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Hannity Gives Up Defending Moore

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Fox News’ Sean Hannity, who came to Roy Moore’s defense amid allegations of sexual misconduct with teenage girls, can no longer bring himself to defend Moore.


Initially, Hannity stuck up for the Republican Alabama Senate candidate and allowed him to deny the allegations on his show. But on Tuesday Hannity switched gears, giving Moore “24 hours” to come forward with what really happened.

“You must immediately and fully come up with a satisfactory explanation for your inconsistencies,” he said on his show. “You must remove any doubt. If he can’t do this, then Judge Moore needs to get out of this race.”

Hannity said he initially did not want to rush to judgment. However, he called for “truth and honesty” as members of Moore’s own Republican Party have come out against him.

“The American people deserve a hundred percent truth and honesty,” Hannity said. “We need correct answers the first time on issues this serious. Judge Moore you owe that to the people of Alabama, the Republican Party that you represent and to the country which is suffering under so many problems. We deserve answers, consistent answers, and truth.”

Even Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was among those Republicans against Moore, saying Moore “should step aside” from his U.S. Senate bid and said he believes the women who came forward.

But where Hannity’s advertisers stand remains much less clear.

When Hannity initially gave Moore the benefit of the doubt, saying the encounters with teenage girls were “consensual,” companies that advertise during Hannity’s show began pulling their ads — or so they claimed.

After an initial social media firestorm many companies then changed course, signaling to their consumers and employees where they stand when it comes to sexual harassment and assault.

Keurig, Reddi Wip, Hebrew National, Realtor.com, Nature’s Bounty and Volvo Car USA were all linked to a boycott against Hannity’s show after he came to Moore’s defense. Hannity on his show last week suggested the relationships were “consensual.”

“With the allegations against Judge Moore, none of us knows the truth of what happened 38 years ago,” Hannity said previously. “The only people that would know that are the people involved in this incident.”

Sixteen was then — and is now — the age of consent in Alabama.

In response, Keurig had announced on Twitter that it would pull advertisements from Hannity’s show.

Angelo Carusone is president of Media Matters for America, a progressive watchdog group that monitors conservative media and has been encouraging companies to pull advertisements from Hannity’s show for quite a while.

But after Keurig’s tweet to Carusone, pictures and videos of Hannity supporters destroying their Keurig coffee machines circulated the internet, as did the hashtag #BoycottKeurig.

Bob Gamgort, CEO of Keurig, on Monday sent an email to employees, which was published by The Washington Post. The email does not make clear whether Keurig will continue its boycott on Hannity.

According to Gamgort it was “unusual” and “outside of company protocols” to announce that kind of decision on Twitter.

The email reads, in part:

“The fact is, our consumer demographics match well with live news programming, which is why we advertise on nearly all cable news channels, ranging from MSNBC to Fox to CNN, all of which will continue. However, given the dynamic nature of news, we always need to evaluate that programming environment on a real-time basis.

“The catalyst for the current situation was commentary made by Sean Hannity on his TV and radio programs last week, which sparked a significant number of consumer complaints directed to us as advertisers on his TV program. Hannity himself later apologized for his comments in his own tweet: ‘As I said on TV tonight, I apologize when I misspoke and was not totally clear earlier today.’

“In most situations such as this one, we would ‘pause’ our advertising on that particular program and reevaluate our go-forward strategy at a later date. That represents a prudent ‘business as usual’ decision for us, as the protection of our brand is our foremost concern. However, the decision to publicly communicate our programming decision via our Twitter account was highly unusual. This gave the appearance of ‘taking sides’ in an emotionally charged debate that escalated on Twitter and beyond over the weekend, which was not our intent.”

Keurig did not respond to DiversityInc’s request for comment.

Hannity called on his supporters to “stop smashing your Keurig” machines after Gamgort’s letter went public, calling the company “a victim of a group with a radical agenda.”

Volvo Car USA initially responded on Twitter, according to screenshots, to say they were looking to “cease advertising” — but by Tuesday the tweet had disappeared.

Realtor.com was another company that initially announced over the weekend via Twitter that it would pull advertisements from Hannity’s program. But the tweet has since vanished and a statement has appeared on the company’s website.

“We advertise on dozens of television networks and hundreds of shows quarterly as a way to introduce realtor.com to the widest audience possible,” the statement reads. “We will continue to place ads across a broad range of networks, including Fox News and its top shows.”

As noted by Media Matters’ website, “Realtor.com is ‘operated by News Corp subsidiary Move, Inc.’ under a license from the National Association of Realtors. In other words, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. which manages the operations of realtor.com, has decided to continue advertising on a program airing on Fox News, part of Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox.”

Reddi Wip and Hebrew National, both brands of Conagra, said in identical Twitter statements that they had “removed Hannity from our advertising plans.” But according to a spokesperson for Conagra, Reddi Wip, Hebrew National and Marie Callender’s (another Conagra brand), the decision had actually been made a while ago and had nothing to do with the Moore comments.

“We adjusted our media spend several months ago due to the needs of our business,” a Conagra spokesperson told Business Insider. “That said, we have not run on this program since August, so our decision was not made currently and has nothing to do with this controversy.”

Untuckit, a men’s shirt company, also told Business Insider that they had stopped advertising with Hannity a while ago and it had nothing to do with the Moore remarks.

Similarly, Nature’s Bounty tweeted on Nov. 10 that they “do not have advertisements running on this program.” The tweet did not specify whether or not this was a recent decision, but according to The New York Times, the company has not run ads on Hannity in a while. A spokesperson reportedly told The Times that the company had not advertised during Hannity’s program since summer.

E*TRADE was also listed by Media Matters as a Hannity advertiser but stated on Twitter that they had cut ties with Hannity long ago. 23andMe, HelloFresh and ELOQUII both shared on Twitter they were not advertising with Hannity either but did not clarify if this was a recent decision.

Hubble Contacts told Media Matters CEO Carusone that the company has “no future plans to advertise on Hannity.” Similarly, the Society for Human Resource Management tweeted, “As of Friday, November 10th @SHRM is not running ads on Fox.”

Also according to Carusone, “@TripAdvisor says any ads that ran on Hannity’s show were run in error and that it’s being addressed.”

Read more news @ DiversityInc.com

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