Breakfast Briefing, 5.24.2017: Hannity advertiser boycott; Payback time for Uber

Need-to-know news for PR pros on Wednesday morning: Sean Hannity steps away (kind of) from Seth Rich conspiracy theory; Uber is paying back what it owes to New York drivers; and sponsors are bailing on the New York Puerto Rican Day Parade in droves.

Hannity steps back from Rich conspiracy theory
Fox News Channel’s latest problem is its highest-profile host’s refusal to toe the company line. After talking about the Seth Rich conspiracy theory on radio on Tuesday afternoon, Sean Hannity said on his Fox News show last night that he will stop discussing the topic "for now." Later, he tweeted that he is "closer to the truth than ever." Hannity’s about face came hours after Fox News retracted its story linking Rich, a Democratic National Committee staffer who was murdered in Washington, DC, last July, to Wikileaks and suggesting the incident was political payback. Media Matters for America is calling for a boycott of Hannity advertisers. Rich’s parents wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post on Tuesday begging conspiracy theorists to stop politicizing their son’s murder, and the FBI also said this week that it is not investigating the incident, knocking down stories to the contrary.

Uber to pay back New York drivers
The ride-hailing company has acknowledged it miscalculated commissions in New York for the past two and a half years, costing drivers there tens of millions of dollars. It pledged to repay the drivers "as quickly as possible." Uber’s fare could reach $45 million in total, or about $900 per driver, according to Bloomberg.

Keep an eye on these stories today
President Donald Trump and Pope Francis put aside past arguments early Wednesday and sat down for a half-hour meeting at the Vatican. Trump is convening with other Italian leaders this morning before jetting to Brussels to chat with NATO leaders. Closer to home, cannabis companies could have a new (legal) market. Vermont’s governor is set to announce his decision on a legalization measure on Wednesday.

Sponsors abandon New York Puerto Rican Day Parade
AT&T is pulling its sponsorship of the parade due to its plans to honor militant Oscar Lopez Rivera, who has been linked to terrorist acts, according to The New York Times. Coca-Cola is also removing funding associated with the parade. Other organizations that have pulled support include the New York Yankees, the Fire Department of New York, JetBlue, Corona, and Goya.  

Instagram makes it easier to have a picture-perfect account
The Facebook-owned photo-sharing network is making life a little bit easier for users who obsess over their accounts. Instagram is adding a feature that allows them to hide—or "archive"—pics they don't want other users to see, meaning less stress for Instagrammers over whether to permanently delete that old shot with you know who.

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