Fox removes report from website about murdered DNC staffer

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". In fact, Rich was killed during a botched robbery. Rich's family already sent a "cease-and-desist" letter to Wheeler through their lawyer, Joseph Ingrisano.

On Tuesday, Fox removed the stories and issued a statement saying "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".

Long before the retraction, the Fox News story fell apart nearly the moment it was published.

For six days, Fox News allowed the story to remain up on its website as network personalities like Sean Hannity promoted it on their platforms. But, he tweeted soon afterwards: "Ok TO BE CLEAR, I am closer to the TRUTH than ever".

Hannity stoked that speculation again Tuesday, promising an announcement about "my future at Fox".

According to Buzzfeed News, who had a reporter contact each of Hannity's advertisers, Cars.com was the first sponsor to drop Hannity.

Instead, he pivoted to assailing the "destroy-Trump media [and] the Democrats".

With attention drawn to him, Hannity reached a big audience of 2.5 million people on Tuesday - about 50 percent more than he had a year ago on the same date.

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"Nobody wants to solve Seth's murder more than we do", Aaron Rich wrote.

Rich's death has become a voracious talking point for many in the conservative media over the past month as unsubstantiated reports said he had been in contact with WikiLeaks and that he may have been the source of the DNC email leaks during the election, not Russian Federation. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in an interview on Netherlands TV suggested that Rich may have been a source for the leaks clearinghouse, reigniting conspiracy theories. Wheeler later told Fox 5 the false report was due to "miscommunication".

Fox News did not comment, and Hannity did not respond to a request for comment.

- Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) May 23, 2017 I said publicly over and over to the Rich Family they are in my thoughts and prayers. "Don't read into this", he told viewers Tuesday. Hannity called such efforts "liberal fascism". Refet Kaplan, managing director of Fox News digital, would only say on Friday that the outlet would "track developments in the story and will update further when the situation warrants".

Podhoretz continued: "It should go without saying that defaming a dead man by asserting he was killed for doing something criminal is a great evil". "All you in the liberal media - I am not Fox.com or FoxNews.com".

The theory also surfaced on Fox News beyond Hannity: Newt Gingrich, a network contributor, discussed the case on "Fox and Friends" on Sunday, and Geraldo Rivera, a correspondent at large, posted on Twitter about it.

In the post-Ailes era at Fox News, the news side won this round.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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