To be clear, I’m not wishing the My Pillow Guy ill, I just want him off my f*cking television. Is that asking too much?
Mike Lindell a.k.a. the My Pillow Guy, is everywhere and I can’t escape him. His ads promising the best night’s sleep of your life on his lumpy bumpy pillows overrun cable TV like Corona at the White House. I’m a channel flicker and usually work to the din of CNN, MSNBC or FOX in the background, and nothing disrupts my writing zen more than the Minnesota twang of mustached MPG as he hawks his wares for the third time in an hour and reminds me who he is: a MAGA mega donor, Trump sycophant and snake oil salesman of the first order.
As Trump’s admitted personal friend, the CEO of MyPillow has appeared at MAGA rallies (recently calling Trump the “greatest president in U.S. history”) and the White House on more than one occasion. In a Rose Garden appearance with business leaders this March, Lindell went off script with this Dear Leader praise:
“God gave us grace on November 8, 2016, to change the course we were on,” Lindell said of Trump’s election. “God had been taken out of our schools and lives. A nation had turned its back on God … Our president gave us so much hope.”
Then this summer, in an effort to hand Trump a better Covid quick fix than hydroxychloroquine turned out to be, Lindell started pushing the unproven and controversial drug oleandrin, which is derived from a poisonous plant. Lindell called oleandrin a “miracle cure” even though no scientific studies showed it was safe and effective, and that ingesting a tiny bit of the toxic shrub it came from could kill you. Anderson Cooper flat out called MPG a “snake oil salesman” on his program for peddling the unproven drug with profit as a motive, noting that Lindell served on the board of directors of the compound’s manufacturer.
“You have no medical background. You have no science background at all. You have a financial stake in this company,” Cooper said. “You can’t give any details about an alleged study of a thousand people that you allegedly have read, yet you remember nothing about it. This has not been tested anywhere outside one lab in a test tube … yet you say this is the cure of COVID.”
Lindell has a history of making spurious claims about the medical benefits of his polyurethane stuffed pillows, which he started selling through infomercials in 2004 and grew into a $280 million business. His ads falsely claimed his pillows cured insomnia, sleep apnea, migraines, fibromyalgia and even multiple sclerosis, prompting a group of 10 California counties to sue him for deceptive advertising in 2016. Lindell agreed to pay a penalty of $1 million while not having to admit wrongdoing. MPG, who again has no medical training, also had to retract his status as a “sleep expert.”
Fast forward to November’s election, and MPG has his bestie’s back as you would imagine: tweeting conspiracy theories about voter fraud, calling for Trump’s enemies to be jailed and showing up on Fox News to declare Trump will be president for another four years despite Trump losing the election soundly. Lindell has also given Trump over $1 million toward the president’s failed and shameful legal efforts to overturn Joe Biden’s win. Trump’s embarrassing Elite Strike Force team has failed to show widespread voter fraud anywhere, and currently holds 1-60 post-election litigation record. Their single “win” was an inconsequential procedural case in Pennsylvanian determining how far away election observers could stand. You know that saying about a fool and his money …
And as increasingly unhinged as Trump has becomes in the waning days of his presidency, so too has MPG’s fanboy loyalty. Newsweek reported this week that in a tweet Lindell deleted after one hour, he called for “martial law” in the seven swing states Biden won, so that Trump allies could take control of voting machines and state ballots and overturn the election. It was a disgusting nod to the numerous reports this week that Trump has indeed been discussing imposing marital law with his most fervent advisers, even though Trump denies this.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that in many ways MPG embodies the American Dream. He’s a college drop-out and serial entrepreneur whose hand sewn pillows brought him from rags to riches even as he battled a cocaine addiction, which he says he beat with the help of God. He gives away tens of thousands of pillows to charity every year and donates money to pro-life causes. And early in the pandemic when the nation was low on PPE, he had his 1,500 employees churn out cloth face masks in his Minnesota factory.
So there’s that.
But liberals like me tend to focus on MPG’s shyster qualities, and the inescapable fact that if you watch cable television, he is in your face constantly.
There is no political equivalent on the right who would induce MAGA tears and outrage the way My Pillow Guy does to the progressives. The closest thing I can imagine is a terrible parable involving AOC sponsoring some sort of femine hygiene product that plays on a continuous loop on Fox, Newsmax and OAN.
So hated is MPG that there are entire reddit threads devoted to excoriating him and constant social media campaigns aimed at boycotting his foam-filled products. The below reddit screenshot is inserted as an example only, and is in no way an endorsement of face-punching:
All I can say is, I feel your pain, Bruce from New York who was probably born in 1950. I feel your pain.