Fox News employees 'disgusted' after network pushes Seth Rich conspiracy
© Getty Images

Staffers at the conservative Fox News Channel are blasting host Sean Hannity and others at the network for their "disappointing" choice to push conspiracy theories about the murder of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich.

"It hurts those of us who are legitimately focused on journalism," one employee told CNN.

"We have a chance to turn the corner at Fox, and perpetuating this conspiracy theory damages our integrity," the employee continued.

Rich, 27, was shot and killed last year on the streets of Washington, D.C. Since his slaying, right-wing news outlets have sought to link his death, without evidence, to Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonHouse Judiciary Committee votes to request documents on Comey, Clinton GOP senator warns Trump: Panel won't take up attorney general nominee this year Overnight Cybersecurity: Facebook invests in group fighting election hacking | House panel advances DHS cyber revamp bill | Lawmakers mull cyber insurance for small businesses MORE's presidential campaign and the WikiLeaks release of hacked emails from that operation. 

Aaron Rich, the brother of the slain staffer, wrote to the executive producer of Hannity's show, CNN said, asking him to find "decency and kindness" in his heart to stop spreading the unproven conspiracy theory.

"Think about how you would feel losing a son or brother. And while dealing with this, you had baseless accusations of your lost family member being part of a vast conspiracy," Rich wrote to Porter Berry, CNN added. 

"As the family, we would hope to be the first people to learn about any such evidence and reasons for Seth's death," he continued. "It is a travesty that you would prompt false conspiracy theories and other people's agendas rather than work with the family to learn the truth."

ADVERTISEMENT

Last week, a local Fox station in Washington aired a report claiming Rich was in contact with WikiLeaks before he died. The report, which was also shared by Russia's foreign ministry on Twitter and multiple Fox News personalities, was later discredited by Rich's family. 

The Fox employee told CNN that Hannity's aim is to "distract from any and all Trump scandals."

"I'm disgusted by it," they said.

Other employees said that coverage of the conspiracy theory affected the entire network, not just Hannity's show.

"It is disappointing because it drags the rest of us down," another employee added in the report.

"Even if tomorrow, an email was found, it is not a high enough bar of evidence to prove any interactions as emails can be altered and we've seen that those interested in pushing conspiracies will stop at nothing to do so," Rich's family said in a statement.

Updated 1:18 p.m.