Popularity of Patriot Awards reveals American’s desire for something ‘substantive’ and ‘real’: Pete Hegseth

Unlike celebrity awards shows like the Oscars or Golden Globes, Fox Nation’s Patriot Awards honors everyday Americans who have demonstrated extraordinary patriotism, and this special level of recognition has made it host Pete Hegseth’s “favorite assignment of the year.” 

Hegseth, who hosted the third Patriot Awards ceremony last week, told Fox News Digital he did not have a favorite among the seven categories of awards.

SEE THE EXTRAORDINARY AMERICANS WHO WON FOX NATION’S PATRIOT AWARDS

“They were all amazing,” he said, making special note of 9-year-old D’Corey Johnson, who sang the national anthem, and 13-year-old Charlotte Bevan, who was awarded the “Young Patriot” award. 

“I saw the tears in the eyes of almost everybody that walked up on stage,” Hegseth said. “It’s not because they weren’t prepared. It’s because they never expected to be honored the way they were. And that’s what made [the Patriot Awards] so special.” 

Hegseth said being a patriot means being “grateful for your country,” and “grateful for the things that God has gifted us,” adding it is “our job to train up the next generation to appreciate and defend it.” 

THE BEST MOMENTS OF FOX NATION’S PATRIOT AWARDS

Hegseth said the stark contrast between celebrity award shows and the Patriot Awards resonated with Americans, drawing thousands to Florida for the event. 

“I think a lot of us were deceived for a very long time by Hollywood award shows,” he said “There’s a reason their ratings have gone down, and there’s a reason I don’t watch them and folks I know who used to be enamored with them are uninterested.” 

Hegseth said celebrity award shows such as the Golden Globes have been hijacked by a “political agenda,” where everyone expresses the same view. 

Sean Hannity pays tribute to 13 fallen service members who died in a suicide bomb attack in Kabul airport

Sean Hannity pays tribute to 13 fallen service members who died in a suicide bomb attack in Kabul airport

“You start to step back and realize, well, these actors are just regular people like me who have left-wing political agendas, who play heroes on TV and think they actually are the real heroes,” he said. 

Unlike celebrity award shows, though, Hegseth said the Patriot Awards honors the actual heroes, the “folks that do the real heavy lifting.” He believes the event’s popularity will only increase in years to come. 

“People are thirsting for something positive, for something substantive, for something real,” he said. 

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“There’s plenty of narratives … how often are you actually focused on stories you know are true from people who are authentic, who didn’t act when they did it? They did a real thing, and then you get to honor them.” 

Fox Nation’s Patriot Awards will air on Fox News Channel Sunday, November 21 at 10:00 p.m. ET, and can be streamed on Fox Nation on demand. 

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