Fox News announced on Tuesday afternoon that it is retracting what it has analyzed to be an inaccurate story about the death of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich. The retraction came after the news organization reviewed their said story on Rich, following an appeal from the family of Rich and some criticisms from media observers.
The statement of Fox News in full read: “On May 16, a story was posted on the Fox News website on the investigation into the 2016 murder of DNC Staffer Seth Rich. The article was not initially subject to the high degree of editorial scrutiny we require for all our reporting. Upon appropriate review, the article was found not to meet those standards and has since been removed. We will continue to investigate the story and will provide the update as warranted.”
The contentious story made a link between Rich’s shooting that led to his death in July to the release of Democratic National Committee emails by WikiLeaks. The “conspiracy theory” story on Rich started to gain attention on May 15 when Washington, D.C.’s WTTG published a story that claimed there was “tangible evidence” on Rich’s laptop that said to “confirm” that he was communicating with WikiLeaks prior to his death. Such information was attributed to Rod Wheeler, a Fox News coordinator and private investigator who claimed he was hired by Rich’s family to probe Seith’s murder.
The Rich family quickly and vehemently denied the story and called it “fake news”. The story was also carried by other conservative and far-right outlets.
David Folkenflik also tweeted about the retraction of Fox News along with posting the link of the statement. It quickly gained thousands of retweets and likes. There were social media users who agreed with the retraction, while there are those who took the opportunity of the lapse Fox News admitted to criticize Sean Hannity and the news organization, saying they were not so surprised with the error, after all, with one even mocking Fox News by calling it “FauxNews.” There are also those who are asking for Hannity’s firing.
Then there are those who also reacted to call attention not just to this particular mistake of Fox News but also to other mainstream news organizations. One said, “CNN spews lies daily!” One said: “The years of failure resulting from liberal policies and the never ending lies the democrats perpetuate…” Another said: “So like the MSM and the Russia conspiracy in your own party can even offer evidence for?”