Comedian Kathy Griffin publicly asked Sunday why Fox News and megastar opinion host Sean Hannity had never apologized to the family of Seth Rich for spreading fake news and conspiracy theories about the former Clinton staffer who was murdered in Washington D.C. in 2016.
Yeah Howie, that apology was very narrow and it certainly wasn't for the post powerful man in the world...If only you would be as aggressive in criticizing people like your colleague @seanhannity - when is he going to apologize to Seth Rich's family? Why are you silent? https://t.co/T4ENweqaHR
— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) July 15, 2018
Griffin’s inquiry came as part of a larger fight she was having with the channel’s media analyst Howard Kurtz for his criticism of Sacha Baron Cohen.
“If only you would be as aggressive in criticizing people like your colleague @seanhannity – when is he going to apologize to Seth Rich’s family? Why are you silent?” she said.
Griffin, a notoriously combative presence on the platform, bluntly took issue with Kurtz after he said Cohen deceiving former Alaska governor Sarah Palin into believing he was a disabled veteran was “appalling.”
“Get a f–ing life,” she told him — adding a tag to make sure he’d see.
Though he doesn’t have the same audience firepower on the platform, Kurtz was cutting in his response, recalling Griffin’s most infamous moment, when she held bloody mock up of President Trump’s severed head. The incident exploded Griffin’s career at the time, even earning a personal rebuke from the first family.
“I guess what Sacha did isn’t as bad as the bloody Trump mask you profusely apologized for,” he jabbed. “Though I did like your comedy before that.”
I guess what Sacha did isn't as bad as the bloody Trump mask you profusely apologized for. Though I did like your comedy before that https://t.co/0MGd4o5Y77
— HowardKurtz (@HowardKurtz) July 15, 2018
Griffin’s career has since rebounded and she now jokes about the incident to audiences, telling them at the height of the mania tens of millions of people thought she had joined ISIS.
For their part Fox News and Hannity have never apologized for the Seth Rich fear-mongering. For weeks last spring, Hannity and others at the channel propagated the theory that the DNC staffer had been the one who secretly provided files to Wikileaks and that his murder may have been foul play. If true it would have blown up the official explanation that Russian hacking had been behind the effort, while also implicating the Clinton’s in more nefarious extralegal activity.
It was — of course — not true. Police concluded that Rich was murdered in a botched robbery attempt. The case was never solved. Fox News was forced to retract a May, 2017 article suggesting the connection and today the Rich family is suing the network over the baseless speculation.
The network did not immediately respond to request for comment.