Sean Hannity Gins Up New Conspiracy to Fight Conspiracy Mongering Charges 1

Sean Hannity is refusing to punt on his report linking Seth Rich to Wikileaks, despite outrage from his family. He lashed out today with another conspiracy theory. (Photo: Twitter)

Sean Hannity, the embattled Fox News talk show host, tried to gin up a new conspiracy today to counter charges that he is using his show to promote bogus right-wing conspiracies. Doesn’t he get it?

Hannity revealed today on Twitter that Fox advertisers may be facing pressure from activists to pull ads from his show.

“To all my friends. TODAY, George Soros, & Hillary Clinton supported Mediamatters is targeting all of my advertisers to try and get me fired” he wrote today.

In fact, today pulled advertising from Hannity’s Fox show, according to BuzzFeed.

Media Matters for America, is a non-profit group that “meticulously documents right-wing misinformation in the media,” according to its Web site.

Soros has contributed money to the organization and Clinton acted as an adviser early on when the group formed in 2004 by David Brock, a Democratic operative.

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.

In the latest incident, Fox News was forced to retract a Hannity report that fanned the conspiracy flames on right-wing claims that Democratic National Committee (DNC) staffer Seth Rich,27, not Russia, was a key source of DNC emails leaked to Wikileaks. Rich was murdered last July in Washington.

Rod Wheeler, a private investigator and Fox News contributor first made the allegation. Hannity jumped on the report and publicized it on his site.

Hannity claimed Rich’s murder was ordered by the Clintons in retaliation for leaking DNC emails to WikiLeaks. Police said Rich’s killing was sparked by a botched robbery.

So far neither Rich, Hannity nor Fox has produced any evidence to back up the claim.

Rich’s parents expressed outrage at the report and called the allegations categorically false. Rich’s brother wrote a letter to Hannity’s executive producer urging him to stop Hannity from spreading the conspiracy theory.

The family also issued a “cease and desist” letter to Fox and threatened legal action for causing “extreme mental anguish,” according to NBC News.

That led to the following Fox News retraction:

On May 16, a story was posted on the Fox News website on the investigation into the 2016 murder of DNC Staffer Seth Rich. The article was not initially subjected to the high degree of editorial scrutiny we require for all our reporting. Upon appropriate review, the article was found not to meet those standards and has since been removed. We will continue to investigate this story and will provide updates as warranted.

Initially, Hannity said he would no longer report on the allegation. But yesterday he changed course.

“I am not or, I retracted nothing,” he said on his syndicated radio program.

He added:

“For those accusing me of pushing a conspiracy theory, you are the biggest phony hypocrites in the entire world. This issue, it’s so big now that the entire Russia collusion narrative is hanging by a thread. If in fact, take Seth out of it, there was a whistleblower within the DNC — a truth-teller that was actually the source for WikiLeaks, not Russia — working with the Trump campaign. These are questions that I have a moral obligation to ask, and I will do the mainstream media’s job like I have most of my career.”

Media Matters yesterday published a list of Hannity’s advertisers on its Web site.

It prefaced the list with the following statement:

Sean Hannity is a professional propagandist for President Donald Trump, as well as a bigot, a sexist, and a conspiracy theorist. As host of Fox News’ ‘Hannity,’ he has used his platform to advocate for authoritarian tactics toward the press, defend Trump’s obstruction of the investigation into collusion between the president’s associates and Russia, and attack judges who have ruled against Trump’s Muslim bans.

Hannity’s job on Fox News appears secure for the moment. He noted on Twitter that he has a contract. But a mass exodus of advertisers could spark his departure.

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