David Hogg, a survivor of the Parkland high school shooting who subsequently rose to national prominence as a gun control advocate, has announced he is starting a pillow company with the express intention of driving Donald Trump supporter Mike Lindell out of business.
Mr Lindell, the eccentric entrepreneur behind MyPillow, a recovering crack addict and born-again Christian, has continued to champion the ex-president’s baseless election fraud claims, meeting with Mr Trump at the White House in his final days in office to reiterate his faith in the narrative.
He has since been permanently banned from Twitter, seen his products boycotted by major retail chains including Bed Bath & Beyond and Kohl’s and this week caused a Newsmax anchor, Bob Sellers, to storm off air in frustration when he refused to stop spouting unfounded accusations about election fraud.
Mr Hogg, who survived a horrific gun attack on the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school in Florida in February 2018 that left 17 people dead and 17 more injured, is now joining in.
Having started the March for Our Lives campaign for gun reform with fellow students, Mr Hogg announced on Twitter on Thursday that he and progressive tech entrepreneur William LeGate would be teaming up for the new bedding venture challenging MyPillow.
“This pillow fight just got very real,” he declared.
In a series of further tweets, Mr Hogg listed his goals for the company, which include rolling out only union-made products, hiring ex-convicts and war veterans, engaging in the promotion of progressive values and not attempting “a white supremacist overthrow of the United States government”.
He also pledged that he and Mr LeGate “will run a better business and make a better product all with more happy staff than Mike the pillow guy while creating US based Union jobs and helping people.”
Mr Hogg said that the new company’s website would go live “in a couple of weeks” and invited suggestions from his Twitter followers for a brand name while urging patience, insisting he did not want to compromise on quality by rushing out a substandard product.
He also responded to a troll who sent him an explicit homophobic meme by turning it into a business idea, asking: “Anybody interested in a Pride Limited edition pillow? If we sold this pillow we could give all of the profits from it’s sale to LGBTQ orgs and Sex Ed. These trolls are awesome they’re free advertising and they have great ideas keep them coming guys.”
Mr Lindell’s only response to the news so far was a short statement acquired by Axios in which he commented: “Good for them... Nothing wrong with competition that does not infringe on someone's patent.”
Mr Hogg has most recently been engaged in campaigning against new Republican congresswoman and QAnon believer Marjorie Taylor Greene, who remains under fire over controversial past comments and who was seen in a resurfaced video from March 2019 pursuing the young activist down the street questioning his position on “red flag” gun laws.
Speaking to CNN’s Alisyn Camerota about the incident last week, Mr Hogg, who was unflappable in refusing to engage with Ms Taylor Greene, said he recalled the episode and had found it “triggering” but had deployed mindfulness techniques to block out her remarks.
“As I was told growing up, it’s just better not to respond to bullies and just walk away,” he said.
“Can I just point out how ridiculous it is that it’s on the survivors of gun violence to stand up to gun violence and be the ones to try end to it? Why do we have elected officials if that's the case? Why can’t they do their jobs?” he added, pointedly.
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