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USAA Ads Back On ‘Hannity’ As He Keeps Peddling Seth Rich Murder Conspiracy

Deadline logo Deadline 5/30/2017 Lisa de Moraes

UPDATED with USAA reinstating ads: USAA financial services firm told the Associated Press on Tuesday it has reinstating its advertising on Sean Hannity’s Fox News Channel program after members of the military and veterans criticized its decision to pull the ads. The San Antonio, Texas-based company said also had suspended ads on MSNBC’s Hardball and The Rachel Maddow Show, and CNN’s Jake Tapper program, and that it was return to advertising on all of the above.USAA pulled its ads from Hannity’s program over his reports on a discredited conspiracy theory involving the death of a Democratic National Committee staff member. USAA was one of 10 advertisers to pull its ads from the program after Media Matters last week posted a list of his show’s advertisers; at the time, the USAA said the company’s policy was to avoid politically opinionated shows.

Previous, May 25: Several advertisers have pulled advertising from Sean Hannity’s Fox News Channel primetime show as he continues to push a conspiracy theory surrounding the death of a DNC staffer, though not on FNC for now.

Cars.com’s media buy strategies are designed to reach as many consumers as possible across a wide spectrum of media channels,” the company said in a statement. “The fact that we advertise on a particular program doesn’t mean that we agree or disagree, or support or oppose, the content. We don’t have the ability to influence content at the time we make our advertising purchase.”

“In this case, we’ve been watching closely and have recently made the decision to pull our advertising from Hannity,” Cars.com said in its statement, first obtained by Buzzfeed.

Exercise outfit Peloton came to the came conclusion, tweeting it had directed its media agency to stop advertising on Sean Hannity’s show, though it would take “a few days” to take effect.

And ThinkProgress received a forwarded response from e-commerce mattress company Leesa Sleep, telling a customer they no longer would run ads in the program. Not long therafter, Casper beds joined Leesa, doorbell company Ring nixed the Hannity ad buy, and Crowne Plaza Hotels did likewise.

For days, Hannity, and Fox News had aggressively pitched the theory DNC staffer Seth Rich’s murder was ordered by political operatives, aka Democrats, in retaliation for leaking DNC emails to WikiLeaks. Police have said Rich’s unsolved murder was a case of robbery gone awry.

Fox News retracted the story on Tuesday, explaining in a statement about the article it had up for days: “The article was not initially subjected to the high degree of editorial scrutiny we require from all our reporting.”

On his show on Tuesday night, Hannity  announced “out of respect for the family’s wishes, for now” he would stop peddling the story “at this time.” But, he told his viewers, “Please do not interpret what I’m saying tonight to mean anything. Don’t read into this. I promise you I’m not going to stop doing my job. To the extent of my ability, I am not going to stop trying to find the truth.”

Shortly after the show, Sean Hannity tweeted:

Hannity also re-tweeted this:

Early Wednesday, he noted MediaMatters had put out a list of his advertisers in response to his conspiracy-theory peddling:

…and complained that MediaMatters has not done same on Bill Maher’s Real Time — that one’s easy, No advertisers — and Stephen Colbert’s Late Show

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