Vice TV Host Targeted by Fox News for Saying Obsession With 'Freedom' Costs Lives Responds to Hannity, Ingraham Criticism (Exclusive Video)

“The ‘freedom’ to be left alone by the government is literally killing us during the pandemic,” Anand Giridharadas reiterates

The Vice TV host who said those arguing to re-open the country amid the coronavirus pandemic are obsessed with “freedom” to the point of their own detriment has responded to criticism from Fox News host Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham.

“Let me say this in plain English, my first language: I am an American,” Anand Giridharadas says in Wednesday’s “Seat at the Table,” which will air at 10 p.m. ET. TheWrap obtained an exclusive preview that is embedded above.

Noting his parents were born in India and he was born in Cleveland — but it wouldn’t matter if he hadn’t been, he goes on, addressing his monologue to Hannity and other Fox News personalities by name: “Families like ours don’t need to be informed of how special America is because we chose it. While tonight I double down on my belief that our narrow understanding of freedom as a culture — as the freedom to be left alone by government — is literally killing us in this pandemic, and prevents us from seeing other, non-governmental threats to our life, liberty and happiness, I celebrate the freedoms my family found here. Chief among them for me, as a writer and as the host of this show, is the freedom to speak. And I will speak.”

All of this came about after an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” last week during which Giridharadas, a contributor for the network, remarked on those arguing to re-open businesses over a concern that the government is infringing on too many rights by keeping areas locked down amid the pandemic. Giridharadas said, “There’s a primordial American tradition going back to the founders of being freedom-obsessed — even though we’re a country founded on slavery and genocide — being freedom-obsessed to the point where we’re always so afraid of the government coming for us that we’re blind to other types of threats, whether it’s a virus, whether it’s bank malfeasance, climate change, what have you.”

His comments were written up by Fox News’ Brian Flood and branded an “MSNBC MELTDOWN” by Hannity. Giridharadas replied with gratitude that the primetime host amplified his statements and reposted Ingraham’s segment on his comments, too. During last Wednesday’s episode of the “Ingraham Angle,” she said, “Let that sink in: We are ‘freedom-obsessed.’ Yes, I am. Guilty as charged.”

Giridharadas continued to tweet after that, saying he’d been targeted by Fox News viewers after his comments were picked up by the hosts.

Innovative Ways Stars Are Helping Out During the Coronavirus Pandemic (Photos)

  • Celebrities are using their influence and resources to provide assistance to the needed impacted by the coronavirus and the front line health care workers combatting the disease.

    While many stars have donated money or performed in benefit concerts, some have gone the extra mile in terms of hands-on giving or simply spreading goodwill.

    From John Krasinski’s Some Good News broadcast to Bethenny Frankel’s BSTRONG initiative, check out the innovative ways the stars are helping out during the coronavirus pandemic.

    Photo credit: Getty Images/NBC

  • From action star to anchor! Since late March, John Krasinski has been posting new episodes of his Some Good News show weekly, with guest appearances from his wife Emily Blunt. Krasinski also convinced AT&T to give first responders three-months free cell phone service with a subscription to the carrier’s FirstNet plan.

    Photo credit: Getty Images

  • Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been spotted delivering meals to the needy in Los Angeles, their new home after stepping back from royal duties and leaving the U.K.

    Photo credit: Getty Images

  • Director Kevin Smith is bringing his fictional fast-food spot Mooby’s to life, with delivery exclusively through Tock in the greater Los Angeles area through late April.  Order proceeds from the delivery promotion will benefit No Us Without You, the fundraiser to provide food for families of undocumented restaurant workers during the pandemic.

    Photo credit: TheWrap

  • Matthew McConaughey brought some joy to residents of a senior living facility in his native Texas, hosting bingo night virtually and calling out numbers.

    The actor and his wife Camila Alves also raised funds to donate 80,000 masks to workers in Texas, Lousiana, and nationwide.

    Photo credit: Getty Images

  • Eva Longoria, Danny Trejo and other Latinx stars joined forces with the League of United Latin American Citizens for the #ayudaenespanol initiative which has provided resources for the Latino community (in both English and Spanish). Minorities have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and have higher fatality rates.

    Photo credit: Getty Images

  • Halsey worked with Orange International Inc. to source 100,000 FDA-certified masks to donate to local Los Angeles hospitals.

    “If you are on the frontlines, my heart is with you,” the singer wrote on Instagram. “I am eager to redirect you to @givedirectly – A non-profit that allows you a way to give direct cash payments to vulnerable households in at risk communities, most of whom are single mothers.”

    Photo credit: Getty Images

  • “SNL” host Michael Che will pay one month’s rent for all 160 apartments in the New York City Housing Authority building his grandmother lived in. She passed away from coronavirus complications.

    “I know that’s just a drop in the bucket. so I really hope the city has a better plan for debt forgiveness for all the people in public housing, AT THE VERY LEAST,” the comedian posted to Instagram.

    Photo credit: NBC

  • Not only did Kylie Jenner give $1 million towards the purchase of protective equipment to frontline health care workers, she also donated hand sanitizer produced with Coty — a stakeholder in Kylie Cosmetics — to the grateful workers at West Hills Hospital and Medical Center.

    Photo credit: Getty Images

  • “Project Runway” winner and mentor Christian Siriano offered to have his sewing team create face masks for health care workers who are facing supply shortages. 

    Photo credit: Getty Images

  • Bethenny Frankel, who previously led crisis-relief efforts via her BSTRONG organization, raising money and supplies not only for COVID-19 relief but also those displace by tornados during the pandemic.

    Photo credit: Getty Images

  • Andy Serkis, best known as playing Gollum from “The Lord of the Rings” films, decided to read aloud J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” as part of a 12-hour “Hobbithon.” He set a goal of £250,000 for the charity Best Beginnings through his GoFundMe and reached the top trending spot on Twitter. And of course he took the pains to do all the character voices as well.

    Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

From good news broadcasts to meal delivery, these celebrities are giving a little extra

Celebrities are using their influence and resources to provide assistance to the needed impacted by the coronavirus and the front line health care workers combatting the disease.

While many stars have donated money or performed in benefit concerts, some have gone the extra mile in terms of hands-on giving or simply spreading goodwill.

From John Krasinski’s Some Good News broadcast to Bethenny Frankel’s BSTRONG initiative, check out the innovative ways the stars are helping out during the coronavirus pandemic.

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