Parents Of Slain DNC Staffer Call Conspiracy Theories ‘Unspeakably Cruel’

WASHINGTON Hours after Fox News retracted a conspiracy story linking murdered Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich to WikiLeaks, Richs parents published an op-edblasting the conservative media and others who have peddled baseless theories about their son and turned his death into a political football.

Writing in The Washington Post,Mary and Joel Rich describe the nightmare that has become their lives. Each day, instead of receiving news from police about a break in their sons unsolved slaying, they are bombarded with phone calls from reporters asking about the lies or conspiracies being spread about him, they wrote.

That nightmare is what our family goes through every day.

Matt Miller for The Washington Post via Getty Images
Mary and Joel Rich say their son’s murder has been “turned into a political football.”

Seth Rich was gunned down near his home in the Washington neighborhood of Bloomingdale in July 2016 in what police believe was a botched robbery.

We have seen no evidence, by any person at any time, that Seths murder had any connection to his job at the Democratic National Committee or his life in politics, Richs parents wrote. Anyone who claims to have such evidence is either concealing it from us or lying.

Still, Mary and Joel added, conservative news outlets and commentators continue, day after painful day, to peddle discredited conspiracy theories that Seth was killed after having provided WikiLeaks with emails from the DNC. Those theories, which some reporters have since retracted, are baseless, and they are unspeakably cruel.

Even after Fox News retracted and removed its story Tuesday, network host Sean Hannity continued to push the conspiracy theoryabout Rich. On his radio show Tuesday, Hannity blasted his critics as phony hypocrites for continuing to report on probes into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

And all you in the liberal media, I am not or Fox,he said.I retracted nothing.

Unsubstantiated theories about Richs death have been embraced by users on conspiracy websites and among right-wing commentators, with some going as as far as to suggest that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton played a part in his murder.

Mary and Joel Rich wrote Tuesday that their sons murder has been turned into a political football.

Every day we wake up to new headlines, new lies, new factual errors, new people approaching us to take advantage of us and Seths legacy, they said. It just wont stop. The amount of pain and anguish this has caused us is unbearable. With every conspiratorial flare-up, we are forced to relive Seths murder and a small piece of us dies as more of Seths memory is torn away from us.

Read the full Washington Post op-ed here.

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