Hannity says liberal fascists after sponsors; 1 is leaving

Sean Hannity, the host of the Fox New Channel's Sean Hannity Show, has lost at least five different advertisers after he has continued to promote a conspiracy theory about Seth Rich, the Democratic National Committee staffer who was murdered in 2016.

Companies that have ditched the Sean Hannity Show are Cars.com, the United Services Automobile Association, home-security company Ring, Crowne Plaza Hotels, Peloton bicycles, and mattress companies Leesa Sleep and Casper.

On May 16, Fox published a story on its website claiming Rich's death was linked to had thousands of DNC documents he supposedly leaked to the anti-secrecy website Wikileaks. Rich was fatally shot last July in what police have called a botched robbery and there is no evidence known publicly to suggest he did share those emails.

Hannity agreed to stop talking about the Rich conspiracy theory on Tuesday night, but by Wednesday morning he was having an angry meltdown on Twitter about "liberal fascists" and George Soros conspiring to silence him.

Hours after the Fox News statement, Sean Hannity said on his radio show, "I am not Fox.com or FoxNews.com, I retracted nothing". We don't have the ability to influence content at the time we make out advertising purchase.

A spokesperson for Fox News didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. Hannity has in recent days promoted an unproven theory that Rich was killed in exchange for providing internal documents to Wikileaks, prompting statements of outrage from the Rich family.

After weeks of leading a hysterical conspiracy-theory against a dead man, Hannity is taking a hiatus from his show "Hannity", making many wonder if he will be coming back to the show at all.

With attention drawn to him, Hannity reached a big audience of 2.5 million people on Tuesday - about 50 percent more than he had past year on the same date.

"The family would like to thank Fox News for their retraction on a story that has caused deep pain and anguish to the family and has done harm to Seth Rich's legacy", a family spokesman told CNN. "I serve at the pleasure of the Fox News Channel", he said.

So far, the timeline of events is strikingly similar to how events unfolded for former Fox News host Bill O'Reilly.

A report in Variety says Hannity generated $65.7 million in ad revenue last year, up 17 percent from the prior year.

"I want to say this to you, my loyal audience, which is very important: Please do not interpret what I'm saying tonight to mean anything", Hannity said.

On Tuesday, Aaron Rich, the brother of Seth Rich, sent a letter to Hannity's executive producer asking that Dotcom not be allowed on air.

The network said that the cable news host would be returning to work next week.