Hundreds of Republicans that still believe that, contrary to any and all evidence, Donald Trump actually won the 2020 elections and only didn’t get a second term in office due to mass voter fraud congregated together on the Corn Palace in South Dakota on Monday to see the World’s Biggest Corn Cob. By which we mean, a sweaty guy with a mustache yelling about voting machines and who kept on telling them to log onto his friend Frank.
The Corn Palace is a big arena slash tourist trap that is themed around corn. Usually, the biggest corn cobs on display there are statues with cartoon faces on them, accompanied by lots of other regular-sized corn cobs for theming. MyPillow co-founder and attempted coup leader Mike Lindell spoke there on Monday to continue spreading a hoax theory that the Chinese government, or other nefarious foreigners, worked in concert with U.S. election tech firms such as Dominion Voting Systems to subvert the outcome of the 2020 vote. He was also there to promote the supposed re-launch of his failed social media website, Frank Speech, which almost entirely consists of Lindell livestreams and ads for pillow coupons. He claimed 30,000 would be in attendance.
Well, Lindell fans reportedly came from as far afield as Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wisconsin — Texas being a 15-hour drive or so — and formed lines that stretched around the building, with some reportedly waiting seven hours or more to get into an event they had been assured would be packed to capacity.
Snapshot from Corn Palace cam as people begin filing in for My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell and Joe Piscopo. Line was around the corner and to the east of building at about 330 this afternoon. pic.twitter.com/bRA4SS5sgw
— Clint Greenway (@ClintGreenway) May 10, 2021
After all that waiting, it turns out the line was a crock of shit. There weren’t more than about 1,500 people inside, about half of the total that can fit in the Corn Palace. Anyone could have waltzed right in. And, as mentioned before, the only giant corn cob on display was Mike.
According to my best estimate, there are at most 1,500 people in attendance at Mike Lindell's "Frank" rally. Many empty seats in the venue that holds 3,200. It seems like Lindell is also short of the 30K people he boasted would show up too! pic.twitter.com/qXLD3ZNY1y
— Zachary Petrizzo (@ZTPetrizzo) May 11, 2021
This corn-themed hellhole show went on for the next three and a half hours. The Dickinson Press summed it up as largely consisting of Lindell reiterating debunked claims he’s repeated endlessly on air, as well as predicting that regular citizens would successfully petition the Supreme Court to return Trump to the presidency by the end of the summer:
Lindell spoke for nearly 90 minutes, serving as the crescendo for the crowd in attendance after seeing a number of conservative personalities for the prior two hours… He says his evidence shows that China corrupted election machines and changed the voting results in the election, denying Donald Trump from winning by 14 million votes. Lindell’s goal, he said, is for regular citizens to put significant pressure on the U.S. Supreme Court to look at the evidence. He said if that happens, Trump will be back in office as president by August.
“They will have to protect our country and it’s going to be a 9-0 vote to pull the election down,” Lindell said, adding that “evil is overplaying its hand” in politics in this country.
Lindell, who told the crowd that he doesn’t know anything about cybersecurity or informational technology, said he has kept his name in the news since November to help spread his claims about the election being fraudulent.
Frank Speech’s original rollout in April was plagued with crashes and glitches, which Lindell and his partners blamed on DDOS attacks, rather than obvious technical ineptitude and the apparent lack of any social features. Despite the event on Monday being billed as a relaunch, the only content on the Frank Speech website appears to be livestreams of Lindell and other conspiracy theorists talking, reposted news articles, and podcast episodes. The signup screen returned an error stating “The website encountered an unexpected error. Please try again later.” The signup attempt later succeeded, though there appears to be no difference in functionality beyond the ability to log in and log out and the collection of personal information during the signup process — possibly for the purpose of selling it to political committees. Despite the website requiring users to input a phone number for the ostensible purpose of anti-spam verification, Frank Speech happily accepted the phone number “1-111-111-1111”.