Left-wing activist group Media Matters is using scandalous allegations surrounding Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore as a new weapon in their months-long campaign to oust Fox News host Sean Hannity by pressuring sponsors into pulling their advertisements.
Moore is accused of making sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl while he was a 32-year-old attorney, in addition to pursuing romantic (although not sexual) relationships with other teenage girls around the same time.
‘MEDIA MATTERS’ PRESSURES HANNITY SHOW SPONSORS TO DROP OUT
Media Matters operatives are smearing Hannity to his sponsors, accusing him of defending child sex abuse. (Hannity has explicitly said that anyone guilty of what Moore is accused of doing has no place in politics.)
Media Matters helped pressure several advertisers into pulling their ads from “Hannity” over the weekend. In one instance, Angelo Carusone, Media Matters’ president, tagged a sponsor of Hannity’s show while claiming that Hannity defends “sexually preying on children.”
Good afternoon @snhu (Southern New Hampshire University). You are currently one of Hannity’s biggest sponsors. Many companies have dropped his show due to his extremism, attacks on women that speak out and his defense of sexually preying on children. Please reconsider.
— Angelo Carusone (@GoAngelo) November 12, 2017
In a direct response to one such tweet from Carusone, coffee company Keurig announced that it would be pulling ads from Hannity’s show.
Angelo, thank you for your concern and for bringing this to our attention. We worked with our media partner and FOX news to stop our ad from airing during the Sean Hannity Show.
— Keurig (@Keurig) November 11, 2017
Keurig’s decision sparked a backlash from Hannity supporters, some of whom called for a boycott against the coffee company. Hannity thanked his supporters for mobilizing in his defense, writing on Twitter: “I am humbled and speechless and frankly laughing my ass off. I love all my deplorable friends. Thank you and Game on!!”
I am humbled and speechless and frankly laughing my ass off. I love all my deplorable friends. Thank you and Game on!!
— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) November 13, 2017
Another sponsor targeted by Media Matters, Realtor.com, announced that it would not be running ads on Hannity in the future.
While we continually strategize on where we advertise on and offline, we are not currently, and will not be running TV ads on Hannity. @mmfa
— realtor.com (@realtordotcom) November 11, 2017
“While we continually strategize on where we advertise on and offline, we are not currently, and will not be running TV ads on Hannity,” the company wrote in a tweet, tagging Media Matters’ Twitter handle to make sure the activists saw it.
Other companies posted similar statements to Twitter.
We’ve received inquiries RE: advertising on Hannity. We are not running TV advertising on Hannity. We continue to closely evaluate where we advertise.
— 23andMe (@23andMe) November 10, 2017
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 email@example.com.
— ELOQUII (@ELOQUII) November 10, 2017
Media Matters has been coming for Hannity’s advertisers for months. In August, the activist group launched a “Stop Sean Hannity” campaign. The group published a list of Hannity’s sponsors and urged left-wingers to let advertisers know that they “will get burned if they continue to associate with Hannity.”
Media Matters previously targeted Hannity’s advertisers in May after the Fox News host pushed a conspiracy theory surrounding murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich.
That campaign caused several advertisers — including military insurance group USAA — to pull their ads from Hannity’s show. Conservative activists responded by targeting the advertisers for MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and other liberal hosts. USAA caved and pulled its ads from Maddow’s show, before eventually reinstating its advertisements on both MSNBC and Fox News.
Media Matters’ effort to defund Hannity comes after they and other left-wing activists successfully pressured Fox News into firing Bill O’Reilly following sexual harassment allegations against the host.