CBS Evening News: Sean Hannity was “a driving force behind” the smearing of slain DNC staffer

From the May 24 edition of CBS' CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley:

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SCOTT PELLEY (HOST): Yesterday the Fox News Channel retracted a story that said a Democratic National Committee staffer may have leaked sensitive emails before he was murdered last year. Well, there's no evidence of this, but Chip Reid reports that several conservative commentators are still peddling this sensational conspiracy theory.

CHIP REID: Most of official Washington believes that Russia was behind the hacking of Democratic National Committee emails. But some supporters of President Trump have been pushing an alternate theory, that Seth Rich, a DNC employee, stole the emails and gave them to Wikileaks, and for doing so, became the victim of an unsolved murder. Fox host Sean Hannity, a fervent Trump supporter, has become a driving force behind the story.


In a Washington Post op-ed this week, Rich's parents called the story “baseless,” and pleaded with people to stop “using our beloved Seth's memory and legacy for their own political goals.” Yesterday the story was taken down from the Fox News website. At first, Hannity refused to retract anything. But last night he backed down. Sort of. 


Kelly McBride, an expert on media ethics with the Poynter Institute says that last part sends a message to his fans.

KELLY MCBRIDE: You'll hear that as, “oh, there's truth to the conspiracy story, and Hannity is being told that he can't report it.” 

REID: D.C. Police say the assertions made about Seth Rich by Fox News are, quote, “unfounded,” Scott. The police believe Rich was likely shot to death on a street near his home during an attempted robbery.


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