Some of the companies that sponsor Fox News host Sean Hannity are distancing themselves from the Republican commentator after a controversial radio interview with Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore (R) last week, in addition to comments Hannity made on his Fox News program.
What's going on?
Hannity, who also hosts one of the most listened to talk radio shows in the country, had Moore on his radio program on Friday to discuss the allegations being charged at him. The Washington Post broke a bombshell story last Thursday, alleging that Moore has a history of sexual abuse and dating teenagers. Moore has denied all allegations.
Moore told Hannity that he didn't "generally" remember dating any teenagers "without the permission of her mother" when he was in his 30s. Moore maintained his innocence and said he believes the "attacks" against him are politically motivated.
Hannity, who is typically soft on Trump supporters and Republicans, was later praised for the "tough" interview.
So why the advertiser exodus?
People are mad because Hannity urged his viewers on Fox last Thursday to not rush to judgement in the Moore scandal.
"Every single person in this country deserves the presumption of innocence," Hannity said. "With the allegations against Judge Moore, none of us know the truth of what happened 38 years ago. The only people that would know are the people involved in this incident."
The advice was not well received by some, who began tweeting at Hannity's sponsors. Some of the sponsors have pulled advertising in the wake of the criticism.
Coffee maker giant Keurig confirmed they pulled their ads on Twitter Saturday in response to someone who accused Hannity of defending a "child molester." At no time did Hannity defend Moore, and instead said Moore should step aside if the allegations are true.
@GoAngelo Angelo, thank you for your concern and for bringing this to our attention. We worked with our media partn… https://t.co/8bgMb1NFf7— Keurig (@Keurig) 1510422386.0
Then there was realtor.com:
Woman's clothing company Eloquii:
Hi there! Hannity is blocked from our advertising list. If we can help with anything else, please don't hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
— ELOQUII (@ELOQUII) November 10, 2017
While Hannity opponents targeted other companies, such as: Biotechnology company 23andme:
We’ve received inquiries RE: advertising on Hannity. We are not running TV advertising on Hannity. We continue to c… https://t.co/LFCo3YHDIz— 23andMe (@23andMe) 1510358291.0
Good afternoon @Ford. Cadillac and many other companies removed their ads from Hannity's show, but Ford still spons… https://t.co/i5jbOvcbsh— Angelo Carusone (@Angelo Carusone) 1510341561.0
Hey @mitsucars Your ads on Sean Hannity of Fox News tells me that you support child molesters just like SH supporte… https://t.co/1eS7llhXoE— Leigh @🏡 with 🐶 Nutmeg (@Leigh @🏡 with 🐶 Nutmeg) 1510354475.0
Clothing company Scottevest:
Good afternoon @scottevest. Your ads have run on Sean Hannity's program. Many companies have ceased sponsoring his… https://t.co/TKSo4kQc9Z— Angelo Carusone (@Angelo Carusone) 1510343095.0
And even Nature's Bounty:
We can confirm that we do not have advertisements running on this program.
— Nature's Bounty (@NaturesBounty) November 11, 2017
Who's behind the effort? Is there any significance?
While it is mostly liberals targeting Hannity's advertisers, Angelo Carusone, the president of Media Matters for America, is the most prominent figure behind the social media targeting. Media Matters, which is financed by billionaire liberal George Soros, has previously targeted Hannity's advertisers and tried to get him booted from Fox — but they failed.