In the wake of a growing backlash against its network’s personalities (namely Sean Hannity, among others) promoting debunked conspiracy theories swirling around the death of DNC staffer Seth Rich, Fox News has officially retracted the story, saying that an initial article promoting the story was not subjected to a “high degree of editorial scrutiny.”
“On May 16, a story was posted on the Fox News website on the investigation into the 2016 murder of DNC Staffer Seth Rich,” a statement issued by the network read. “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 statement added.
— Asawin Suebsaeng (@swin24) May 22, 2017
In a letter provided to CNN, the family of Seth Rich called on Sean Hannity’s executive producer to stop mainstreaming the fraudulent story.
“Think about how you would feel losing a son or brother. And while dealing with this, you had baseless accusations of your lost family member being part of a vast conspiracy,” family member Aaron Rich wrote.
“As the family, we would hope to be the first people to learn about any such evidence and reasons for Seth’s death,” Rich continued. “It is a travesty that you would prompt false conspiracy theories and other people’s agendas rather than work with the family to learn the truth.”
Last year, Rich, 27, was shot and killed Washington, D.C. in what investigators say was a botched robbery attempt. Right-wing websites and pundits claim, without evidence, that his slaying was linked to WikiLeaks’ release of hacked emails related to the 2016 presidential campaign. Fox host Sean Hannity took a leading role in promoting the story on both his show and on social media.
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