USAA Marches Back to Hannity

By A.J. Katz 

Sean Hannity seems to have many fans who currently serve or have served in the U.S. military. When they heard USAA was pulling its commercials from Hannity’s Fox News program, they weren’t pleased, and apparently made their feelings known to the company. It’s probably no coincidence then that USAA announced today it has revered its decision, and will resume its advertising on Hannity.

The company said earlier today that it will also resume airing commercials on other cable news programs, including Hardball with Chris Matthews, and The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC, as well as CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper.

Hannity has come under fire recently for continuing to push an unverified claim that the murder of former Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich was ordered by the Clintons because of leaked DNC emails to WikiLeaks.

“There are people who are using our beloved Seth’s memory and legacy for their own political goals, and they are using your outrage to perpetuate our nightmare,” the Rich family wrote in a Washington Post op-ed last week. “We ask those purveying falsehoods to give us peace, and to give law enforcement the time and space to do the investigation they need to solve our son’s murder.”

Last week, the left-wing organization Media Matters published a list of his the program’s advertisers, and USAA was one of 10 to announce it was pulling its spots from the show. USAA said its policy is to avoid advertising on opinion programming, and that the decision wasn’t made based on any political stance.

The company released the following statement today:

“We heard concerns from many members who watch and listen to these programs. 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.”

Brent Bozell, president of the conservative Media Research Center, slammed when it announced it had made the decision to suspend its ads from the program last week.

He said he wasn’t surprised by USAA’s decision to reverse course, “given the avalanche” of protests. “They did the right think in going back on that show,” Bozell said, “and so long as the other side isn’t participating in personal smears, they should participate on those shows, too.”

Hannity is set to return to his prime time program tonight after a brief vacation.