A flurry of advertisers are pulling their advertising dollars away from Sean Hannity’s Fox News show, following Hannity’s expressions of support for embattled Republican senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama. Moore has been accused by four women of sexual impropriety, up to and including sexual contact with a minor, with them when they were teenagers, between 14 and 18 years of age, back in the 1970’s when Moore was in his 30’s. Moore is running for Jeff Sessions old senate seat, vacated when Sessions left to become Attorney General in the Trump administration. The special election is in December. With less that a month to go until the election, even in the GOP a growing tide of congresspeople are calling for Moore to step aside. Congressional voices calling for Moore to step aside now include Senator John McCain and Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell.
Hannity, however, has remained steadfast in his support of Moore. According to Media Matters, Hannity has been showing this support on his show in four ways: by suggesting that Moore’s accusers are lying (with Hannity even bringing up the Biblical commandment not to bear false witness), by implying that The Washington Post, which broke the story, cannot be trusted, by saying over and over again that people should not rush to judgment against Moore, and by suggesting that the GOP establishment is out to get Moore.
Hannity’s advertisers appear not to agree with his claims and are pulling out of his show in droves. Hubble Contacts, formerly one of the most frequent of Hannity’s advertisers, as well as the Society for Human Resource Management are the latest to withdraw, according to Shareblue Media. They join a growing list of withdrawn advertisers that already includes Keurig, 23 and Me, Nature’s Bounty and realtor.com, according to Variety.
In response to Keurig’s withdrawal, Trump supporters (and apparently Moore supporters) posted Twitter videos of themselves destroying their Keurig coffeemakers. Hannity himself encouraged these destructive acts through social media. But this display doesn’t hurt Keurig, which has already been paid for the coffeemakers involved – it just means these people are going to need to go out and buy another coffeemaker.
Advertisers are the lifeblood of television shows. Without the advertising revenue, there is no show. So as advertisers continue to flee Hannity’s show, how much longer does that show have before it gets cancelled? Or will Hannity express a change of heart about Moore, not out of sincerity but out of wanting to stay on the air?