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This Week in Schadenfreude: Not My Pillow, Not Your Pillow, Not... Anybody's Pillow?

Mike Lindell, a.k.a. the MyPillow guy, has always been something of a sleazeball. He got himself into trouble with the law as a younger man. Then, after starting his pillow-making business, he goosed sales with dishonest claims and unethical sales tactics. He was banned by the Better Business Bureau for lying about "sale" prices, and has been sanctioned by the FDA for making false claims about the health benefits of his products.

That said, Lindell was a relatively minor star in the sleazeball galaxy until he found himself in orbit around the star of sleaze, one Donald J. Trump. Since that time, Lindell has upped his scammery (e.g., peddling Oleandrin as a "cure" for COVID), expended vast amounts of oxygen demonizing many of his fellow Americans, and become an anti-democracy crusader of the first order. Or, perhaps more appropriately, of the First Order.

But now, the consequences of Lindell's misdeeds are adding up. He is being sued for defamation, of course. And he lost the lawsuit over the $5 million prize he offered to anyone who could "prove" his "stop the steal" election totals were fishy (though that judgment is under appeal). And, hitting him where it really hurts, numerous major retailers, most notably Walmart, have canceled their contracts with MyPillow. Do you know how right-wing you have to be in order to be too right-wing for Walmart?

You always have to take what Lindell says with multiple grains of salt, but he says that the loss of these contracts has led to a nine-figure loss of revenue: "We lost $100 million from attacks by the box stores, the shopping networks, the shopping channels, all of them did cancel culture on us." Hmmmm. When a business decides that not carrying a product is better for its bottom line than carrying a product, that would seem to be "capitalism" to us, not "cancel culture." But what do we know?

Even if Lindell is exaggerating the precise impact on his business, it's clear that there has been an impact and that it's sizable. The proof of that is that MyPillow has subleased a big chunk of its factory space, and has begun auctioning off a fair bit of its industrial production equipment. Lindell says that if the business comes back, he can reclaim the subleased space and can buy new equipment. Our guess is that he shouldn't hold his breath.

No employees have been laid off, technically, though some meaningful number chose to quit when they were reassigned to different jobs (perhaps with lower pay rates). It's a shame that some number of rank-and-file workers has to pay the price for the boss's bad behavior. But as to the boss himself? "Vengeance is mine," saith the gods of schadenfreude. (Z)

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