Financial services company USAA has confirmed that it will be reinstating its advertising on Sean Hannity’s Fox News Channel show. The company received criticism from veterans and active members of the military after claiming that it intends to pull its commercials from the program.
Announced on Tuesday, the company will begin advertising on other programs where it previously suspended advertising, including The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC, as well as the CNN show hosted by Jake Tapper, The Lead.
USAA did not act alone when it pulled commercials from the Fox News show, Hannity. 10 companies overall pulled their commercials after Hannity reported on a story surrounding the death of Democratic National Committee worker Seth Rich, which many claim involved conspiracy theories. Hannity has since agreed to stop talking about the theories surrounding the death of Rich.
The news comes just three days after USAA announced its plans to drop television commercials from MSNBC, as well as Fox News. When asked by the Washington Times whether their decision to pull ads from Fox but not from MSNBC was a double standard, the financial company’s national spokesperson Roger Wildermuth said that the company will be pulling ads on every opinion show. The decision not to include MSNBC, Wildermuth said, was an oversight. He went on to say that when ads continued running on the Hannity’s show, it was a result of an error – and once the error was discovered, it was quickly fixed. The company’s commercials were pulled from other shows, he said, after additional internal reviews.
The Story Behind Seth Rich and Sean Hannity
Fox News has recently retracted a story about Seth Rich after being condemned for pushing what many called conspiracy theories. Both Fox News and Hannity have received a great deal of criticism from viewers and the press after reporting on May 16th that 27-year-old DNC staffer Seth Rich had been leaking information to WikiLeaks before his death. Rich was shot in Washington in July last year, while walking alone at night.
Hannity’s report was also published through Fox News social media and web channels, as well as on WTTG-TV – a Washington affiliate of Fox.
On Tuesday last week, Fox News released a statement explaining how their reports had not been subjected to the high levels of scrutiny that they usually require from the stories published through their network. After appropriate reviews, Fox News found that the article and report did not meet their usual standards and was removed as a result. The media company also said that they will continue investigating the story and, if warranted, will provide updates.
Hannity said in an official statement that for the time being, he will not be discussing the matter any further, to show respect for the wishes of Rich’s family.
The Fox News anchor did, however, promise that he will not stop doing his job because some people don’t like him reporting sensitive stories. Hannity blamed a campaign that constituted “liberal fascism” for going after him and targeting advertisers after his report.
In response to the report, Rich’s family published an op-ed with The Washington Post. In the piece, his family claimed that Rich was excited to join the Clinton presidential campaign on the day that he was murdered. They also took a swipe at the headlines which claim that Rich might have been involved with leaking sensitive information, or that the DNC may have had a hand in his murder.
Speaking about Hannity, the family said that they hope he will join Fox News in redacting his comments and in reaffirming his commitment to journalistic integrity.