In another reminder that celebrities say idiotic things just as much as the rest of us do, here’s a story about Mike Lindell, the founder and CEO of MyPillow, Inc., which famously manufactures “the most comfortable pillow you’ll ever own,” as Lindell repeatedy tells us in his TV ads.
Unfortunately, away from pillows, he doesn’t say the best things ever said. Nonetheless, I’ve tried his pillows personally, and they’re actually pretty great. Which greatly worsens my disappointment in his political instincts.
So, because Lindell is a national celebrity who apparently “advertises relentlessly in right-wing media,” according to an article in Rightwingwatch.org, he also got a plumb speaking slot at the recent annual convention of CPAC, the arch-conservative super-PAC, which raises funds for right-wing causes and Republican political initiatives.
Oh, if only he hadn’t.
With a straight face and earnest tone in his CPAC speech, Lindell recalled a “divine appointment” with Donald Trump when he was a mere presidential candidate, after which Lindell realized that “God had chosen” the orange-haired real estate developer and serial adulterer “for such a time as this,” according to Rightwingwatch.org writer Kyle Mantyla. Lindell continued:
“God answered our millions of prayers and gave us grace and a miracle happened on November 8, 2016. We were given a second chance and time granted to get our country back on track with our conservative values and getting people saved in Jesus’ name. As I stand before you today, I see the greatest president in history. Of course he is; he was chosen by God.”
As a self-marketing performance, however, it was a barn burner, I’m sure.
Lindell is also an exhuberant Christian, soliciting donations on his charitable Lindell Foundation website for an initiative named Pulse. Above the site’s “donate” button, is this less-than-definitive statement: “We have a heart for the cynics ad skeptics, the hurting and the hopeless, to known Jesus.” He is also producer and co-founder of the Christian content production company LightBeamMedia. He also prominently displays a Christian cross on a chain around his neck on his TV ads.
The 57-year-old Minnesota native currently has a net worth of about $130 million, according to the website Celebs Net Worth Today, after a somewhat rocky past.
He started out as a small businessman — cleaning carpets, raising pigs, running bars and restaurants — before he launched MyPillow. But when he became addicted to crack cocaine, everything spiraled downward. His 20-year marriage collapsed, and he nearly lost his pillow business.
“But one day,” according to the Celeb article, “he promised to god and quit everything.”
Except MyPillow and a boundless devotion to Christianity.
Lindell reportedly met with Trump at Trump Tower in 2016, when the future president recommended making all his pillows in America to create U.S. manufacturing jobs. Since then, Lindell has been an enthusiastic Trump supporter, even stumping for him during campaign rallies.
The pillow-maker’s conservativism has come back to bite him. For example, he was widely derided for refusing to join other advertisers in 2018 who were jumping ship on Fox News host Laura Ingraham for mocking Parkland school shooting survivor David Hogg, according to an article in the Kansas City Star. Ingraham later apologized, if not very convincingly.
“Advertising decisions are based on what’s best for MyPillow, my employees and my customers,” Lindell said at the time in a statement to the Shakopee Valley News in Minnesota.
Whether or not his motivation in supporting conservative causes is commercial or religious, his tendency to combine religion with government is concerning, especially because he has a broad, “You’re that guy!” celebrity platform to disseminate it.