- The Washington Times - Friday, May 26, 2017

Financial services firm USAA is trying to weather a fierce public relations storm after pulling its ads from “Hannity.”

USAA’s customers flooded the company’s Facebook page with angry feedback this week over its decision to stop running ads with Fox News star Sean Hannity’s program. The company said Wednesday that commercials were mistakenly run on “Hannity” because it only buys time for “news programs,” but the media watchdog Newsbusters spotlighted ads run during MSNBC’s “Hardball” and “The Rachel Maddow Show.”

“I just got a call back from ‘Danny’ from CEO Relations,” customer Marvin Dickson Newman wrote on USAA’s Facebook page Thursday. “He said that it is USAA’s ‘policy’ not to advertise on opinion shows and that their ads on Sean Hannity were a goof-up. I asked for a copy of the policy and when was it implemented. He said the policy is not to give that out. … Danny would not give me his last name and refused to pass the phone up to someone who could tell me the obvious truth: They caved. I took out $$ today and will continue the process of cancelling all my accounts with them.”

“You obviously don’t know your customer base,” added Scott Grumpman. “If your decision in the Hannity issue is not reversed by 5pm Friday I will close my accounts with USAA Friday.”

Mr. Hannity accused the nonprofit organization Media Matters of trying to “silence” him in response to his stories on slain DNC staffer Seth Rich. The July 2016 shooting death of Rich sparked numerous conspiracy theories, although the Fox host said he only wants to “find the truth.”

“There is an effort now about to silence to me,” the host said Tuesday. “Media Matters is attacking my advertising base. That is what we have called on this program liberal fascism — attack, boycott, all in an effort to silence conservatives.”

Other advertisers to pull ads fromHannity” include and Crown Plaza Hotels and  Cars.com, although the host has since said he will honor the Rich family’s wishes to refrain from discussing the topic.

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