On Wednesday, several companies that regularly air commercials during Sean Hannity's Fox News show pulled their ads in the wake of his coverage of the 2016 murder of a Democratic National Committee staffer.
Hannity had been pushing a conspiracy theory that Seth Rich was murdered because he gave DNC files to WikiLeaks; police say there is no evidence of this, and that Rich was likely shot and killed during a botched robbery. On Tuesday, Fox News retracted the story it published about Rich earlier this month, but Hannity initially refused to let it go. On his show Tuesday night, he said he would stop discussing his Rich theory "for now," but later tweeted that he was "not stopping" because he is "closer to the TRUTH than ever."
The companies who have pulled their ads include Peloton, Ring, and Cars.com, which told BuzzFeed News its media buy strategies "are designed to reach as many consumers as possible across a wide spectrum of media channels," but they've been "watching closely and have recently made the decision to pull our advertising from Hannity." Several companies contacted by BuzzFeed News said that just because they air commercials during Hannity, it doesn't mean they endorse what he has to say; Mercedes-Benz, for example, said its "rule of thumb is that we do not pull our ads based on editorial content. Our feeling is that a variety of viewpoints is part of the natural discourse that takes place in a free media." Before he departed the network amid accusations of sexual harassment, former Fox News host Bill O'Reilly saw companies pull their ads from airing during his program, then the highest-rated cable news show.