Why do TV people keep putting Mike Lindell, the creator and founder of the MyPillow brand, on TV?
There comes a point when TV executives and producers need to stop going for the easy viral clip of Lindell spewing another unsubstantiated conspiracy theory or unintentionally funny prediction, which never seem to be in short supply.
Take, for example, Lindell declaring last month that former President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump defends indicted GOP congressman House to vote Thursday on holding Bannon in contempt Youngkin calls for investigation into Loudoun County School Board amid sexual assault allegations MORE would be reinstated by Aug. 13, while some “down-ticket senators" also would have different election results.
Mike Lindell says by August 13, the talk of the world will be to overturn the election and get the communists out. He also said there will be many down ticket senators that will have different election results. pic.twitter.com/clYG1kMTgx— PatriotTakes (@patriottakes) July 5, 2021
Mike Lindell declares that as a result of voter fraud lawsuit he'll soon be filing, "Donald Trump will be back in office in August." pic.twitter.com/5Ewtd9SZ1O— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) March 29, 2021
“The morning of Aug. 13, it will be the talk of the world, going, ‘Hurry up! Let’s get this election pulled down,’” he claimed to Brannon Howse of Worldview Weekend Broadcast Network. “Let’s right the right. Let’s get these communists out, you know they have taken over.”
"You’ll see when I say that, and they’ll say, ‘What’s going to happen to all the people that were involved?’ I don’t know, right now the biggest concern is getting this election pulled down,” Lindell also claimed. “Donald Trump won. It’s pretty simple, okay?”
So it was surprising that CNN actually put Lindell on the air recently, given his ridiculous statements around the 2020 election. Why give this person a national platform to talk about stolen elections and crooked county officials, claims that have been thoroughly debunked?
"I don't think you really understand how votes are cast, collected and tabulated in this country," reporter Drew Griffin said to Lindell in an interview for “Anderson Cooper 360.”
"You know what? I do," Lindell shot back. "What you don't understand is after they're tabulated, they can get hacked after the fact, which they were, because Donald Trump was going to win anyway."
Griffin countered by explaining paper ballots were audited against the machine count.
"No, they weren't!" Lindell exclaimed. "Who told you that?"
When Griffin explained that it was county officials who told him so, Lindell retorted: "Well they're going to have some answering to do."
The interview got its share of press afterward. But was it really worth it? This is cheesy stuff, for lack of a better word. It's the lowest of low-hanging fruit to fact-check someone like Lindell, to the point that it's not even compelling television.
“No matter who says there was no widespread fraud in the election, whether it’s local election officials, secretaries of state, judges, or even Donald Trump’s own attorney general, Mike Lindell’s conclusion is the same. They are all wrong.” https://t.co/W1c7OkwPXt— Mediaite (@Mediaite) August 6, 2021
The Donald Trump-supporting MyPillow CEO got told he had "proof of nothing" and was possibly the "victim of a scam" by CNN's Drew Griffin. https://t.co/D6LUOLBimg— HuffPost Politics (@HuffPostPol) August 6, 2021
‘If you’re wrong, isn’t that very dangerous?’ — Watch CNN’s Drew Griffin corner MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell about his continued claims about voter fraud in the 2020 election pic.twitter.com/VtbEzkNOpz— NowThis (@nowthisnews) August 7, 2021
The print world also is turning “The Pillow Guy” into a larger figure than he should be. In an interview with Politico earlier this summer, for example, Lindell took a dropper of oleandrin, a plant extract that scientists warn can be poisonous. He would go on to declare that oleandrin is a preventive for COVID-19, along with serving as a "miracle" cure for those who contract the virus.
“Look at this … I can never get the virus," Lindell told Politico. “It’s impossible for me to get it.”
Not exactly the type of stuff that should be discussed in the pages of a political publication.
Moving forward, should we start interviewing members of the Flat Earth Society? How about those who think the moon landing was faked? Or how about giving a national stage to those still claiming, 20 years later, that 9/11 was an inside job and the Twin Towers came down via detonation?
Exposing misinformation and those who continue to push it has its limits.
Mike Lindell can't book himself to be on television, can’t invite himself to be featured in a print article. We're well past the time for TV executives and producers and reporters to resist the temptation for clickbait, whether that's clicks on a remote or a keyboard or an app.
America already has a serious truth problem. We don't need to give those pushing ridiculous and thoroughly debunked conspiracy theories a megaphone to do it.
Joe Concha is a media and politics columnist for The Hill and a Fox News contributor.