Mary and Joel Rich, parents of slain Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich, penned an op-ed on Tuesday in The Washington Post calling out media figures who reported their son's death as nothing more than a "baseless" conspiracy theory, pleading with them to stop, as it was causing them "unbearable" pain.
Mary and Joel wrote that instead of being allowed to grieve their son's death, they instead were subjected to a constant barrage of reporter questions and speculations about Seth's murder, and whether or not they thought it was part of a conspiracy theory.
"We have seen no evidence, by any person at any time, that Seth’s murder had any connection to his job at the Democratic National Committee or his life in politics," Seth's parents wrote. "Anyone who claims to have such evidence is either concealing it from us or lying."
Seth was shot and killed near his D.C. home in 2016. The case was never closed, but law enforcement officials claim that they believe Seth was killed during a botched robbery.
Mary and Joel noted that "conservative" media outlets continued to push the theory that their son's murder was because Seth reportedly turned over DNC emails to Wikileaks.
"Those theories, which some reporters have since retracted, are baseless, and they are unspeakably cruel," Seth's parents wrote. "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. 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."
Fox News on Tuesday retracted a story published last week that contained inaccurate information about Seth's murder.
A statement from Fox read:
"On May 16, a story was posted on the Fox News website on the investigation into the 2016 murder of DNC Staffer Seth Rich. The article was not initially subjected to the high degree of editorial scrutiny we require for all our reporting. Upon appropriate review, the article was found not to meet those standards and has since been removed. We will continue to investigate this story and will provide updates as warranted."
However, later on Tuesday, Fox News host Sean Hannity professed that he would not back down from investigating Seth's death and reiterated that it was Fox that retracted their reporting on the case — and he retracted nothing.
“This issue is so big now,” Hannity said. “That the entire Russia-collusion narrative is hanging by a thread, if in fact, take Seth out of it – there was a whistleblower within the DNC, a truth-teller, that actually was the source for WikiLeaks and not Russia, working with the Trump campaign.”
“That, these are questions that I have a moral obligation to ask,” he said. “And I will do the mainstream media’s job like I have most of my career.”
“And all you in the liberal media,” he concluded, “I am not Fox.com, or FoxNews.com, I retracted nothing!”