USAA Backs Down In Hannity Boycott

Reuters/Mike Segar.

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Nick Givas Media And Politics Reporter
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The United Services Automobile Association (USAA) reinstated its advertisements on Sean Hannity’s nightly Fox News show Tuesday.

USAA was one of 10 companies to pull its ads from Hannity, due to the fallout from his reporting of the Seth Rich murder story. Hannity suggested that there was a conspiracy surrounding the death of the DNC staffer, but Fox News quickly backed off the story and retracted it from their website last Tuesday.

“We heard concerns from many members who watch and listen to these programs,” USAA said in a statement Tuesday. “Our goal in advertising has always been to reach members of the military community who would benefit from USAA’s well-known commitment to service. Today, the lines between news and editorial are increasingly blurred.”

The company chose to reinstate advertising while simultaneously reviewing corporate policy on opinion shows.

Hannity tweeted the news, asking that his followers please support USAA.

A return of advertisers would signal that Hannity is safe in the 10 p.m. time slot, and won’t be facing the same fate as former top Fox anchor, Bill O’Reilly.

Since the firing of O’Reilly for claims of sexual harassment back in April, Media Matters has targeted Hannity as the next host they want bumped from the network lineup. Despite the controversy surrounding him these past several weeks, however, Hannity’s cable show managed to average 2.5 million viewers per night, among the top numbers in cable news.

While USAA originally only pulled ads from Hannity’s Fox show, after criticism for appearing biased they ended up pulling ads from “The Rachel Maddow show,” along with MSNBC’s “Hardball,” and CNN’s “The Lead With Jake Tapper.”

USAA stated that the reasoning behind the decision was to pull their ads from any and all opinion shows, regardless of network affiliation.

“We will continually review our ad placements to ensure we are consistent with our policy,” said USAA spokesperson Roger Wildermuth.

Hannity has now pledged to steer clear of the Seth Rich story, stating that he would not be revisiting it “out of respect for the family’s wishes, for now.”

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