Pressure Group Turns Heat On Hannity's Sponsors, As Fox News Retracts Conspiracy Story

A month after Fox News fired its biggest star, Bill O’Reilly, following pressure from advertisers and advocacy groups surrounding allegations of sexual harassment, another of the network's top personalities, Sean Hannity, is facing a new advertising boycott.

And he is not backing down -- although Fox News is publicly distancing itself from the conspiratorial rant that has put him in the crosshairs of a campaign to oust him from the network. “Not giving up at all,” @seanhannity tweeted this morning, adding: “I’m working harder than ever to get the truth the family wants and deserves. Stay tuned.”

The family Hannity referred to presumably is Seth Rich’s, a former Democratic National Committee staffer who was murdered in 2016. Rich has become the subject of a right-wing conspiracy theory being promoted by Hannity and others, even though Rich’s family has been pleading to tamp it down.

advertisement

advertisement

On Tuesday, Fox News retracted a version of the story published on its Web site, stating: "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.”

As tepid as the retraction might seem, it comes amid a massive restructuring of Fox News in the wake of the ousting of its founder, the late Roger Ailes, O’Reilly and other senior managers from its glory days of right-wing TV news sensationalism.

The retraction has not deterred Hannity from continuing to promote and allude to new big scoops looming about Rich's murder. Or from tweeting about his tenacity to his base of followers, although Rich's family continues to plead with him to stop.

The family publicly thanked Fox News for its retraction.

Meanwhile, Media Matters has seized on the moment to shed new light and pressure on brands that sponsor and advertise on Fox News’ “The Sean Hannity Show.”

“Just retracting the one online story hardly undoes the damage Fox News -- and specifically Sean Hannity -- has done by pushing baseless conspiracy theories about Rich's death,” Media Matters wrote in a newsletter published Tuesday, continuing: “For the past week, Hannity and his colleagues have repeatedly pushed the evidence-free conspiracy theory that former Democratic staffer Seth Rich was murdered for providing WikiLeaks with emails from the Democratic National Committee.”

It also published the following list of advertisers sponsoring his show on Fox News, which include many big blue-chip brands:

Here are Hannity’s primary advertisers:

Alfa Romeo

Allstate

Angie’s List

AstraZeneca

Bayer

Blink Health

Boehringer Ingelheim

Booking.com

Capital One

Casper

Consumer Cellular

DirecTV

ExxonMobil

Harvest Right

Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Hisamitsu Pharmaceutical

Hulu

Hyundai

Jenny Craig

John Deere

Liberty Mutual

LoanDepot

Mercedes-Benz

Mitsubishi

Nutrisystem

Optum

PC Matic

ProFlowers

Publishers Clearing House

Sandals

Shari’s Berries

Terminix

UNTUCKit

Vanda Pharmaceuticals

Here Are Hannity’s Other Advertisers

AC Pro

Allergan

American Petroleum Institute

Amerifit

Armor All

AT&T

Athene

Atkins

Audi

Australian Dream

Avis

BASF

Bass Pro Shops

Bath Fitter

Bausch + Lomb

Beaches Resorts

Blue-Emu

Bounty

CA Technologies

Cars.com

Cascade

Centrum

CenturyLink

Chamonix

Charles Tyrwhitt

Charmin

Chattem

Cialis

ClearChoice

Comedy Central

Crowne Plaza

Donald J. Trump for President

DR Power Equipment

Dr. Scholl’s

Duracell

Ebates

eHarmony

Eli Lilly and Company

Expedia

Fabletics

Ferndale Healthcare

Fixodent

Fleet Labs

Freshpet

Geico

Gilead Sciences

GlaxoSmithKline

GoDaddy

GoodRx

Grasshopper

HomeAdvisor

HomeLight

HomeToGo.com

IBM

Indeed

Intel

Infiniti

Jaguar

Jardiance

JoC. A. Bank Clothiers

JustFab

Kerasal

Kia

Kingdom

La Quinta

Leesa Sleep

LendingTree

Lexus

magicJack

Marie Callender's

Mattress Firm

Men’s Wearhouse

Microsoft

Miracle-Ear

My Pillow

Navy Federal Credit Union

Nissan

Novartis

NRA Foundation

Orkin

Oscar Mayer

OurTime

Panera Bread

Peloton

Pfizer

Phazyme Gas and Acid

Preen

Principal

Quincy Bioscience

Quten IP Holdings, LLC

Raid

Reddi Wip

Reelz

Ring.com

RockAuto

Safelite

Sea-Bond

ServPro

Scotts

Sirius XM

Sleep Number

SoClean

Soothe XP

Stanley Steemer

Stein Mart

Subaru

SuperBeets

Super Beta Prostate

Swiffer

Takeda Pharmaceuticals

TD Ameritrade

Tempur-Pedic

Touchnote

TruStage

United Milage Plus Explorer Card

USAA

Varidesk

Venus

Viking River Cruises

Visiting Angels

Vistaprint

Vonage

Wagner OEX

Wax-Rx

WeatherTech

Zenni Optical

ZeroWater

"This advertiser list covers the period between May 1 and May 23. This list will be updated regularly," Media Matters said.

7 comments about "Pressure Group Turns Heat On Hannity's Sponsors, As Fox News Retracts Conspiracy Story".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Henry Blaufox from Dragon360, May 24, 2017 at 11:22 a.m.

    Is inclusion of the advertiser list appropriate for a reputable trade publication lie Media Post?

  2. pj bednarski from MediaPost.com, May 24, 2017 at 1:08 p.m.

    I'm thankful for the list, Joe. Advertisers have to figure out that where their ads show up matters. YouTube has been feeling the heat because advertisers' spots are showing up on inappropriate sites, and mostly those advertisers don't know they're doing it. They're afraid for their reputations.
    These Hannity sponsors are plunking down money on that guy and his ridiculous anti-American comment and viewpoints. You can look at those lists and say, OK, brands I use are advertising there. They endorse vicious lies." After that, it's up to you and the advertisers. You get what you pay for.

  3. Leonard Zachary from T___n__ replied, May 24, 2017 at 2:24 p.m.

    It has been public info.

  4. Stan Valinski from Multi-Media Solutions Group, May 24, 2017 at 2:28 p.m.

    I think Henry is one of the many pimps for Hannity and the alt right that try to spread the falsehoods like Pizzagate and then demonize those that expose the BS. That is the game plan Ailes wrote. Put it out there and if enough of us repeat it it will seem real to the low information demos.I find it distasteful that Henry would promote fake news on this reputable business publication...and think we would not notice. 

  5. Joe Mandese from MediaPost, May 24, 2017 at 4:34 p.m.

    @Henry Blaufox, why do you think it might be inappropriate? We are an ad trade publication. The story is about an advocacy group targeting that list of advertisers. Do you think it would have been more appropriate if we just linked to it? In any case, we believe it was relevant and material information to publish based on the context of the story.

  6. PJ Lehrer from NYU, May 25, 2017 at 8:27 a.m.

    The important thing is that the boycotts are working.  More here...
    http://pjlehrer.blogspot.com/2017/02/all-boycotts-and-bumps-are-not-created.html

  7. Joe Mandese from MediaPost, May 25, 2017 at 9:09 a.m.

    Thanks for the added perspective.

Next story loading loading..