In what amounts to the most embarrassing moment of Sean Hannity's illustrious career of shilling for the GOP, the Fox News host was forced to back down on the vile conspiracy theory he has been propagating for the past few weeks. Hannity had gleefully been pushing the completely debunked theory that DNC worker Seth Rich was murdered by the DNC/Hillary Clinton because he was leaking DNC emails to Wikileaks, not Russian hackers, but after Fox News retracted the story, it appears Hannity was almost certainly made to do the same.
After disingenuously tweeting about a "huge announcement" before his show last night, Hannity began priming his audience for the big walk back but posting links about Seth Rich's family:
On his show, Hannity announced that he would stop "discussing this matter at this time", apparently out of "respect for the family’s wishes".
“I totally and completely understand how upset and how hard this is on this family, especially over the recent coverage of Seth’s death,” Hannity said. “I’ve been communicating with them. I got a very heartfelt note. I also sent them a heartfelt note back.”
“However, out of respect for the family’s wishes, for now, I am not discussing this matter at this time.”
This of course had nothing to do with the recently leaked story that his fellow Fox employees have been deeply embarrassed by his unhinged rants on the topic, the retraction of the original story by Fox News, and the growing pressure on his show's advertisers to pull out. It is worth noting that Rich's family have been pleading with conspiracy theorists for weeks to stop spreading the ridiculous story, but Hannity decided only after Fox retracted the original story and the campaign to pull the ads from his show started -- a coincidence Hannity did his Boy Scout's best to hide.
“I want to say this to you — my loyal audience, which is very important: Please do not interpret what I’m saying tonight to mean anything,” Hannity went on after pledging to stop. “Don’t read into this. I promise you I am not going to stop doing my job to the extent of my ability. I am not going to stop trying to find the truth. That’s what we do here every single day. That effort is not stopping in any way, shape, matter or form. I am continuing the work I promised to do every day for you and at the proper time, we shall continue and talk a lot more. As for my job here at the Fox News Channel, there is now an effort now abound to silence me. Media Matters is attacking my advertising base. That is what we have called on this program ‘liberal fascism’ — attack, boycott — all in an effort to silence conservatives. I serve at the pleasure of the Fox News Channel. And I am here to do my job every night. I’m under contract, as long as they seem to want me.”
Translation: I'm not going near this story again, but I need to save face and rant about George Soros/Liberals/Hillary Clinton etc so that my not-so-bright viewers don't think I'm swallowing.
Hannity took to Twitter today to continue the misdirection, calling out liberals for their "hypocrasy" (a hilarious spelling mistake that cannot be put down to a slip of the finger if you look how far "a" and "i" are on your keyboard) over Bill Maher:
Hannity may well have kept his job at Fox for the time being, but with the networks slow, but noticeable shift towards reality, the writing is unfortunately for Hannity, on the wall.