Today Fox News issued a retraction of its coverage of the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich. The story implied that there was evidence that Rich was the source of leaked emails that embarrassed the DNC during the 2016 presidential campaign, leading to speculation that Rich was murdered by someone working for the DNC.
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.
The May 16 story in which former detective and Fox News contributor Rod Wheeler claimed to have evidence of Rich’s communications with Wikileaks is still available via the Web Archive. Wheeler later recanted that claim. That hasn’t deterred some from continuing to suggest that the murder of Seth Rich was a DNC orchestrated revenge killing.
RedState’s Jay Caruso commented Sunday night on the debunking of the story and how loyal Trump sycophants like Sean Hannity and Newt Gingrich are pushing the the DNC murder angle. The timing makes it look like they’re using the Seth Rich speculation as a counterweight to the Democrats’ unsubstantiated accusations that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians to fix the election, another claim that is much hyped despite there being no evidence. We’ve got two tribes dueling with conspiracy theories.
Even though Fox News issued the retraction, Sean Hannity is still frantically pushing the story on Twitter and his radio show. No doubt that this will consume his television show tonight as well.
Seth Rich’s brother pleaded with Hannity to stop peddling the conspiracy theory.
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) May 23, 2017
Maybe someone at Fox should fill Hannity in on what meets their standards. Maybe that doesn’t matter to Hannity who is not really a journalist, but a partisan talk show host. He defiantly said on the radio today “I am not Fox News. I retracted nothing.”
Hannity claims to be doing this for the Rich family (who have repeatedly asked him to stop). In the clip from his radio broadcast, Hannity’s claim to having deep feeling for the Rich family seems less passionate or sincere than his focus on how this story is pushing aside the story of the investigation of alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. It’s pretty clear what is driving him here and it’s not truth or concern for the family of Seth Rich.