MAGA pillow magnate Mike Lindell claims Fox News “cancelled” his MyPillow commercials because he recently hired former Fox Business star Lou Dobbs to host a show on his far-right media channel.
However, the real story may not be so simple. A Fox News source with direct knowledge of the situation claims that the network's longstanding partnership with MyPillow was severed because Lindell was unable to pay for his commercials. The source added that the issue was clearly communicated with Lindell's media buying agency.
The station appeared to confirm later Friday that Lindell hasn't paid his bills. “Once your account is paid, we would be happy to accept your advertising,” a Fox News spokesperson said in a statement to The Daily Beast.
This wouldn't be the first time Lindell was dropped because he couldn't pay his bills. Lindell, who is currently being sued for billions of dollars in defamation by election software companies Dominion and Smartmatic over his election fraud conspiracies, saw his entire legal team terminated last fall because he owed them millions of dollars.
Lindell's company admitted he was “out of money” when his lawyers quit and was struggling with financial problems and a dangerous cash shortage. When his lawyers failed him, Lindell also confessed that American Express had reduced his company's line of credit to $100,000 and other banks had refused to lend to him. Last fall, its once-ubiquitous MyPillow ads all but disappeared from television for several weeks due to ongoing money problems.
However, Lindell insisted Friday that Fox rejected his commercials because he hired Dobbs, the hard-line Trump sycophant who was banned from Fox in early 2021 — a day after Smartmatic sued the network over its 2020 election lies, which Dobbs said had happily broadcast on air. Lindell also suggested that his endorsement cancellation was due to his unwavering loyalty to the “real president” (that, in his opinion, would be Trump) ahead of the 2024 election.
“Fox News has canceled MyPillow, and I don't yet have the reasons why. All I can do is, you know, say, well, the caucuses are on Monday, they know my brand is right up there with our great, real President Donald Trump,” Lindell roared on MAGA podcaster Steve Bannon's podcast Friday.
“You know, maybe it's because I brought Lou Dobbs to my Lindell TV station this week and – but it's all just very disturbing and suspicious. Why now? Out of the blue you get canceled,” Lindell continued. “I'm beside myself. I do not know what to say. It's like going after a company if – because your CEO is interested in helping save our country and secure our election platforms. It's just disturbing. It's disgusting.”
The Pillow Boss added that his media buyers told him Wednesday night that Fox News had rejected his commercials, but he waited a day for the network to give him a reason before going public. “It’s a complete rejection,” he told Bannon.
Speaking to The Daily Beast on Friday, Lindell emphasized that Dobbs was the main reason Fox pulled its ads, noting that the ex-Fox star debuted on Lindell TV with a lengthy Trump interview on Monday.
“The only variable this week was that Lou Dobbs started on Monday night – remember, Fox let Lou Dobbs go when he was talking about those election programs,” he said. “I think it's directly related to me advocating for the election platforms to get rid of the machines, the voting machines. Remember, Fox has put up with Dominion and all that, but I keep complaining about Fox News and Newsmax because they don't talk about the election. So nothing has changed because that’s what I always do.”
He also speculated that Fox “fears competition” from his personal media company, suggesting that its weekly lineup of Dobbs and Emerald Robinson, a former Newsmax correspondent and vaccine conspirator, also played a role.
Lindell claimed that he had paid Fox News between $500,000 and $2 million each week for the past decade to run his ads and complained that it should be “almost illegal” to refuse to air his commercials if he offered the broadcaster money.
However, according to the Fox News source familiar with the situation, Lindell has been struggling to pay the conservative cable giant for months and has not paid for ads running on Fox since August 2023. Lindell had recently made payments to the station, an insider said, but they were only to catch up on ads that ran over the summer.
According to a transcript search, Fox News has not run a MyPillow ad since mid-December, suggesting he has been in violation of his contract with the network for several weeks.
While abandoning Lindell as an advertiser might upset the fever desert and election-denying ultra-MAGA voters, it likely won't do much to dent the top-rated cable network's bottom line. Last year, Fox News Media brought in $1.4 billion in advertising revenue, with that number almost certain to rise in 2024 in a chaotic and high-profile election season.
Ultimately, losing Lindell's cash would be just a “drop in the bucket” for Fox News, the network insider said.