Rupert Murdoch says Fox News continues to air Mike Lindell’s ads even after his voter fraud claims because of how much ‘green’ Lindell has given the network: court filing

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell.Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

  • New Dominion Voting Systems court filing details how important Mike Lindell was to Fox News.

  • “The man is on the line every night. He pays us a lot of money,” said Rupert Murdoch’s testimony.

  • Murdoch said Fox News kept running Lindell’s ads because of the “greens,” not politics.

Rupert Murdoch, the media mogul behind the growing Fox News media empire, was eager to keep election-denying MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell’s ads on the air because of how much ad revenue it brought to the network, according to a new lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems.

“The man is on the line every night. He’s paying us a lot of money,” according to an excerpt from Murdoch’s testimony in January, in a court filing released Monday. “At first you think it’s comical, and then you get tired of it.”

Murdoch went on to admit in his deposition that he could have pulled Lindell’s MyPillow ads, but he didn’t. That was even after the pillow executive made wild, unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud on Fox News programs, according to Dominion’s court filing.

“It’s not red or blue, it’s green,” Murdoch agreed during his testimony — presumably referring to money.

Dominion’s filing on Monday also alleges that Fox News CEO Susan Scott sent Lindell gifts and urged various Fox shows to book Lindell to “get ratings.” But Lindell told Insider in mid-February that the idea that Fox might have bought him a gift was “a Dominion lie” and that Fox “never sent anything.”

Dominion Voting Systems is suing Fox News in a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit that claims the network pushed a conspiracy theory that its systems helped rig the 2020 election. Lindell also faces a lawsuit for $1.3 billion defamation by Dominion. The company accused him of harming their business by spreading baseless conspiracy theories about widespread voter fraud.

Speaking to Insider on Monday, Lindell complained that Fox News hasn’t put him on the air in a while.

“Since Smartmatic sued Fox News, nobody in this country can go on conservative stations and talk about the election,” Lindell told Insider.

Asked how Fox News stood by him and refused to pull his ads, Lindell said he applauds the network for “not punishing MyPillow” and standing up to Dominion.

“I mean, I’m glad Fox News isn’t boycotting because it has nothing to do with MyPillow and my 2,000 employees if I’m defending my country and trying to raise the flag for these machine companies that got hacked,” Lindell told Insider. again pushing an unsubstantiated conspiracy theory that voting machines were rigged during the 2020 election.

Lindell was one of Fox’s top advertisers in 2021, The Washington Post reported. It’s unclear how much Lindell is giving Fox News now to air his ads, or whether he’s as prominent an advertiser as he was during the Capitol rebellion.

But Lindell and Fox News have had their share of disagreements — in September 2021, the network refused to run an ad in which Lindell promoted a symposium on voter fraud. The move by Fox News resulted in Lindell temporarily pulling its ads from the network.

A Fox News spokesperson told Insider that Dominion was trying to “smear Fox publicly.” The spokesman also accused Dominion of “mischaracterizing the facts” and trying to “generate headlines” about its defamation suit against Fox.

A spokesperson for Dominion Voting Systems told Insider, “Dominion strongly believes in the First Amendment and its protections. As long-settled law makes clear, the First Amendment does not protect broadcasters who knowingly or recklessly propagate falsehoods.”

Lindell, meanwhile, continues to claim that the election was stolen by former President Donald Trump. In February, Lindell told late-night host Jimmy Kimmel that he spent more than $40 million pushing Trump’s baseless claims of voter fraud.

That total is higher than the $25 million estimate Lindell gave Insider in December 2021. The figure amounts to four-fifths of Lindell’s estimated net worth of $50 million.

March 3, 2023: This story has been updated to reflect that Murdoch agreed with the characterization of Lindell’s contribution to Fox News.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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