Sean Hannity is a piece of shit. I know I’m not reinventing the wheel here, and it would be equally obvious to say something like “water is wet” or “Donald Trump is a moron”, but I feel that an internet dogpile may actually be helpful right now because Sean Hannity’s job status with Fox News seems as precarious as it’s ever been.
If you haven’t been following Hannity’s latest grift, congratulations—your life is better than mine. To catch you up: a former DNC staffer, Seth Rich, was murdered in Washington D.C. in what police concluded was a botched robbery. Because everyone on the unhinged right (I have decided to stop using the term far-right, because that connotes actual policy beliefs, and these people have none) believes that Hillary Clinton is the kind of person who would run a child sex ring out of a pizza shop, a conspiracy theory instantly took root that she and the DNC murdered Seth Rich to cover up documents that he was passing to Wikileaks. Julian Assange fulfilled his duty as an agent of chaos and injected his “credibility” into this narrative, and Hannity was off.
Despite D.C. police confirming Rich's death as a botched robbery, as of 1:20 pm EST yesterday, Hannity was still pushing this bullshit line.
Shortly after these tweets, Fox News sent out the following statement about their “news” article that pushed this conspiracy theory:
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.
Fox News staffers vented their frustrations with Hannity's nightly updates on a conspiracy theory that has been debunked by every reasonable outlet out there. Seth Rich's brother—Aaron Rich—wrote a letter to Fox News asking Hannity to stop covering this lie. His plea can be summarized by this line:
“We appeal to your decency to not cause a grieving family more pain and suffering by allowing your platform to be used by someone to drag our family name through the mud.”
Aaron Rich expressed his decency, class and humanity through this letter, but it was lost on someone bereft of any of those qualities. Sean Hannity has the cognitive ability of a single-celled organism and a personality that is an amalgam of all internet commenters ever. He is a parasite that other parasites are embarrassed to be seen with. His mere presence on the roster gives Fox News the same credibility as Infowars.
Soon after Fox News retracted their story, Sean Hannity pretended to give a shit about the Rich family, responding to an op-ed written by Seth Rich's parents in The Washington Post.
That feigned empathy lasted less than an hour, as he was back to torture the Rich's and push this debunked theory.
If there was any confusion in those statements, Hannity clarified when he responded to @TrumpGirlStrong's tweet that said “Do NOT give up on @seanhannity. He's not giving up on #SethRich. I can guarantee you that!! #SethRichMurder #Justice4Seth #StandWithHannity”
Sean Hannity doesn’t care about Seth Rich. He doesn’t care about getting “to the truth the family wants and deserves.” He only cares about saving his tanking ratings and moving to the front of the line of Pepe le fascists suckling at the teat of Dear Leader Donald. Every time Black Lives Matter makes the news, Sean Hannity gets up on his racist soapbox and declares for all to hear that “Blue Lives Matter!” Except when those blue lives come to a conclusion that doesn’t fit his propaganda, then they’re part of the evil liberal machine.
This lie is designed to knock the very real Trump-Russia stories off the front page, and it’s not going to work. In the span of a few weeks, Bill O’Reilly went from Fox News’ chief sexual harasser to the unemployment line because his advertisers abandoned him. In America, the almighty dollar is the final arbiter, and we have the power to influence where those dollars go. Media Matters compiled a list of Sean Hannity’s advertisers, and if you are loyal to any of these brands, let them know that if their money continues to flow towards someone who is publicly tormenting a grieving family by slandering their murdered son, then you will find a competitor who is not giving their cash to a sub-human creature who will exploit anyone and anything for his own personal gain.
Jacob Weindling is a staff writer for Paste politics. Follow him on Twitter at @Jakeweindling.