Hannity Demands NYT Retract, Apologize For Article That Erroneously Tried To Blame Him For Man’s Death

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Shelby Talcott Senior White House Correspondent
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Fox News’s Sean Hannity is demanding an apology and retraction from the New York Times following an article that bungled a timeline in an attempt to blame him for a man’s death.

The article, written April 18 by columnist Ginia Bellafante, describes a New Yorker named Joe Joyce, who “was skeptical about the virus,” took a cruise, and then died from COVID-19. Bellafante appeared to blame Fox News and Hannity for Joyce’s death, as the New Yorker reportedly watched the network.

Bellafante blamed Hannity even though the timeline did not add up. The New Yorker went on the trip to Spain over a week before Hannity made a comment about the coronavirus that was included in the article. (RELATED: NYT Reporter Bungles Timeline In Attempt To Blame Fox News, Hannity For Death Of Man With Coronavirus)

“You falsely state and falsely imply a connection between Mr. Hannity’s on-air comments and Mr.Joyce’s decision to take a cruise,” Hannity’s letter to four NYT employees reads. “But what you fail to mention is that Mr. Hannity’s comments could not possibly have influenced Mr. Joyce’s decision because he embarked on his cruise on March 1 (according to your report), while Mr. Hannity made comments on March 9, which you claim influenced his decision.”

“Moreover, you were fully aware that this was the actual timeline, and in order to mislead your readers and support your false narrative, you withheld the date of Mr. Hannity’s comments from your story.”

The letter is addressed to NYT general counsel Diane Brayton, contributing writer Kara Swisher, Bellafante and media columnist Ben Smith.

Hannity’s letter also adds that the NYT “underhandedly edited that story to include a statement from Fox News which disproved your timeline, without notifying your readers that you were correcting or retracting your original false statements.”

It includes a timeline of Hannity’s reporting on his nightly show and also notes other publications and public figures that appeared to downplay the virus during its early stages.

The letter also notes numerous other NYT reports that are allegedly “false and defamatory.” Those articles were published by the NYT on March 22 and March 31. These articles were written by Smith and Swisher.

“We demand that you promptly remove the foregoing false and defamatory statements from the Stories and any subsequent republications in print or any other medium, and publish a full, fair and conspicuous retraction, correction and apology as to each of the false and defamatory statements identified above, with as prominent placement as the original statements,” the letter adds.

The NYT has 24 hours to respond to the letter, wherein Hannity will have “no alternative but to consider instituting immediate legal proceedings against you,” according to the letter.

The NYT did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller.