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Reprinted with permission from American Independent
St. Louis County Health Director Faisal Khan wrote an op-ed Wednesday laying out the physical threats and racist slurs he was subjected to by a crowd of Donald Trump supporters enraged over new mask guidance in the county amid a surging outbreak of COVID-19.
Khan wrote for the Riverfront Times, in which he said Trump supporters at a Tuesday night meeting on the new mask rules mocked his accent, physically assaulted him, and hurled racist and vulgar insults such as "fat brown cunt" and "brown bastard."
And Khan accused Missouri GOP Senate hopeful Mark McCloskey — infamous for waving a gun at Black Lives Matter protesters in the summer of 2020 — of encouraging that behavior from the crowd.
Khan said he had never in his life "been subjected to the racist, xenophobic, and threatening behavior that greeted me in the County Council meeting," adding that McCloskey and GOP St. Louis City Councilman Tim Fitch encouraged the behavior.
"My time before the Council began with a dog-whistle question from Councilman Tim Fitch, who said he wanted to emphasize for the assembled crowd that I was not from this country," Khan wrote.
He later added, "I later saw that around the time that Mr. Fitch asked his question, his friend Mark McCloskey — who was seated right behind me and situated near Mr. Fitch's position on the dais — posted on social media that mask mandates are 'un-American.'"
"One cannot help but see the connection between the efforts of Mr. McCloskey and Mr. Fitch to stoke xenophobia against me," Khan wrote.
McCloskey is one of a number of GOP candidates running for Senate in Missouri to replace retiring Republican Sen. Roy Blunt.
Along with his wife, he shot to the public's attention after a photo was circulated in 2020 that showed him and his wife waving guns at BLM demonstrators in his upscale St. Louis gated community. McCloskey has since pleaded guilty to fourth-degree assault for his actions.
As Republicans like McCloskey rage against new public health guidelines, Missouri is currently having one of the worst COVID outbreaks in the country.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.
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Reprinted with permission from Media Matters
MyPillow CEO and conspiracy theorist Mike Lindell is reportedly pulling his company's ads from Fox News after the network allegedly rejected an advertisement for his cyber symposium scheduled for mid-August. As The Wall Street Journal reported, Lindell "has said the symposium will prove the 2020 election was stolen from then-President Donald Trump through manipulation of election machines."
MyPillow is Fox News' single largest advertiser, after other companies have dropped ads over the years due to the network's bigotry and conspiracy theories.
Media Matters President Angelo Carusone laid out the details, including that MyPillow accounted for 18 percent of all ads on Fox News' Tucker Carlson Tonight in the first half of 2021. In 2020, there were periods when MyPillow accounted for 41 percent of that show's ad inventory.
As Carusone noted, the situation on Fox News prime time is so dire that Fox Corporation, the channel's parent company, is one of the largest paid advertisers. And now that situation goes from bad to worse, with MyPillow apparently dropping out.
(Also, for the record: MyPillow is not the only Fox News prime-time advertiser steeped in controversy. The Federal Trade Commission has charged that Balance of Nature, another top advertiser on Fox, made bogus claims that its products could ward off the coronavirus. As Media Matters has reported, such ads featured prominent right-wing media personalities, including current California gubernatorial candidate Larry Elder.)
Fox Welcomed Lindell's Deranged Conspiracy Theories — Until Now
As Media Matters and others have documented since his rise to prominence in right-wing circles during the Trump years, Lindell is a major backer of extremist conspiracy theories, ranging from calling COVID-19 vaccines the "mark of the beast" to claiming that Trump won the 2020 presidential election in a landslide (including in California).
Lindell is now trying to "prove" that the election was stolen from Trump by hosting what he calls a "cyber symposium" in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in mid-August. He's been lashing out at Fox News recently for not promoting the event, telling Salon's Zachary Petrizzo a week ago that he was going to force the issue by placing ads on the network.
One such ad that Petrizzo highlights:
Lindell Ad, Fox News - SALON.COM www.youtube.com
Ironically, Lindell has been welcome on Fox News until recently. Even after Tucker Carlson derided Sidney Powell's "Kraken" conspiracy theories about the election (and even after the January 6 attack), the Fox host still welcomed Lindell on his show to push the very same conspiracy theories.
As my colleague Matt Gertz wrote in February:
Since Lindell lost access to Twitter, Fox, Newsmax, and OAN have all eagerly provided him with access to their audiences. Fox star Tucker Carlson hosted him on the evening of his banning, giving the MyPillow CEO a sympathetic platform to push his Dominion conspiracy theories. In fact, Carlson, whose show's commercial blocks are a barren wasteland overwhelmingly reliant on the pillow company's advertisements, has repeatedly given Lindell pathetically sycophantic treatment.
Right-wing media have certainly welcomed the pillowman's money, and many of them are apparently still going to do the same when it comes to this ad. Just look anywhere and you'll see the sycophantic treatment, from Steve Bannon to Infowars to One America News Network to Newsmax to many others. But it's Fox News that has given Lindell his biggest perch -- and now it is reaping what it has sowed.
Fox news can't get enough of pillow czar Mike Lindell www.youtube.com
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