Sean Hannity, last seen spreading a conspiracy theory about a murdered DNC staffer, accusing George Soros of plotting to get him fired, and taking an extended weekend for Memorial Day, just scored a minor victory. After being dropped by several advertisers, one has come back after protests from Hannity’s Fox News Channel audience.
According to the Associated Press, the financial services company USAA has decided to reinstate its advertisements on Hannity’s program following criticism from members of the military and veterans who make up its customer base.
After Media Matters published a list of Hannity’s advertisers in the wake of his continued coverage of the discredited Seth Rich conspiracy, USAA pulled its commercials while citing a policy of not advertising on opinion shows. This led to angry customers pointing out their advertising on other politically leaning shows. The conservative Media Research Center claimed to have organized nearly 2,000 phone calls to USAA to protest the move.
In a statement, USAA said they did not mean to favor one political ideology or another. “We heard concerns from many members who watch and listen to these programs,” the statement said. “Our goal in advertising has always been to reach members of the military community who would benefit from USAA’s well-known commitment to service. Today, the lines between news and editorial are increasingly blurred.”
USAA said that they would reinstate ad campaigns on shows on MSNBC and CNN, as well.
Meanwhile, critics on the left say the episode only further proves their point:
Angelo Carusone, president of Media Matters, said the incident illustrates his belief that Hannity is volatile and dangerous for advertisers to be involved with.
“Many are currently experiencing firsthand that doing business with Hannity means subjecting your brand to one potential PR crisis after another,” he said.
Hannity is set to return to Fox News on Tuesday.
(via Associated Press)