MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell has released “Absolute Proof,” his documentary purporting to explain the unfounded claims of election fraud, and it’s just as unhinged as you’d expect.Lindell published the “docu-movie” on Vimeo and YouTube, and published it to Facebook, early Friday.YouTube deleted the video on Friday after VICE News flagged the content. A spokesperson for the company said the video “violated our presidential election integrity policy.” The video had been viewed tens of thousands of times before YouTube took it down.
On his own website, Lindell has now resorted to using a version of the video hosted on Rumble, a YouTube-alternative that has become popular with the far right and QAnon followers.But Lindell also purchased airtime on the far-right One America Network. Prior to airing the documentary, OAN aired a lengthy statement attempting to distance itself from the potentially defamatory claims it was about to air.“Mr. Lindell is the sole author and executive producer of this program and is solely and exclusively responsible for its content,” the statement reads. “This program is not the product of OAN's reporting.”
The statement goes on to say that the network doesn’t “adopt or endorse” claims about Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic—both of which have filed multibillion-dollar lawsuits against Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, and others who have pushed or promoted the election fraud conspiracy. OAN also tried to distance itself from Lindell’s claims about Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, and Raffensperger’s chief operating officer, Gabriel Sterling. It’s not clear if OAN’s disclaimer will insulate it from legal action. Though laws vary by state, disclaimers “can help, but they never guarantee anything,” Don Herzog, a University of Michigan law professor and defamation law expert, told VICE News in an email. “The disclaimer might be thought to be disingenuous or otherwise unpersuasive, in which case it won't shield the disclaimer from liability. Or sometimes courts switch from what the speaker is saying to what the audience hears, or reasonably hears,” he said.
“So for instance, if you tune in OAN and watch 45 minutes of the middle of Lindell's movie, it would be plausible to argue that OAN is defaming, because you sensibly assume the stuff they're broadcasting at length is their content.”The movie itself comes in at two hours—not three, as Lindell promised in a disastrous Newsmax appearance earlier this week—is soundtracked by and essentially rehashes all of the false claims about the election that have been debunked time and again. It also begins with a very lengthy self-pity party. “I have been attacked the last month relentlessly on social media, by newspapers, by TV shows, by—you name it, I’ve been attacked,” Lindell said, showing a graphic of al the companies that have dropped MyPillow from their shelves, including Kohl’s, Mattress Firm, and the Home Shopping Network. “They canceled my Twitter; today they canceled MyPillow’s Twitter account.” Lindell claims, falsely, that the “algorithms of these [voting] machines broke… Donald Trump got so many more millions of votes that they didn’t expect, so they had to go recalibrate. That’s why all these states shut down.”
He then goes on to display slides that purport to show “possible errors” in the elections of various states, all of which, coincidentally, Trump narrowly lost. The claims are just repeated verbatim from the Trump campaign and local Republican officials and voters’ lawsuits, none of which were successful.
These include the claim that 66,000 underage people voted in Georgia, when the number of people under the age of 18 who requested a ballot was actually four, and all of them turned 18 prior to November 3, according to Raffensperger’s office. Lindell also claims that 10,000 fake ballots were driven from New York to Pennsylvania, an unfounded claim based on the testimony of a man who believes he’s being haunted by ghosts. And Lindell claims that 130,000 people illegally voted in Wisconsin through the state “illegally expanding the definition of indefinite confinement,” because county and state election officials allowed some voters to vote by mail during the pandemic—even though these decisions were made in March, and even though the majority-Republican Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled in December that it was up to voters to decide whether they’re “indefinitely confined.” Throughout the movie, Lindell interviews various fringe witnesses and what he claims are “cyber forensic experts” that “these machines were used by other countries to steal our election.” These guests included multiple former Rudy Giuliani witnesses including retired Col. Phil Waldron, who made the ridiculous claim that nearly every single vote cast in Arizona’s Maricopa County was potentially fraudulent, and Dominion IT contractor Melissa Carone, the IT contractor for Dominion whose disastrous testimony before the Michigan Legislature went viral in December.In sum, the movie feels like a bunch of old, thoroughly-debunked claims repackaged as a special report on the worst public access TV channel you’ve ever watched. But around 11:30 ET, it appeared Lindell had been “canceled” once more: Vimeo had removed the video from its platform. Although Lindell’s movie has been taken down from YouTube, it could make an appearance in a defamation trial coming soon. On Thursday, Dominion sent a letter to YouTube asking that it “preserve and retain” videos posted on its platform about the election by a variety of figures and networks which pushed the conspiracy. Including Lindell.