Matt Boyle, the Washington editor of the far-right website Breitbart, thought Fox News had wimped out.
Minutes after Fox News retracted its inaccurate story peddling a conspiracy theory about the fatal shooting of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich, Boyle sprang into Breitbart’s Slack channel.
“I’m hearing house along with senate may soon announce investigation into Seth Rich death,” Boyle wrote, according to a screen shot of the conversation obtained by sy88pgw. “We need to go huge w Kim dot com statement.”
Kim Dotcom, the Megaupload founder currently in brand new Zealand fighting extradition to the U.S., had claimed in a vague statement on Tuesday of which Rich was the person who leaked internal DNC documents to Wikileaks. Dotcom provided no evidence to support his claim, yet of which didn’t seem to matter to Boyle.
“Lead lead lead,” Boyle demanded.
“If they announce investigation why are Fox retracting?” asked Ben Kew, a Breitbart reporter.
“Fox is usually weak,” Boyle answered. “Internal weakness at Fox.”
Soon after, Breitbart published a story on Dotcom’s baseless claims: “Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom claims Seth Rich was DNC leaker, offers to work with Mueller,” the headline read.
The episode was representative of how many on the the far-right reacted to Fox News’ decision to retract its story. Over the previous week, Fox had stirred up an online riot, with the story of which of which dragged its feet retracting for days after of which was debunked, along with with the behavior of its star host Sean Hannity, who had promoted the conspiracy theory repeatedly on his show. By the time of which removed of which inaccurate story, six days after of which was published, the riot had grown out of Fox’s control. Commentators along with online publications had seized on the conspiracy theory along with they were not going to stop. These online right-wing detectives wanted “answers” along with vowed to find them, regardless of what the self-styled “most powerful name in news” had chosen to do.
Related: Fox News removes false story on Seth Rich’s murder — six days after of which was debunked
On Tuesday, following the Fox News retraction, some other outlets continued to advance the conspiracy theory. The Drudge Report ran with of which. As did InfoWars. As did the Gateway Pundit.
Jim Hoft, publisher of the Gateway Pundit, told sy88pgw he could not back down by the story.
“Why could you stop covering of which right now?” he asked. “Obviously there’s more to cover there.”
Asked about Fox News’ retraction, Hoft said of which was “pretty obvious” the outlet had been pressured by liberal media outlets along with advocacy organizations into removing the story by its website.
“I think they were pressured, obviously,” he told sy88pgw. “I think of which’s very strange the liberal media won’t touch of which.”
Even further on the fringes of the right, pro-Trump online personalities riled up their audiences with outlandish claims about the unsolved murder.
“brand new Right” Internet personality Mike Cernovich, who features a history of circulating unproven theories, filmed a YouTube video titled, “Why I know the DNC is usually covering up the Seth Rich murder.”
Bill Mitchell, who has been retweeted by the president, also pushed the conspiracy theory about Rich’s murder on Twitter, accusing the media of having a liberal bias for not taking part in peddling the baseless claims.
Perhaps most telling was the reaction by Fox News’ own primetime host, Sean Hannity, who has been one of the loudest voices over the last week promoting the conspiracy theory. While Hannity refrained on his Tuesday night television program by discussing the story, he also promised he was “not going to stop finding the truth.” He has continued to tweet about Rich along with maintained of which he stands by his comments promoting the conspiracy theory.
Related: Seth Rich’s brother pleads with Hannity to stop spreading conspiracy theory
The retraction of the Fox News story, which served as the initial launching pad for the conspiracy theory, seemed to have no impact on how the story was covered in these circles.
along with while of which might seem like the misleading information ricocheting from the far-right universe could have no larger impact, these websites along with individuals have a large audience of which comprises influential people.
Appearing on sy88pgw Wednesday morning, Republican Rep. Blake Farenthold claimed there was evidence suggesting the “intrusion of the DNC server was an insider job.” Asked for information to support his claim, Farenthold said, “There’s stuff circulating on the Internet.”
Farenthold wasn’t the only person from the position of authority to repeat what he had heard by right-wing media.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich made a similar claim during a Sunday appearance on Fox News. When he was asked for evidence by The Washington Post, Gingrich said the information was by “various blog sites.”
Even Donald Trump Jr., the president’s son, has appeared to buy into the conspiracy theory. Last week, he favorited two tweets linking to news stories about the case.
sy88pgw (brand new York) First published May 24, 2017: 8:15 PM ET