Fox News’ Sean Hannity is pretty salty about the backlash he’s faced over his pushing of the Seth Rich murder conspiracy theory. In the aftermath of his multi-day promotion of the story, Hannity not only saw Rich’s family beg for him to stop, he also witnessed advertisers leave his program. (One sponsor, USAA, did return to the fold this week.) The way Hannity sees it, the advertisers jumping ship is a prime example of “liberal fascism,” with Media Matters leading the charge due to the watchdog publishing a list of his sponsors.
Last night, Hannity returned to his show after a few days off by not only addressing the Seth Rich conspiracy again — he claimed he’d stop talking about it last week — but also deciding to take aim at a competitor. And, in his mind, he’s merely doing what was done to him.
Hannity is now taking up the cause of targeting the advertisers of MSNBC host Rachel Maddow. The Fox News host found a right-wing watchdog group, Media Equality Project, which started a project called Operation Fight With Fire, where they are publicizing Maddow’s sponsors. While Hannity claimed last night that he’s “against boycotts,” he feels the group is doing an excellent service because they’re working against the forces trying to silence conservative voices.
Prior to bringing them on last night — he’d already devoted a radio segment to them and their cause earlier in the day — Hannity railed against Maddow, calling her a conspiracy theorist while highlighting a number of segments flagged by the group that supposedly showed her pushing “bizarre conspiracies.”
After playing the montage of Maddow clips, Hannity then went on to justify why he endorses the group’s actions while simultaneously reiterating the fact that he doesn’t agree with boycotts.
“This is very important to me — freedom of speech is — I am against boycotts,” he stated. “I have stood up against them my entire career, even when Bill Maher was on ABC’s Politically Incorrect. I applaud the fact that our next guests say, okay, if the left stops, they will stop.”
He went on to complain about liberal cable news hosts not standing up for him and his freedom of speech, saying he didn’t hear one voice support for him.
“Just like I defended, I would not be a part of a Stephen Colbert boycott, or a Bill Maher boycott, or any of these other show boycotts,” Hannity exclaimed. “Let’s stop the liberal fascism. Let’s stand on the principle of freedom of speech.”
It should be noted that Maddow’s ratings have been on the rise in recent months, with her program surging to the top of the key demo in the primetime cable news landscape.
Watch the clip above, via Fox News.
[image via screengrab]
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