The fatal shooting of a young Democratic Party aide named Seth Rich early in the morning of July 10, 2016, brought incalculable loss to his parents.

Within days, Joel and Mary Rich then had to endure an unimaginable, additional blow: the eruption of a cottage industry of conspiracy theories and outright lies around their son’s life and death. Police in Washington, D.C., never identified his killer, and there was a vacuum of reliable information. Hot takes, destructive speculation and false claims about Seth rocketed around the internet and found a warm embrace on many Fox News shows.

“We’re just beside ourselves,” Joel Rich says. “With all the international stories and all the national media, how do you live with that, when you know it’s all false about your son and his legacy?”

Our interview represents the first public remarks the Riches have made since they reached a confidential settlement in fall 2020 with the Fox News Channel and its parent company, Fox Corp., over its role in peddling those false claims. Under the terms of that deal, they cannot directly speak about Fox or its stars.

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