The family of murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich is demanding a retraction from Fox O&O WTTG in Washington, DC.
Rich's family claims that the WTTG stories are inaccurate reports on the unsolved murder. The story claimed that Rich was in contact with Wikileaks before he was fatally shot on July 10.
Many other news outlets debunked the story that WTTG continued to air.
"At this point, with the body of evidence that is out there, and with the private investigator thoroughly recanting his story, it shows a complete lack of journalistic integrity for them to continue running this story," says Brad Bauman, the Rich family's spokesperson. "The family is requesting an immediate retraction, or else we will be looking into other ways we can compel Fox 5 to do the right thing. At this point, everything is on the table."
On Monday night, WTTG Fox 5 reporter Marina Marraco interviewed Rod Wheeler, a former D.C. Police officer (he claims to have been a homicide detective, which MPD has not been able to confirm yet—MPD did say that he was employed there from 1990-1995 and then fired).
The story says that Wheeler was hired by the Rich family to look into the still-unsolved murder of their son, who was discovered shot by police around 4:20 a.m. and died of his injuries at a local hospital. It followed a series of other incidences of gun violence in the Bloomingdale neighborhood.
Wheeler said in the story that there is "tangible evidence" that Rich contacted Wikileaks, and the evidence is on Rich's computer. He also said that MPD is involved in covering up the investigation, which the police department says is untrue. Wheeler is a Fox News contributor, though wasn't identified as such in the Fox 5 piece, and has had to apologize in the past for misstatements he made on-air.
The Rich family immediately pushed back against the claim that they hired Wheeler, saying in a statement that "the services of the private investigator who spoke to press was offered to the Rich family and paid for by a third party, and contractually was barred from speaking to press or anyone outside of law enforcement or the family unless explicitly authorized by the family."
Wheeler is now denying that he ever had evidence Rich was in contact with Wikileaks. "I only got that [information] from the reporter at Fox News," Wheeler told CNN.
So far, neither Fox News nor WTTG have corrected their reports.
((UPDATE)) FTVLive has learned Fox5 DID update their story on the Seth Rich investigation. The station is reporting that their source on the story, Rod Wheeler, is now backtracking on his statements about Rich having ties to WikiLeaks. He's calling it, "miscommunication".