Sean Hannity’s defense of Roy Moore is affecting Fox News’ bottom line.
Hannity said last week that the sexual misconduct allegations leveled against the Republican Senate candidate by four women weren’t authentic and the Alabama politician should be given the benefit of the doubt.
“Every single person in this country deserves the presumption of innocence,” Hannity said. “With the allegations against Judge Moore, none of us knows the truth of what happened.”
In light of this statement, many Hannity critics took to Twitter to ask companies advertising on his show to pull their commercials. And four already have: coffeemaker company Keurig, plus-size women’s clothing retailer Eloquii, vitamin manufacturer Nature’s Bounty and DNA testing company 23andMe.
Keurig’s boycott in particular went viral, as many Hannity fans destroyed their coffee machines and posted videos to social media. Some smashed the machines with golf clubs or hammers, while others dropped them out of high windows.
Hannity supported his destructive viewers, calling the videos “hilarious” and tweeting that he was “humbled and speechless and frankly laughing my ass off.” He also said he would buy 500 non-Keurig coffeemakers and give them away to his fans.
Plenty of people also mocked Hannity’s supporters, noting that conservatives were actually helping the environment by destroying their machines since Keurig coffee pods aren’t recyclable. Others wondered why people would go to such lengths to defend Moore, an accused child molester. And a few jokers even put Hannity’s face on the Keurig machines in their offices
Perhaps in response to the Keurig controversy, one company that initially backed out of advertising on Hannity ended up reversing its decision. The real estate listings website Realtor.com said yesterday it was “adjusting our media buy to no longer include” Hannity. But by this morning, the company said it would “continue to place ads across a broad range of networks, including Fox News and its top shows.”
This handful of advertisers is just the tip of the iceberg, however: Media Matters for America compiled a list of over 250 companies that have advertised on Hannity’s show in the last four months, including Bayer, Dollar Shave Club, GlaxoSmithKline, LendingTree, Mitsubishi, Progressive and Trivago.
“We are taking these circumstances into consideration and our current plan is under review as we evaluate our media options,” LendingTree director of communications Megan Greuling told Observer. None of the other companies have responded yet.
Advertising boycotts against other Fox News shows have proven successful in recent months. Dozens of companies fled Bill O’Reilly’s show after The New York Times unearthed sexual harassment allegations against the host. Megyn Kelly also faced advertiser protests both at Fox and on her new NBC show.
Hannity is one of the few conservative voices defending Moore at this point. Republicans across the country have urged him to exit the Senate race.