Fox News Retracts Story Linking Murder of DNC Aide to 2016 Presidential Campaign

Story has been at center of controversy surrounding host Sean Hannity.

May 24, 2017 9:32 am
Sean Hannity, a
Host Sean Hannity on set of Fox's 'Hannity With Sean Hannity' (Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images)

For Fox News, the wrong headlines keep coming.

On Tuesday, the network’s website published a retraction of a story—or what critics call a conspiracy theory—connecting the murder of DNC Staffer Seth Rich and the hacking of the DNC’s email, which contributed to President Trump’s victory.

The retraction reads:

“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.”

As the New York Times noted, the retraction was a rarity for the network, and also exposed a rift between the news-making machine and Sean Hannity, who’s stuck to his guns in promoting the now-confirmed-to-be-fake news story. (He has since pedaled away from the story, though hasn’t released his own retraction).

This is Hannity’s second rogue move in regards to his parent company, after the conservative talk show host warned of the “total end of the FNC as we know it” on Twitter a handful of weeks ago in the wake of the network’s decision to cut ties with Bill O’Reilly.

The offending Fox News story, which has since been archived, proposed an unsourced theory that Rich’s murder “was in retaliation for his sharing DNC emails with WikiLeak—a theory that, if true, would undercut the notion of Russian political interference and, in turn, offer cover for Mr. Trump,” per the Times.

Watch Hannity’s quasi–mea culpa on his show yesterday.

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