There is something X-Files-ish about the Big Lie and Trump world in general. It’s as if the planet passed through some kind of a cosmic cloud which caused a lot of people to disown their own good judgement and common sense and vote for Donald Trump. In Mike Lindell’s case, he’s never emerged from the influence of said toxic, mind altering cloud. He really believes that nefarious forces robbed his Orange Overlord of his rightful place in the Oval Office. Wrong, Mike.
And being wrong about that has cost Lindell a lot of money, he claims $40 million so far. Add another $5 million to that tab, because arbitrators ruled that Lindell had to pay a computer expert who debunked Lindell’s specious claims and then refused to pay him, as promised. Washington Post:
Say what you will about Mike Lindell, but unlike Rupert Murdoch and many of the executives and talent at Fox, he seems to genuinely believe everything he says in public.
The Fox people have to pay their parking ticket—$787.5m, some large portion of which will come out of their $4b war chest. These ducats will quickly be replenished by the roughly $4b in revenue that Fox News brings in yearly just from cable carriage fees.
None of the money will come from the personal accounts of the people who defamed Dominion.
I don’t know what Lindell’s finances are, but I suspect that $5m is a much more significant sum to him, personally, than the $787.5m corporate tariff is to the personal finances of the various people in and around Fox Corp.
In the Game of Trump, only the true believers ever really get hurt.
Last goes on to talk about the January 6 rioters, who thought they were acting with impunity, for a “president” who had their back, i.e., their legal fees paid, if not an out and out pardon. Wrong and wrong.
I suspect it’ll be the same with Mike Lindell and Dominion. Three months from now the Fox machine will still be printing money, without admitting fault or changing behavior. No one is going to lose their show for having exposed the company to legal jeopardy.
Yet I suspect that Mike Lindell will reach a different outcome. He’s already out $5m. When Dominion is finished with him, he’ll be a husk. Another true believer wrecked because he wasn’t smart enough to understand what was happening and wasn’t elite enough to have a moat protecting him from consequences.
And I do sympathize with Lindell, to an extent. Where the sympathy stops is that the man has demonstrated willful stupidity in willing to cut large checks to every con artist he can find who will tell him what he wants to hear about a stolen election in 2020. There was no stolen election. It’s a stupid hill for Lindell to have picked to die on, financially at least, but it appears to be the one he has chosen. And nobody can talk him out of it, seemingly.
Maybe that will change. Maybe losing this $5 million judgment, coupled with Dominion’s lawyers still breathing down his neck, will finally be the wake up call he needs. One assumes that Lindell enjoys a fairly comfortable lifestyle and if that is threatened, along with the pillow manufacturing factory and things that he holds dear, maybe he’ll finally wake up.
And on a deeper level, where I have zero sympathy for Lindell, is that he has done a lot of damage to the national psyche with his ravings about stolen elections. Due to him, a lot of people now have qualms and misgivings about the way our elections work, when they didn’t have so before he, and his right-wing compatriots, started making money off the Big Lie.
But, maybe he will wake up. If not, this play will have an ending like Oedipus Rex and Lindell will end up gouging out his own eyes, or more likely, selling pencils in a tin cup, or whatever the corporate equivalent of that is. I don’t see a rosey future for the man unless he can come to grips with his current addiction and how it is destroying him, and that is his membership in the Cult of Trump.