The USAA financial services firm, hoping to stem the furor from military members and vets outraged at its decision to yank advertising from Sean Hannity's Fox News show, said Tuesday it is reinstating the ads.
Following Hannity's reporting on a theory involving the death of a Democratic National Committee staff member, the liberal advocacy group Media Matters last week posted a list of advertisers — and USAA was one of 10 to say it was pulling its commercials.
The company said it will also reinstate ads on "The Rachel Maddow Show," "Hardball with Chris Matthews" on MSNBC and CNN's "The Lead" with Jake Tapper.
"We heard concerns from many members who watch and listen to these programs," USAA said in its statement. "Today, the lines between news and editorial are increasingly blurred. As such, we are reinstating all previously removed ads on programs representing a variety of perspectives while we review our policy to determine how best to apply it in today's environment and in line with our mission."
USAA has about 12 million customers.
A USAA spokesman told MySanAntonio.com it did not pull the ads because of the backlash.
"It is our policy to not advertise on any opinion-based programming," the spokesman said. "There was an error which led to our ads running during some opinion-based programs, and as soon as that was discovered, the error was corrected."
Hannity was due to return to Fox News on Tuesday following a brief vacation. He had said he would no longer talk about the shooting death of Seth Rich last year, following pleas from the man's family; Fox News had retracted an online story about Rich.
Brent Bozell, president of the conservative Media Research Center, said he was not surprised by USAA's decision, "given the avalanche" of protests. He said the center's members generated more than 1,600 phone calls to USAA within 48 hours.
"They did the right thing in going back on that show, and so long as the other side isn't participating in personal smears, they should participate on those shows, too," he said
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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