Sean Hannity Loses at Least 5 Advertisers After Promoting Conspiracy Theory

Fox News' statement stopped short of apologizing to the Rich family, but claimed that the story wasn't properly vetted before publication.

Hannity has maintained his support of the theory, which said Rich was killed because he leaked thousands of emails to WikiLeaks last July.

The decision took Hannity off a potential collision course with his network, which earlier Tuesday had removed a week-old story about the case from its website because "it was not initially subjected to the high degree of editorial scrutiny we require for all our reporting".

It's only a trickle at this point, but at least a few advertisers have already responded to public pressure and have pulled their ads from Sean Hannity's show on Fox News.

"We don't have the ability to influence content at the time we make out advertising purchase".

Fox right-wing "family values" talking head Bill O'Reilly lost his job after multiple women charged him with sexual harassment, causing advertisers to flee the show.

Hannity, the sole survivor from Fox's once stable and powerful prime-time lineup, has been a strong backer of President Donald Trump and believes the president is under attack from media and opponents who want to destroy him.

Sean Hannity is refusing to punt on his report linking Seth Rich to Wikileaks, despite outrage from his family. "Those who suggest otherwise are going to look foolish", a spokesperson said in a statement. The "Hannity" host told viewers he was taking previously scheduled time off for the holiday weekend, but joked on Twitter that he expected speculation about possibly being fired. Hannity promoted the idea via Twitter and vowed to follow it through, even as Fox posted an official retraction and law enforcement said there was no proof of the theory.

Fox's head of programming asked Mr Hannity to stop mentioning the murder, CNN reported.

Ring told BuzzFeed News in a statement: "We are always evaluating and monitoring our advertisements to ensure they align with the Ring brand".

Hannity has come under fire for spreading a conspiracy theory linking Rich's killing to Wikileaks. "We have no plans to advertise on Fox News for the foreseeable future".

But Hannity hasn't yet hemorrhaged as many advertisers as O'Reilly did.

Some websites like Mic Network and BuzzFeed keep a running list of companies that have pulled their ads from Hannity.

The left-leaning media watchdog Media Matters published a list of Hannity's sponsors on Tuesday - a move many interpreted as a call to boycott his show.

  • Zachary Reyes