Fox News host Sean Hannity has temporarily backed off from his embrace of conspiracy theories surrounding the murder of Seth Rich — after the family of the slain Democratic staffer pleaded for respect.
The embattled right wing media kingpin scrapped a planned appearance by hacker Kim Dotcom that he had promised would offer a bombshell breakthrough in the puzzling case.
The cancellation came after Rich’s parents pleaded in a Washington Post opinion piece for an end to political speculation about the July 2016 slaying, which they believe was a botched street robbery near Rich’s home in a gentrifying Washington D.C. neighborhood.
“We ask those purveying falsehoods to give us peace,” the Riches wrote.
Fox News retracted a story pushing claims that Rich was behind the leaks Tuesday. But a defiant Hannity insisted he wouldn’t back down. “I retracted nothing,” he said.
Hannity has relentlessly pushed unfounded suggestions that Rich might have been the source for the explosive Wikileaks dump of Democratic emails during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Far right wing supporters of President Trump believe the slaying of Rich might have been in retaliation for his supposed leaking. They claim that information could exonerate Trump of ties between his campaign and Russia, even though it is unclear how the two issues are related.
Dave Goldiner is the Forward’s director of digital media. Dave is a veteran journalist who has spent two decades working at newspapers in the United States and Africa. A native New Yorker, Goldiner wrote for the New York Daily News, where he covered some of the biggest stories of our time, including the attacks of September 11, along with thousands of stories of hope and heartbreak. He also studied and worked in Southern Africa and has written for publications in South Africa and Zimbabwe. He holds masters degrees in journalism and public administration from Columbia University. Dave can be reached at email@example.com, or follow him on Twitter @davegoldiner
Sean Hannity Backs Off Seth Rich Conspiracy Theories A Bit — After Family Cries Foul