But Fox News might not be laughing after seven advertisers pulled sponsorship of Hannity's show when he vowed to continue pursuing a conspiracy theory suggesting Democratic National Convention staffer Seth Rich was murdered for leaking documents to WikiLeaks.
But the Rich family has repeatedly asked Hannity (and others in the media) to stop. However, the police say Rich died in a botched robbery.
News of Cars.com pulling its ads from Hannity were first reported by Buzzfeed News. The fact that we advertise on a particular program doesn't mean that we agree or disagree, or support or oppose, the content.
Financial services firm USAA is adding itself to the list of companies that have pulled advertising from Sean Hannity's Fox News Channel show. Hannity tweeted Wednesday that hed spoken to several of his advertisers and they said theyd been inundated with emails urging them to stop running commercials on his show.
Initially, Hannity said he would no longer report on the allegation.
The Drive reached out to Hyundai, who provided us with the following statement: "We are aware of the sensitive storyline raised by Mr. Hannity and expect Fox News will use editorial discretion to ensure that all reporting is substantiated". On Tuesday, the same day Fox News retracted the story, he continued to discuss the conspiracy theory on his radio show.
Rich's parents, Mary and Joel Rich, have described the conspiracy theories surrounding their son's death as a "nightmare". He had been with Fox News since its inception, first as producer of Hannity's show, and represented a link to the era of Roger Ailes, the longtime Fox News chairman who was forced out amid sexual harassment allegations previous year.
What is the most popular show on Fox News? Instead, Hannity argued "There's nothing that I did, nothing that I said, except they don't like my position politically", in reference to criticism of his ghoulish obsession with Rich.
But the network claimed in a statement that nothing should be read into its decision. But Hannity also has said he has "retracted nothing".
Hannity had been hyping an appearance by notorious internet criminal Kim Dotcom, who supposedly had "proof" that Rich was in communication with Wikileaks. Fox personalities, including Sean Hannity, Newt Gingrich and Geraldo Rivera, in recent days have fervently embraced the conspiracy theories.
A version of the Fox News' May 16 online story ran on the Fox local station in Washington, D.C., Fox 5, the night before. Carusone said posting the list of Hannity's advertisers is "a continuation of that conversation", and pointed out that Media Matters compiled it through publicly available information.