MyPillow CEO and staunch Donald Trump supporter Mike Lindell, who had promised for weeks to drop “evidence” supporting unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud and vote rigging in the 2020 US presidential election, found that the effort was undermined on Friday as the channel on which his quasi-documentary aired took preventative measures to avoid giving the impression of vouching for its credibility.
“‘The statements and statements made in this program are presented at this time only as opinions and are not intended to be taken or interpreted by the viewer as established facts.’ “- OAN Disclaimer on ‘Absolute Proof’
The juxtaposition of the “opinions only” disclaimer followed by the “Absolute Proof” title screen had many fun on Twitter, leading “Absolute Proof” into the trend on Friday afternoon. Another popular joke was to suggest that the opinions expressed in the video were driven by Absolut Vodka (which is usually 80-100 proofs, for what it‘s worth) rather than hard facts. Some critics also warned that this is actually “more absolute proof” that Dominion Voting Systems has a case in its pending defamation lawsuit against Lindell. The company warned that litigation is “imminent,” accusing Lindell in a legal letter of being a “prominent leader of the ongoing disinformation campaign” alleging that the company’s voting technology machines were rigged to favor Biden. Earlier this week, voting machine company Smartmatic sued former Trump legal representatives Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, as well as Fox News and its hosts, in a $ 2.7 billion defamation case accusing them of spread similar claims of voter fraud about the company. OAN was careful to name both voting technology companies in its “Absolute Proof” disclaimer. “OAN does not adopt or endorse any statement or opinion in this program with respect to the following entities or persons,” it said, before listing the technology companies with voting rights. OAN isn’t the only right-wing cable news network to distance itself from Lindell’s conspiracy theories to avoid similar lawsuits. Newsmax TV, aligned with Trump, asked Lindell about his suspension from Twitter on the air on Tuesday. Lindell, instead, began reciting unfounded voter fraud conspiracy theories, prompting host Bob Sellers to read a statement in which he noted that Newsmax has not been able to verify the allegations about voting machines. The channel had first read such a statement on the air a month and a half ago, after Smartmatic and Dominion Voting Systems threatened legal action against various right-wing media outlets for spreading false claims. The vendors then cut the interview off by leaving the set. But pro-Lindell viewers were so outraged that Sellers had left that the host pushed back some of his frustration on the air in a later segment, calling Lindell a “friend” of the network, admitting that he might have “handled the end of the interview differently.” MyPillow advertises heavily in the right-wing media and, according to data analysis, was responsible for nearly 40% of all ad spend on Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s late-night show in the first few months of 2020 .