Editors' pickPolitics

Advertisers are boycotting ‘Hannity’ after his coverage of the Roy Moore allegations — and customer backlash has already begun

Advertisers are fleeing Sean Hannity‘s show after he rushed to defend Roy Moore following shocking allegations. And Hannity’s fans are responding. Weirdly.

Instead of lashing out at Senate Republican candidate Roy Moore, who was accused of molesting young girls when he was in his 30s, hardcore conservatives are instead furious at companies that have severed ties with Sean Hannity following his vocal defense of deplorable Moore.

Hannity lost five advertisers over the weekend — including coffee machine-maker Keurig — as brands flee his program rather than associating themselves with an apparent defense of pedophilia.

The advertising exodus prompted a backlash among Hannity loyalists who started trashing their own $120 kitchen counter appliances, suggesting that Democrats would be upset they had done so.

Meanwhile, a real danger looms for Hannity, who could become the third high-profile Fox News host to lose his show in the wake of an advertising boycott.

Following successful ad boycotts that drove Glenn Beck off Fox News after he called President Barack Obama a racist, and Bill O’Reilly off Fox News after he was found out to be a serial sexual harasser, activists are now targeting Hannity for his defense of Moore in the wake of pedophilia allegations.

The stunning claims were detailed in a Washington Post article published last week, where four women accused Moore of pursuing relationships with them when they were teenagers in the late 1970s and early ’80s. Moore rushed onto Hannity’s radio show to do damage control, announcing, “I’m not going to dispute anything, but I don’t remember anything like that,” He added, “I don’t remember dating any girl without the permission of her mother.”

Hannity has clearly suggested Moore’s accusers could be lying, that they’re lying in order to make money off their claims, and that the Washington Post can’t be trusted.

Considering the majority of America’s consumers are women, it’s obvious why brands would be wary of soliciting customers following a message like that.

As for the Hannity-sponsored backlash to the advertisers, precedent shows most brands have nothing substantive to worry about. After Kellogg’s became one of the first advertisers to stop advertising on Breitbart after activists highlighted the site’s unapologetically hateful content, Breitbart launched a very loud campaign urging readers to turn around and boycott Kellogg’s.

The campaign failed, and the stream of advertisers dropping Breitbart continued. Keurig isn’t the one facing a problem, Hannity is.

Eric Boehlert

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