The Earth Is Round: Wingnuts' Chimerical Chickens Come Home to Roost

Delusional birds of a feather. Getty Image

Proving what goes around comes around and it can get pricey when it’s dangerous, delusional, election-conspiracy-peddling, MyPillow guy Mike Lindell and his Hugo Chavez-obsessed cronies – Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, Lou Dobbs and much of the rest of Fox News – are getting clobbered by reality these days. Much like the new $5,000 to $10,000 fines to be levied against any GOP House members witless enough to rebuff metal detectors – Texas Rep. Chip Roy, who feverishly defends his right to bear arms “to prevent tyranny from taking over,” finds them “an outrage” and wants to sue – a lucid world out of fucks to give after the last four years is increasingly calling a halt to the insanity. First up, MyPillow guy Mike Lindell, who on Friday eagerly launched his new, fever-dream, almost-three-hour documentary/disinfomercial “Absolute Proof,” which he says he made in five days while “holed up with people guarding me and people brought in from all over this country,” and which offers absolute proof that China stole the election in hopes of turning America into a communist nation, that Herr Trump won the election and so many votes he “broke the algorithm,” and that, as he told the Revival Channel, if his “miracle” movie fails to win over the country, it will bring on end times and The Rapture, so really, all good either way, especially if he can bring his amphetamines along with him. 
Lindell paid One America News, several delirious plots to the right of Fox, to air the film multiple times starting Friday. In truth, his choice of platform was limited: He’s been permanently banned from Twitter for his lurid claims, it was uploaded to but swiftly taken down by both YouTube and Facebook several times, and Newsmax just brutally cut off an interview with him as the disgusted anchor muttered, “Get this guy outta here.” Thus, OAN. In what was dubbed “basically an SNL skit” with the feel of a man unraveling on camera, Lindell sits behind a fake news desk interviewing fake experts – including drunken former “star witness” Melissa Carlone – as TV-murder-mystery-of-the-week music randomly comes and goes and cartoony graphics accentuate the horrors he reveals – hammer and sickle for communist plot, “CANCELED” stamp for, “They’re trying to cancel us all out.” As his guests ramble, Lindell often says, “Wow!” He also says he will expose “all the evil in our country,” “Trump got so many votes it broke the algorithm of the machines – they had to re-calibrate!” and foreign companies changed the votes and sent them back “cyberly.” Wow! Most hilariously, juxtaposed with his feverish claims to offer “Absolute Truth,” OAN then slapped on a 90-second mother-of-all disclaimers that ended up getting more press than the miracle film itself. It explained Mr. Pillow had bought the time, it’s “not the product of OAN’s reporting,” the “views, opinions and claims (are) not endorsed by OAN,” the claims are “not intended to be taken or interpreted by the viewer as established facts,” and, most notably, OAN doesn’t endorse any “statements or opinions” regarding Dominion Voting Systems, Smarmatic USA and several officials.

Their desperate backpedaling – despite adding an electoral “well but still who knows?” – may not protect them from liability in the face of multiple lawsuits seeking eye-popping damages in the name of truth. Last week, Dominion filed defamation lawsuits seeking $1.3 billion against both Guiliani and Powell; the suit details the “Big Lie” that Dominion consorted with a dead Hugo Chavez, a pre-pubescent George Soros, some evil pols etc to rig the election, a hallucination concocted by Rudy, some alleged drug kingpin cronies, and, yes, Mr. Pillow, who’s been pushing the story on Fox: “Cancel Culture Rage Mob Comes for Lindell.” On Thursday, the mob doubled down as Smartmatic filed another, whopping $2.7 billion defamation suit against Fox, Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo, Jeanine Pirro, Rudy and Sidney for falsely making Smartmatic “the villain” in their crackpot story. While Smartmatic’s voting machines were only used in L.A. County, they figured heavily in Rudy/Sidney claims on Fox that they secretly own Dominion (not), were founded by Chavez besties to steal elections (ditto), and their technology has a “back door” so bad guys can change counts, “so the votes actually go to Barcelona, Spain” (umm). Their 285-page filing opens with possibly the most epic intro ever: “The Earth is round. Two plus two equals four. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the 2020 election…The election was not stolen, rigged, or fixed. These are facts.” They charge they’ve lost business and their workers have been threatened as a result of the madness; most vitally, because defamation suits hinge on “malice,” or  knowledge of the actual facts, the suit goes on, “Defendants’ story was a lie. All of it. And they knew it.”

In response, Fox offered the usual blather: “We are proud of our 2020 election coverage and will vigorously defend this meritless lawsuit in court.” Still – money talks – Fox has already started walking back some of their claims, and on Friday, the day after Smartmatic’s suit landed, they vigorously canned Lou Dobbs, their highest-rated host, one of Trump’s loudest “Stop the Steal” sycophants – “Nobody loves America more than Lou” – and the loudmouth Smartmatic singled out for contributing “additional falsehoods to the narrative.” The response to Fox ditching one of its most toxic voices: “And there was much rejoicing.” There was even more when scrappy activist and school shooting survivor David Hogg jumped onto the time-to-relegate-these-lying-yahoos-to-the-ashbin-of-history bandwagon by announcing he’s starting “a pillow fight” with Lindell by  launching his own progressive pillow company. In an excited, typo-laden tweet – his bio now reads, “Good at protesting, bad at spelling” – Hogg said he and a partner are still building a website, “we are focused first on quality (then) on time,” and profits will go to charitable causes, among them sex education and LGBTQ organizations.” Tips and requests quickly poured in from readers: Do it in a blue state, make them environmentally friendly with hemp, bamboo, millett hulls, no plastic, no memory foam, “For the love of god, don’t just cut out pieces of crappy foam. Please. I beg of you.” Hogg promises the company will use American union labor, will focus on supporting progressive causes, and will “not attempt a white supremacist overthrow of the United States government. So you can sleep at night. Relieved face.” Sanity, welcome back.

You really need to experience the whole disclaimer in full

— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) February 5, 2021

I mean this is basically an SNL skit come to life

— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 5, 2021

Another doomed prophecy

When it doesn’t, you know what to do

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