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Sean Hannity Loses Advertisers Over Seth Rich Story

But Fox News might not be laughing after seven advertisers pulled sponsorship of Hannity's show when he vowed to continue pursuing a conspiracy theory suggesting Democratic National Convention staffer Seth Rich was murdered for leaking documents to WikiLeaks.

Liberal lobby group Media Matters for America lists six other advertisers that announced they are leaving Hannity, including Cars.com and Crown Plaza Hotels.

Fox News, citing a single unnamed Federal Bureau of Investigation source, had reported that Rich, who was murdered past year in Washington, D.C., was a potential source of internal DNC emails published by Wikileaks last summer, implying that he was assassinated for the leak. According to the theory, Rich's killing was ordered by the Clintons in retaliation for leaking DNC emails to WikiLeaks.

The local Washington, D.C. police investigating the murder think it was the result of robbery-gone-wrong, and the Rich family has been demanding a retraction for Fox News. Only after Rich's family begged the media to stop pushing conspiracies and FoxNews.com retracted a story on the subject did Hannity agree to drop it, "for now".

Fox News has announced that primetime host Sean Hannity will be taking a vacation over Memorial Day weekend and is scheduled to return to his show Tuesday night.

“We dont have the ability to influence content at the time we make our advertising purchase, ” the company said.

So if Fox News backed away from the story, what's the problem?

"There's nothing that I did, nothing that I said, except they don't like my position politically".

And Hannity once again sought to tamp down speculation that he might leave the network, something he has now had to do at least three times since the fall.

Oh dear. What did Fox News say about that?

Though officials at Fox say that Hannity's vacation is truly that - a vacation - dropping Fox ratings and more public embarrassment has some wondering if Hannity may be going the way of O'Reilly. Fox News ended its 20-year association with O'Reilly on April 19. And there's just a very heartbreaking - we reached out to the Rich family and his parents wrote this - you cry when you read it - op-ed talking about how much more hard this has made their lives, and the nightmare that they are waking up to close to a year after their son's death as people continue to really cynically exploit this death. Fox New said he was never booked.

However, after Rich's family sent a letter to Fox demanding that Hannity not host KimDotcom, the appearance was cancelled, with Hannity saying he made the decision "out of respect for the family's wishes".

For his part, Hannity told viewers that he would no longer be discussing Rich's death on his show, stopping short of refuting the conspiracy theory.

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