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Friday, October 20, 2017

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters.

 

Seth Rich’s brother has sent a letter to Sean Hannity’s executive producer demanding Hannity stop pushing “false conspiracy theories” about Rich, a Democratic National Committee staffer who was murdered in what police say was likely a botched robbery.

Hannity, a long-time conspiracy theorist, has used a discredited report from a Fox affiliate about Rich to push the baseless claim that he was connected to WikiLeaks and that his murder was related to it. Though the report has been debunked, Hannity has repeatedly pushed the claim, and other Fox News figures have also made the same baseless claim. Rich’s family has since sent a cease and desist letter to the Fox contributor who was behind the affiliate report and demanded a retraction from the affiliate.

In the letter to Hannity executive producer Porter Berry, obtained by CNN, Seth’s brother Aaron Rich wrote it was “a travesty that you would prompt false conspiracy theories and other people’s agendas rather than work with the family to learn the truth.” He also demanded that Hannity, who has been pushing Rich conspiracy theories from dubious figure Kim Dotcom, “not provide a platform for a person who is known to have pushed false evidence,” as it would “cause us additional pain, suffering and sorrow.” CNN also reported that Hannity “had not reached out to the [Rich] family.” From the May 23 report:

The brother of slain Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich wrote a letter on Tuesday to the executive producer of Sean Hannity’s Fox News show pleading with him to find “decency and kindness” in his heart and stop spreading an unproven conspiracy theory about the unsolved murder.

“Think about how you would feel losing a son or brother. And while dealing with this, you had baseless accusations of your lost family member being part of a vast conspiracy,” Aaron Rich wrote in the letter to “Hannity” executive producer Porter Berry, a copy of which was provided to CNN.

“As the family, we would hope to be the first people to learn about any such evidence and reasons for Seth’s death,” he added. “It is a travesty that you would prompt false conspiracy theories and other people’s agendas rather than work with the family to learn the truth.”

[…]

Brad Bauman, the Rich family spokesman, told CNN on Monday that Hannity had not reached out to the family. Hannity did, however, reach out over the weekend to invite Kim Dotcom, the Megaupload founder, on to his program.

[…]

“As such, we urge you to please, not provide a platform for a person who is known to have pushed false evidence in the past and not allow him to make a mistake like that here,” Aaron Rich wrote. “Nobody wants to solve Seth’s murder more than we do. However, providing a platform to spread potentially false, damaging information will cause us additional pain, suffering and sorrow. By airing this information, you will continue to emotionally hurt us.”

“We 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,” the letter concluded.