Companies pull ads from Sean Hannity's show on Fox News

An online campaign calling for advertisers to drop Hannity's show or face a consumer boycott sprung into motion after Hannity promoted a conspiracy theory about the death of a former Democratic National Committee staffer.

Sean Hannity's fixation with a conspiracy theory surrounding the death of Democratic National Committee (DNC) staffer Seth Rich led a few companies to pull out from his Fox News show Wednesday.

Hannity had been one of the main purveyors of a widely discredited theory that DNC staffer Seth Rich was shot and killed near his home in Northwest Washington previous year because he had supplied DNC emails to WikiLeaks.

Hannity said last week that he doesn't believe Rich was killed as part of a robbery attempt.

Fox News retracted its own story on the matter, saying "the article was not initially subjected to the high degree of editorial scrutiny", and that "upon appropriate review, the article was found not to meet those standards".

“We dont have the ability to influence content at the time we make our advertising purchase, ” the company said.

"We will continue to investigate this story and will provide updates as warranted", the statement added.

A spokesperson for Fox News didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. And I will do the mainstream media's job like I have most of my career. It's the same pattern that preceded Bill O'Reilly's unceremonious exit from Fox News. The statement said that those "who suggest otherwise are going to look foolish", according to Variety.

Hannity told HuffPost that Fox News never pressured him to stop discussing the story.

Hannity, unsurprisingly, has been extremely vocal about the "attacks" against him on Twitter, blaming them on his political enemies, and especially frequently cited liberal boogeyman George Soros. "Spoke to many advertisers".

On Wednesday, Hannity blasted his liberal critics as other advertisers followed Cars.com's example, and asserted that "this is an attempt to take me out".

Within a day, one of its main sources - a private investigator working with Rich's family, but paid for by a conservative Dallas millionaire - recanted his story.

The first advertiser has 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.

Here's the full statement provided to us by Cars.com.

Several staffers have also questioned why Fox News leadership continued to allow Hannity to spread an unproven theory on the network.

  • Zachary Reyes