/FrankSpeech online channel recently hired former Fox Business host Lou Dobbs, whose debut show on Monday night featured an interview with Trump, who made further false claims that the 2020 election was rigged.

Fox last April agreed to pay Dominion Voting Systems nearly $800 million to avert a trial in the voting machine company’s lawsuit that would have exposed how the network promoted lies about the 2020 election on shows by Dobbs and other hosts. Fox canceled Dobbs’ show three years ago.

Lindell acknowledged in an interview in October that he owed two law firms that were defending him against lawsuits by Dominion and Smartmatic millions of dollars that he couldn’t pay, which is why they quit. He said MyPillow had been “decimated.”

But Lindell insisted Friday that MyPillow is “doing great.” He said it’s still running ads on another conservative network, Newsmax, and on his own platforms. But he conceded that losing Fox will hurt the business and said he would run his ads there again if Fox would take them.

“Obviously, it would be great if Fox said, ‘Hey, come back,’” Lindell said.

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Fox News stops running MyPillow commercials due to payment dispute