IT BEGINS

Hannity Loses First Advertiser Over Seth Rich Murder Conspiracy

Cars.com on Wednesday became the first national advertiser to withdraw its commercials from Sean Hannity’s Fox News show in the wake of the right-wing host’s repeated coverage of a debunked conspiracy theory involving the murder of a 27-year-old DNC staffer. The claim that the staffer, Seth Rich, was murdered because he’d talked to WikiLeaks was initially pushed on 4chan and by fringe sites like Gateway Pundit and Breitbart, but made its way to Hannity’s show and social media after FoxNews.com posted a now-retracted report claiming there existed evidence proving Rich corresponded with Julian Assange’s leaker outlet. Despite pleas from Rich’s family to stop, and The Daily Beast reporting that many of his fellow Fox News staffers are “embarrassed” by the antics, Hannity has clung to the conspiracy theory. “We’ve been watching closely and have recently made the decision to pull our advertising from Hannity,” the automotive classifieds site said in a statement to BuzzFeed News.