My Pillow Goblin Sues Dominion for $1.6 Billion, Swears His Pillows Aren’t Filled With Knives

Current status of Frankspeech dot com

Current status of Frankspeech dot com
Screenshot: Gizmodo/FrankSpeech.com

Americans had prepared today (and also last week) for MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell to unleash his nebulous avant-garde invention, Frank: a social media platform billed as a cross between YouTube and Twitter with elements of newspapers and television, except with free speech. We’ll have to wait a little longer to see the nexus realized.

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Frank is currently down for an indeterminate length of time, but Lindell is offering an alternative spectacle. The homepage of FrankSpeech.com currently hosts the “Frankathon,” a 48-hour Lindell-hosted livestream broadcast set in a sort of news studio. He has a mug. The event opened today in full meltdown conspiracy mode.

“It was the biggest attack on a website, probably in history,” Lindell said of the failed launch. While Lindell has not yet specified exactly who attacked his website and how, the theory seems to be evolving live, with increasing certainty that this was the biggest cyberattack of all time. (A bucket of clues include attackers from “all over the world,” “Zuckabuck from Facebook,” and the inability to talk about “vaccines and machines.”) At this writing, Lindell says that 15 million viewers have tuned in.

We’ve reached out to My Pillow for comment and will update when we hear back.

Lindell’s headline news, though, is the announcement that My Pillow is counter-suing Dominion Voting Systems for $1.6 billion for defamation, which he has framed as a defense of free speech. Court records show the lawsuit, which claims violations of the First and Fourteenth Amendments, was filed on Monday in the U.S. District Court in Minnesota.

The sum is slightly higher than the $1.3 billion in damages Dominion is currently seeking from Lindell in its own defamation suit, targeting Lindell’s wild fabrications that the company conspired with Democrats to steal the election from Donald Trump. (The site showed a looping video of Lindell’s claims, which I won’t repeat here. Dominion has also sued Fox News for allowing Lindell to make such claims without challenging their veracity.) Lindell has enlisted a legal A-team including prominent First Amendment attorney Nathan Lewin and Alan Derschowitz, primarily known for advising on the O.J. Simpson trial and defending Harvey Weinstein. (Both, the Daily Beast has noted, are longtime registered Democrats.) In a motion to dismiss, My Pillow’s attorneys argue that Dominion has engaged in “lawfare,” using the suits to “restrict the marketplace of ideas to one viewpoint.”

Dominion has argued that Lindell’s “viewpoint” (read: hysterical accusations) has caused them irreparable harm and led to an onslaught of violent threats against employees.

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Dershowitz, appearing on the Frankathon this morning via video, made a crystal clear point to distance himself from certain harmful misinformation that would likely be welcome on Lindell’s platform. Unprompted, he said, of free speech:

I defend the right of bigots and ignoramuses to say the Holocaust didn’t occur. It’s wrong, it’s foolish, it’s bigoted, it’s insulting. It affects my family. But I think they’re right to say it. If you want to say the Earth is flat, say the Earth is flat. The geologists will come and prove you wrong, historians will be wrong about the Holocaust.

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Lindell also said:

“…It would be like if My Pillow was out there, and all these people were saying there’s rocks and knives in my pillows. And I would just say what I would do as the owner. I would say, ‘hey, everybody, look… there’s no rocks or knives.’”

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Okay…

Dershowitz does plan to uncover the truth behind Dominion’s election conduct in discovery, in which he’ll demand access to Dominion’s machines and source code, in case completely unsubstantiated social media-sourced conspiracy theories prove to be true.

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You can watch unfolding events here. Steve Bannon and Diamond and Silk are on the docket. And you can view the lawsuit below.

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1,971 Americans Die of Covid-19 on Thursday as U.S. Sets Record For Daily Cases

Respiratory therapist Babu Paramban talks on the phone next to hospital beds while taking a break in the COVID-19 unit at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in the Mission Hills section of Los Angeles, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020.

Respiratory therapist Babu Paramban talks on the phone next to hospital beds while taking a break in the COVID-19 unit at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in the Mission Hills section of Los Angeles, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020.
Photo: Jae C. Hong (AP)

The U.S. reported 1,971 deaths from covid-19 on Thursday, the highest death toll since May, according to the Covid Tracking Project. The country also recorded over 182,000 new cases and more than 80,000 Americans are currently hospitalized, both grim new records for the U.S. during the pandemic. Public health experts warn it’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better.

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The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention issued a new warning on Thursday, imploring Americans not to travel this Thanksgiving to help slow the spread of the disease. For those who insist on seeing extended family on Thanksgiving, the CDC recommends that meals are hosted outdoors and that everyone wears masks whenever possible.

But Thanksgiving is expected to be an event with far too many infections this year, as almost 40% of Americans say they plan to host ten or more people for their holiday meal. Many Americans still believe the pandemic is a “hoax,” despite the growing number of infections and deaths with each passing day.

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The White House Coronavirus Task Force hosted its first public press conference since July on Thursday but Vice President Mike Pence refused to answer any questions. Without a coordinated national response to the worsening pandemic, individual states are doing their best to limit the spread of covid-19 through piecemeal actions, many of which aren’t grounded in solid science. As just one example, some states have instituted limits on how late bars can stay open, as though the virus is only spreading after 10 p.m. Needless to say, experts warn a curfew for businesses is one of the most nonsensical actions a state can make. Indoor dining of all kinds simply needs to be shut down.

California announced a new curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. for all “nonessential” workers, Minnesota has closed indoor dining, and governors who were previously hesitant to introduce mask mandates are now getting on board. The governor of North Dakota, Doug Burgum, announced a new mask requirement late last week after his state saw the worst covid-19 infection rates per capita in the country. North Dakotans who don’t follow the mask rules face something close to a speeding ticket. The state also introduced a 10 p.m. curfew on restaurants and bars.

Meanwhile, China, the origin of the pandemic, has gotten its pandemic under control. The country recorded just 17 new infections yesterday in a country of 1.4 billion people. China, unlike the U.S., instituted a real lockdown of covid-19 hotspots and deployed mass testing when the virus reappeared in various cities.

The U.S. is expected to struggle immensely over the next two months as hospitals continue to become overloaded and some experts warn that Americans will soon be dying in ER waiting rooms. It didn’t have to be like this, but President Donald Trump decided that it was better to juice the stock market by pretending everything was fine rather than showing real leadership. At least Trump will soon be gone. But that will leave president-elect Joe Biden to pick up the pieces. That is, provided Trump’s attempted coup fails.

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U.S. Could See 2,000 Covid-19 Deaths Per Day by Christmas: Report

An inmate (center) works loading bodies wrapped in plastic into a refrigerated temporary morgue trailer in a parking lot of the El Paso County Medical Examiner’s office on November 17, 2020 in El Paso, Texas.

An inmate (center) works loading bodies wrapped in plastic into a refrigerated temporary morgue trailer in a parking lot of the El Paso County Medical Examiner’s office on November 17, 2020 in El Paso, Texas.
Photo: Mario Tama (Getty Images)

The U.S. could see 2,000 Americans dying per day by Christmas if strict new mitigation strategies aren’t adopted, according to warnings from doctors on the White House Coronavirus Task Force and a new report from CBS News. The alarming news comes as the U.S. reports 1,565 deaths from covid-19 on Tuesday alone, with hospitals across the country becoming overwhelmed by the large volume of patients.

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Doctors on the White House task force recommend that all bars across the country be closed and that all restaurants stop providing indoor dining. CBS reports the unnamed doctors told Vice President Mike Pence that this could help slow the spread, though it’s not clear how well that message was received from the nation’s leaders. The White House has been criminally negligent during the coronavirus pandemic, which has infected over 11.3 million Americans and killed over 248,707, according to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University.

The doctors also told Pence that it would be helpful if he and President Donald Trump stressed “the importance of taking mitigation measures” through an address to the public in the White House press briefing room. That seems like an unlikely course of action, given the fact that President Trump hasn’t taken questions from the press since the November 3 presidential election and appears to spend most of his days tweeting about the election being “rigged.” Trump has still refused to concede the election, which he lost to Democratic challenger Joe Biden.

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While many states are starting to introduce new measures, there are still at least 30 states where bars are open and indoor dining is allowed, according to the New York Times. At least ten states still have no requirement for residents to wear masks, including South Dakota, one of the worst hit states in the country. South Dakota has seen an average of 1,421 new cases every day for the past week. The state of just 880,000 people has recorded 644 deaths and more than 67,000 cases since the pandemic began earlier this year.

At least 76,830 Americans are currently hospitalized with covid-19, according to the Covid Tracking Project, a record that keeps getting broken with each passing day. At least 20 states set new records on Tuesday for hospitalizations, including hard-hit states in the Upper Midwest like Minnesota, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana.

And hospitals are reaching a breaking point. The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that over 900 staff at the famed Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota have contracted covid-19 in the past two weeks. Hospitals from Texas to Michigan are operating near capacity, with no staff available to operate many of the ICU beds needed for patients who get seriously ill.

Numerous reports from the past week have also noted that health care workers are simply exhausted and don’t know how they’ll make it through the next couple of months both physically and emotionally. Some people are worried about the PTSD that will likely become evident after all of this is over, but doctors and nurses don’t even have time to worry about the longer term health effects. They’re simply living in the moment, working long shifts to keep their patients alive.

Incredibly, some people are still in denial about the deadliness of this pandemic, even when they’re literally on their deathbeds. And that travesty can be laid directly at the feet of the president. Trump spent months minimizing the threat of the pandemic, insisting that it would miraculously “go away.”

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Covid-19 didn’t go away. And while we’re tremendously hopeful that new vaccines being developed by Pfizer and Moderna will reach people as soon as possible, there’s still going to be a lot of pain and death this winter before the pandemic is under control.

Don’t go visit family for Thanksgiving next week, even if your loved ones are disappointed in you. As coronavirus expert Dr. Michael Osterholm says, we need to look at 2020 as our “covid year” and promise our families that we’ll see them in 2021. That is, if you want to see them in 2021.

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As public health experts in Mississippi recently warned, if you plan on having big Thanksgiving dinners this year, also plan on having small Christmas funerals.