Fox News Retracts Story, Sean Hannity Doubles Down

Fox star continues pushing conspiracy theory about Seth Rich's death
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted May 23, 2017 5:55 PM CDT
Fox News Retracts Story, Sean Hannity Doubles Down
Sean Hannity is continuing to push a conspiracy theory regarding a murdered DNC staffer despite the victim's family's pleas to stop.   (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri, File)

Last July, 27-year-old Seth Rich was shot and killed near his home in Washington DC. On Tuesday, Fox News retracted a recent story positing the Democratic National Committee employee was murdered because he was acting as a WikiLeaks informant, the New York Times reports. Fox News states the story didn't meet the "high degree of editorial scrutiny we require for all our reporting." The story was based on an interview with Rod Wheeler, a private investigator (and Fox News regular), who claimed there was evidence proving Rich's involvement with WikiLeaks. According to the Daily Beast, Wheeler took back that claim after getting a cease-and-desist letter from Rich's family. No evidence to support the theory has been put forward, and police believe Rich was killed in a botched robbery.

Fox News' retraction hasn't stopped Sean Hannity from pushing a conspiracy theory that Rich was murdered by the Clinton organization for helping WikiLeaks. "I retracted nothing," Mediaite quotes Hannity as saying Tuesday on his radio show. Rich's family has asked Hannity multiple times to stop politicizing their son's death and discussing the conspiracy theory. His parents even published an op-ed in the Washington Post to that effect. Hannity says he feels "so badly for this family" but he has a "moral obligation" to hunt for the truth that could take down "the entire Russia collusion narrative." The Daily Beast says nearly a dozen Fox News employees have called Hannity's fixation on the conspiracy theory "embarrassing," "gross," and "unhinged." (More Seth Rich stories.)

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