One week after Fox News published a conspiracy theory about the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich, one that was debunked hours later by the very source cited in the story, one that persisted, occupying space on Hannity and Fox & Friends, where former House speaker Newt Gingrich was allowed to spread it, unchallenged, one that led to reactions like “ARE WE STILL AIRING THAT SHIT?!” from Fox News staffers, Fox News has offered a retraction.
The full text is below:
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.
We will continue to investigate this story and will provide updates as warranted.
The big question is whether this retraction will put an end to what it effectively has enabled for the past week: a breeding ground for the untrammeled propagation of the conspiracy from the “opinion programming” that appears exempt from Fox News’ editorial standards.
Earlier today, before Fox News issued its retraction, Rich’s brother Aaron Rich wrote a letter to Hannity executive producer Porter Berry that was an “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.”
We’ll see tonight if Hannity will be so moved.