Sean Hannity is lashing out against calls for a boycott against companies that sponsor his show. The Fox News host was recently the subject of criticism for running stories on murdered Democratic National Committee staffer, Seth Rich, in which a private investigator, Rod Wheeler, alleged that a government source told him Rich was the source of leaked DNC emails published by WikiLeaks in July of 2016. According to National Review, Fox News retracted the story and Hannity stated on air that he would cease discussing it on his program "for now," but in a tweet posted after the show, he said he was close to finding the truth.
Earlier today, liberal website Media Matters posted a list of companies that sponsor Sean Hannity's show on Fox with the clear implication being that people should boycott these companies unless they agree to pull advertising from Hannity's program. According to Huffington Post, three companies have already announced today that they will be no longer sponsoring Hannity's show: Cars.com, Peloton, and Leesa Sleep.
"The fact that we advertise on a particular program doesn't mean that we agree or disagree, or support or oppose, the content," a statement from Cars.com reads.
"We don't have the ability to influence content at the time we make out advertising purchase. In this case, we've been watching closely and have recently made the decision to pull our advertising from Hannity."Peloton posted a tweet announcing their decision.Sean Hannity has reason to worry. Last month, Hannity's former Fox News colleague, Bill O'Reilly, was dismissed from the network as a result of calls to boycott his show over sexual harassment allegations that resulted in a large payout to his alleged victims. Hannity posted a tweet describing himself as the target of "liberal fascism."Media Matters was founded by David Brock, an associate of Hillary Clinton who began his career as a right-wing attack dog, famous for dragging Anita Hill through the mud for sexual harassment allegations she made against Clarence Thomas during his nomination to the Supreme Court. Brock later apologized and switched political sides, becoming an attack dog for the Clintons and other Democrat politicians. George Soros, a notorious Hungarian billionaire who some people believe to be at the center of a globalist plot to control the world, has given financial support to Media Matters in the past. That these people would be interested in getting Sean Hannity off the air is not difficult to believe. The question is whether they will succeed.
Judging by Sean Hannity's Twitter account, he seems to be at least a little worried.
Characterizing his foes as "destroy Trump media," Sean Hannity is counting on his fans to raise their voices in support of him to counter the calls for a boycott against his sponsors, saying in one tweet that Media Matters is trying to silence his "freedom of speech." While it is true their aim does seem to be that Hannity loses his show, a boycott is also an expression of free speech, and people are allowed to try and organize one against him for any reason, even if they simply don't like the ties he wears. It's up to the sponsors and Fox to decide if they should respond to the calls for boycotts by withdrawing sponsorship or terminating his employment, respectively.
Sean Hannity may wind up weathering this storm, but it is clear that a number of people would prefer to see him taken off the air, and a large-scale boycott is one way of making that happen. Fox News is a business, so barring any major scandals similar to those with Bill O'Reilly, it will most likely be an economic decision. If Hannity makes money for the network, he will stay. If he does not, he will be let go. Both Sean Hannity and his enemies are likely well aware of that and will do all they can to bend reality in their favor.[Featured Image by Drew Angerer/Getty Images]