'American Sniper': Patriotism under attack

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," January 23, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And tonight, for the hour, we will be examining the hottest movie in the country and how some Hollywood liberals are trying to take down a hero. A "Hannity" special, "American Sniper: Patriotism Under Fire," is next.



BRADLEY COOPER AS "CHRIS KYLE": I got a military-age male that's on a cell phone watching the convoy, over.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you think he's reporting troop movement, you have a green light. Your call, over.


HANNITY (voice-over): It is the blockbuster movie that everybody's talking about!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: "American Sniper" was amazing. Phenomenal.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't usually watch movies like that, but I loved it. It was really good. And the ending was perfect!

HANNITY: The Oscar-nominated film has pulled in over $105 million in just its first week.

KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE, CO-HOST, "THE FIVE": "American Sniper" shattering box office records...

HANNITY: But some Hollywood liberals are hell-bent on disrespecting the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can't believe Michael did that.

WHOOPIE GOLDBERG, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW"/ABC: We stood behind you, Seth, when you did your movie. Give them the same respect!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Michael Moore, he needs to get a life.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All these guys, they know your name. They feel invincible with you up there. They're not.

HANNITY: Tonight, you'll hear from Chris Kyle's father, widow, and their emotional interviews you'll only see here on "Hannity."


WAYNE KYLE, CHRIS' DAD: He volunteered. He wanted to do this. And I knew he was doing something that he loved to do.

TAYA KYLE, CHRIS' WIFE: Chris was really good about, little bit by little bit, telling you more and more about his service and what he did.


COOPER: I'm ready.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm ready to come home.


HANNITY: A "Hannity" special, "American Sniper: Patriotism Under Attack." It starts right here, right now.


HANNITY: Now, the numbers prove it. Audiences in America -- they love "American Sniper." But reaction from members of the media -- well, that's mixed.


ED SHULTZ, HOST, "THE ED SHOW"/MSNBC: I was disturbed by the movie. I sat there in the movie theater with my wife over the weekend and thought this just underscores how many lives we have ruined because of doing something that was terribly wrong.

GOLDBERG: We stood behind you, Seth, when you did your movie, and we said you had the right to make the movie you wanted to make.


GOLDBERG: Give them the same respect. 

If you've never been to war, it's a lot (ph) that you can call people a name, you can call all kinds of names. But until the bombs are exploding around you and the people are dying around you, you need to be a little more sensitive, dudes.  I get that you're creative types, but so are they. So back up!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE, "THE ED SHOW"/MSNBC: What I saw on that screen was a film that tore my guts apart because of the way it depicted the Iraqi people.

NICK IRVING, SNIPER, "FOX & FRIENDS": A lot of good guys and a lot of my friends died to -- you know, for his right to -- I guess freedom of speech.

CADE COURTLEY, FORMER NAVY SEAL, CNN: For somebody who has spent their entire career on freedom of speech and freedom of expression to be criticizing an individual like Chris Kyle, who exemplifies these very best -- well, it's like -- that's really biting the hand that feeds you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE, "THE ED SHOW"/MSNBC: It was a movie about an American SEAL who risked his life overseas four times.


HANNITY: Here now with reaction, two of Chris Kyle's friends, retired U.S. Army Ranger Sean Parnell and retired U.S. Navy SEAL Jason Redman.  Guys, good to see you.

Jason, from what I've heard, you have come under fire for defending Chris, defending the movie and defending how -- you know, the that job snipers do. What happened?

JASON REDMAN, FORMER NAVY SEAL: Well, Sean, absolutely. I mean, any time you take a stance on anything controversial, you're always going to have people that come after you, which is fine with me. You know, I actually find it pretty humorous with some of the statements that people make, everything from -- I was getting texts, What would Jesus do, you know, Thou shalt not kill, to my personal favorite, the atheist that wrote on there, To all Muslims, it's the Christians you want, not us, I'm an atheist.

You know, things like that are just -- they're almost entertaining because the reality is I fought for freedom, Chris fought for freedom, Sean fought for freedom. Every American veteran out there fought for the freedom for people to say whatever they want to say.

But here's the deal, it's not freedom from opinion and it's not freedom from people who are going to stand up and disagree with what you said. Both Michael Moore and Seth Rogen made inflammatory comments that disrespected the service of a great American, a great sniper, a great father, everything that Chris ever did. And in turn, it directly reflected upon the American military. And that's why I'm so adamant about stepping up and saying, Hey, you can say what you want, but I'm going to be there to counteract it.

HANNITY: No, I think it's important because you also knew Chris. And Sean, you knew Chris. The first thing that comes to my mind is they're ignorant. They're unappreciative. You know, you guys give them the right to say whatever they want. Freedom's defended by guys like Chris and guys like you guys. I think I'd be angrier if I did four tours like Chris did, Sean.

SEAN PARNELL, FORMER U.S. ARMY RANGER: Yes, no, it's -- look, there's a bright side to this coin, and that's the fact that, you know, "American Sniper" in the first four days raised -- you know, $105 million at the box office. So you know, Seth Rogen, Michael Moore, Rolling Stone, America doesn't give a damn about what you think.

And most of the time, you know, these people miss their mark with their criticisms of the movie. You know, "American Sniper" is not a political commentary on the Iraq war. "American Sniper" is not an exploratory view of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. It is not an explanation or an in-depth study of atrocities that Americans committed.  It is an introspective look at the effects of war on an American hero and on a warrior and on their family.

"American Sniper" is not a pro-war film, it's a pro-warrior film. And every time the, you know, journalists or some of these coddled Hollywood types come out and criticize the film or criticize Chris or the warrior's journey home, it just makes it more difficult for guys that have served in combat to actually come home and live a normal life because it makes it more difficult for them to talk about their experience without being criticized for it.

And you know, look, here's the bottom line. .4 percent of this nation has served this country during 13 years of war. The gap between warrior and citizen in this country has never been greater. And so every time that these Hollywood liberals or journalists make comments that criticize our warriors on the battlefield, it drives that -- it makes that gap even further apart and it becomes very hard to reconcile here when you come home.

HANNITY: Yes, I think I'd be pretty angry as a warrior that put my life on the line for as long as he did or as long as you guys did, only to get this treatment when you get back.

Now, you were both friends with Chris. I ask you, Jason, did he ever talk about these experiences? I mean, is this what he described to you, that he -- you know, the decisions that he had to make?

REDMAN: You know, I think all warriors sit around and talk about things that happened on the battlefield. I mean, I don't think I ever sat around with the guys and said, Wow, I -- you know, I wish we had done this or I wish we had done that. You know, many times, you'll second guess how an operation unfolds.

But you know, we follow the law of armed conflict. We follow the rules of the Geneva convention. You know, the American military follows the most strict guidelines related to war to probably almost any nation out there. So when we go in and we do something, we do it the utmost of our ability.


REDMAN: Chris did that so that we could make sure we were making our right decisions on the battlefield and come home and say, Hey, I did what was right to take care of my men and preserve the freedom of the American people.

HANNITY: Yes, and then Michael Moore, we were taught that snipers were cowards. Oh, but I wasn't -- I didn't specifically mention "American Sniper," but yet he does it on the day that it's released, so it's -- you know, in that sense, he's a coward because he really -- he thinks he's being cute by saying, Oh, I didn't really mean it about that, as he tries to back off the controversy because he's getting slammed, Sean.

PARNELL: Well, yes. I mean, the key part of Michael Moore's tweet was that he said -- and it -- you know, he mentioned invaders, and that's a direct slight at the 9/11 generation who raised their right hand to serve something greater than theirselves during a time of war. And these people are the best of us.

And so whenever they're criticized -- and as Jay said, you know, we defended their right to say whatever it is that they want, but you know, we're sick and tired of, you know, some of these Hollywood elites and people that have big, powerful platforms not being accountable for their words, and we're also sick and tired of them sort of shaping the way that our society and our culture views veterans.

So that's why it's important for Jay and other military veterans to speak out, so that we have our voice heard so that that doesn't happen.  You know, I'm always reminded of a Hemingway quote (INAUDIBLE) Critics are somebody that watches the battle unfold from the high ground and then come down and shoot the survivors. And that sounds a lot like what's happening right now.

HANNITY: All right, guys, you did fantastic. Appreciate it. And interesting that Michael Moore doesn't come on TV and go head to head with one of you guys and defend those comments. I'd like to see that debate.

PARNELL: I'd be happy to do it.

HANNITY: And he's welcome here any time if he wants to debate either one or both of you. So...

REDMAN: You know, Sean, anybody that knew Chris knew that he was somebody that when he was out and about, he loved to practice his choke-out (ph) skills. So all the people that know Chris are going to laugh at this.


REDMAN: So but I guarantee you, if Chris was still walking around today and he was with Michael Moore, he would be glad to put Michael Moore to sleep.


HANNITY: Probably take him about nine seconds. Wouldn't take that long, if he could get his arm around his neck!


HANNITY: All right, guys, appreciate it. Thanks for being with us.

Content and Programming Copyright 2015 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2015 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.