Sean Hannity ripped into Prince Harry for calling the First Amendment ‘bonkers’, calling him a ‘right royal pain in the a**’.
The Fox News primetime host called out Harry for comments he made on Dax Shepard’s podcast Armchair Expert on Thursday, where he admitted he didn’t understand the First Amendment.
Addressing the comments at the end of his 9pm Fox show, Hannity said: ‘Before we go I have a message for Harry who is now attacking one of America’s most sacred rights, the freedom of speech.
‘Harry, we really don’t need you coming from England to give us lectures on the First Amendment.
‘And if you can’t understand the importance of free expression and the importance of Constitutional principles that allow for a free exchange of ideas and opinions that make America the greatest country on earth then maybe it’s time for you to move to a place more compatible with your restrictive ideas.
‘This is what public figures in America go through.’
Sean Hannity said he had a message for Prince Harry, ‘who is now attacking one of America’s most sacred rights, the freedom of speech’
If Harry didn’t understand how the First Amendment worked, ‘maybe it’s time for you to move to a place more compatible with your restrictive ideas’
‘We don’t really need lectures about customs or sacred freedoms, and by the way you’re free to go home’, Hannity said
Hannity said he had been on the receiving end of hurtful comments by people who didn’t know him, and had tried to ‘cancel’ him.
‘In a way I kind of feel sorry for you because you seem torn between your new bride and your family back in England.
‘Understand this is the same First Amendment that allowed you and your wife to trash your own family in the Oprah Winfrey interview. You and Meghan were allowed to accuse your family of racism.
‘We don’t really need lectures about customs or sacred freedoms, and by the way you’re free to go home, make amends at the Palace with the people that you and your wife hurt deeply.’
‘I thought you were going to throw the Revolutionary War in his face,’ Fox News’ 10pm host Laura Ingraham quipped after Hannity’s comments.
Prince Harry is pictured with Dax Shepard (left) and his co-host Monica Padman (center)
Sean Hannity pointed out the First Amendment protected Harry and Meghan’s right to label the Royal Family as racist during their interview with Oprah Winfrey
Harry – who fled British royal life to live in luxury in California last year and has since made a fortune through American companies like Netflix and Spotify while living in California – made the comments on Dax Shepard’s podcast on Thursday.
‘I’ve got so much I want to say about the First Amendment as I sort of understand it, but it is bonkers,’ Harry told the podcast.
‘I don’t want to start going down the First Amendment route because that’s a huge subject and one which I don’t understand because I’ve only been here a short time, but you can find a loophole in anything.’
‘You can capitalize or exploit what’s not said rather than uphold what is said.’
Many Americans who’d embraced him and reacted sympathetically to his comments on Oprah were angered by the remarks, as were Brits.
At a glance: What did Harry say in the podcast?
- Harry called the First Amendment ‘bonkers’.
- He compared living under scrutiny as a member of the Royal Family to the film The Truman Show, starring Jim Carrey as a man oblivious to the fact that his entire life is a TV show, and to being an animal in a zoo.
- Speaking about Prince Charles, Harry said: ‘If I’ve experienced some form of pain or suffering because of the pain or suffering that perhaps my father or my parents had suffered, I’m going to make sure I break that cycle so that I don’t pass it on, basically.
- The Duke said he met up with his future wife Meghan in a supermarket in the early days of their relationship and they pretended not to know each other.
- Harry told how he quit as a senior royal with Meghan last year to put his family and mental health ‘first’.
- The 36-year-old royal put ‘wild partying’ in his youth down to ‘childhood trauma’ – and started therapy after Meghan ‘saw he was angry’
- The Duke said he was born into extraordinary privilege but hinted that he believes this has changed since he quit with Meghan
- Harry revealed Meghan told him of her experience of royal life: ‘You don’t need to be a princess, you can create the life that will be better than any princess.’
After his comments went viral on Sunday, Republican Texas congressman, veteran Dan Crenshaw tweeted: ‘Well I just doubled the size of my Independence Day party.’
Meghan McCain tweeted: ‘We fought a war in 1776 so we don’t have to care what you say or think.
‘That being said, you have chosen to seek refuge from your homeland here and thrive because all of what our country has to offer and one of the biggest things is the 1st amendment – show some utter respect.’
The podcast also saw Prince Harry criticize Prince Charles, Prince Philip and the Queen’s parenting and complain he had suffered ‘genetic pain’, prompting furious royal aides to demand he gives up his royal titles.
During the recording, Harry appeared to be confused by the First Amendment which provides for freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the right to assemble, and the right to petition the government.
Critics pointed out that Harry is a guest in his newly adopted country – and is free to return to the UK if he doesn’t like it in the US.
‘Don’t let the door knob hit you, Windsor,’ Fox News’ Laura Ingraham tweeted on Sunday.
‘Prince Harry is attacking America’s First Amendment Tells you everything you need to know,’ tweeted Veteran Navy Intel officer Jack Posobiec.
Others accused Prince Harry of criticising one of America’s founding principles without trying to understand it first.
Another Twitter user wrote: ‘Prince Harry having strong opinions on the First Amendment without understanding it or informing himself about it shows how well he is assimilating here.’
‘Hey, go home! We fought a war to get rid of Royals on our soil No need to understand anything we do. Bye!!’ said Twitter user Diane.
Larry Keane wrote: ‘Well, here in America he has the right to say stupid things.
And another Twitter user joked: ‘I’ll fly to his house right f***ing now just to dump a box of Tetley in his pool if he keeps running his mouth like this.’
Prince Harry’s comments come two months after he was named to a left-leaning panel to ‘combat misinformation’ in the media.
The 36-year-old appeared on Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert, to discuss mental health, his family, life in Los Angeles and his future projects.
He expressed shock at how much attention he received while living at film producer Tyler Perry’s mansion in Beverly Hills, and complained of the media ‘feeding frenzy’ the podcast host Dax Shepard and co-host Monica Padman.
The First Amendment was raised as Prince Harry was discussing his experiences of being hounded by the paparazzi having moved to Los Angeles, and how his then-neighbor – actor Orlando Bloom – would keep him updated on their whereabouts.
In one instance, Harry describes how Bloom warned him of a photographer lying down in the back of a van as he and his wife Katy Perry were out in the local area with their young child.
In another instance, Harry recalls how paparazzi were flying helicopters and drones to get snaps of him and Meghan, and even cutting holes their fence.
America’s founding principle: The First Amendment
The First Amendment of the US Constitution was established with the Bill of Rights on December 15, 1791, two years after it was introduced in the 1st United States Congress.
According to History, Antifederalists were not interested in ratifying the Constitution unless there was a way to ensure civic rights. This prompted James Madison to write the majority of what became the Bill of Rights.
The First Amendment protects several basic freedoms in the United States including freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the right to assemble, and the right to petition the government.
The First Amendment of the US Constitution was established with the Bill of Rights in 1791, two years after it was introduced in the 1st United States Congress
The First Amendment states: ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.‘
The US Supreme Court often struggles trying to determine what falls under the caliber of ‘offensive speech,’ which is not protected by the First Amendment.
Also not protected in the First Amendment is libel or false and defamatory statements made by the press.
The First Amendment ensures a separation of church and state by declaring that there can be no ‘state’ religion.
The amendment has been tested many times over the years.
Freedom of Religion
Freedom of religion is the first freedom mentioned in the Bill of Rights. Many of the first people who came to America make the journey in order to have religious freedom and they did not want the new government to take this freedom away. The First Amendment allows people to believe and practice whatever religion they want. They can also choose not to follow any religion.
Freedom of Speech
The Founding Fathers did not want the new government to keep people from speaking up about issues and concerns they had with the government. This particular freedom prevents the government from punishing people for expressing their opinions. But it does not protect them from repercussions that may result from voicing their opinions.
Freedom of the Press
This freedom allows people to publish their opinions and information without the government stopping them. It covers all media including newspapers, radio, television and online. The freedom does not cover defamatory statements or plagiarism.
Right to Assemble
People have the right to gather in groups as long as they are peaceful. The government has to allow people to gather on public property. It allows for people to hold protests and rallies against the government calling for change. The government may sometimes become involved for the safety of citizens. Permits may also be required if a large protest is to be held.
Right to Petition the Government
The Founding Fathers wanted a way for people to officially bring issues to the government. The right allows individuals or special interest groups to lobby the government and to sue the government if they feel they have been wronged.
Harry asked the podcast hosts: ‘How is that normal? How is that acceptable?’
Shepard, who also shared his family’s troubles faced with the paparazzi, spoke of how he and his wife – actress Kirsten Bell – started a social media campaign to shield children from press photographers called the ‘No Kids Policy’.
‘When we took this on, I didn’t try for a second to say legally, this shouldn’t be allowed, because I know our First Amendment is such that it is going to protect the press as in some ways it should. It’s the Fourth Estate. That wasn’t my argument,’ Shepard told Harry, in reference to taking photos of celebrates.
He went on to argue that paparazzi should have a moral responsibility to not take photographs of celebrity’s children, as they did not choose a life of fame.
In response, Harry said: I don’t want to start sort of going down the first amendment route, because that’s a huge subject and one of which I don’t understand as I’ve only been in for a short period of time, but you can find a loophole in anything and you can capitalize or exploit what’s not said, rather than uphold what is said.
‘I believe we live in an age now where you’ve got certain elements of the media redefining to us what privacy means. There’s a massive conflict of interest.
‘And then you’ve got social media platforms, trying to redefine what free speech means […] And we’re living in this world where we’ve almost like all the laws have been completely flipped by the very people that need them flipped […] can make more money and they can capitalize off our pain [and] grief.
‘I’ve got so much I want to say about the First Amendment. I still don’t understand it, but it is bonkers,’ he added.