Advertisers drop Hannity

Companies are abandoning his show after Hannity relentlessly pushes a murder conspiracy theory about Seth Rich.

CREDIT: Screenshot
CREDIT: Screenshot

Seven advertisers have pulled their ads from Sean Hannity’s show on Fox News, following a week in which Hannity has stubbornly clung to a debunked conspiracy theory.

Through his Fox show and social media platforms, Hannity has pushed theory that Seth Rich, a DNC staffer who was murdered last summer, was the source of the emails released by Wikileaks.

Hannity believes this theory would exonerate Russia and, therefore, Trump from interfering with the presidential campaign.

Hannity relied on the claims of a private investigator and a report published on FoxNews.com. The investigator has since recanted and FoxNews.com retracted their story.

Cars.com announced their decision to pull their ads in response to an inquiry from BuzzFeed News.

A few hours later, the exercise company Peloton announced it was following suit.

https://twitter.com/RidePeloton/status/867485084403867648

Soon after, a reader forwarded ThinkProgress a response he got from Leesa Sleep, an e-commerce mattress company, when he asked if they would reconsider advertising with Hannity. A company rep told their customer they would no longer air their ads during that show.

Later, Casper, another online mattress retailer, USAA, Ring and Crowne Plaza Hotels announced they would also pull their ads from Hannity.

Last night, Hannity announced that “out of respect for the family’s wishes for now, I am not discussing” the Seth Rich murder “at this time.” Hannity did not apologize for or retract his previous commentary.

Hannity asked his audience to “please do not interpret what I’m saying tonight to mean anything — don’t read into this,” promising he was “not going to stop trying to find the truth.”

Hannity had been hyping an appearance by notorious internet criminal Kim Dotcom, who supposedly had “proof” that Rich was in communication with Wikileaks. Seth Rich’s family later uncovered evidence that Dotcom had attempted to hack their late son’s email account in an apparent attempt to manufacture a connection.

Since announcing that he would not discuss the Seth Rich murder any further, Hannity has continued to discuss it.

BuzzFeed News reported that the man who financed the investigator that prompted the latest round of conspiracy theories on Seth Rich has a connections to Steve Bannon, Donald Trump’s chief strategist.

UPDATE (5:08PM): This post was updated to include the announcement from Peloton.

UPDATE (5:28PM): This post was updated to include the news that Leesa Sleep was dropping Hannity.