“American Sniper” is a box office hit. In four days of wide-release, it has pulled in $105 million. Audiences across the country have been moved by the Bradley Cooper’s portrayal of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. Director Clint Eastwood did a marvelous job showing the kind of selfless service displayed by American war fighters while also not shying away from the psychological toll that combat takes on them and their loved ones. It’s a stellar film about an American hero, which is why Michael Moore and Seth Rogen responded just as the world expects Hollywood liberals to act: like pathetic men who deep down resent the fact that for all their fame and fortune they are still glorified clowns.

Chris Kyle was a real hero, and instead of just dealing with their envy and jealousy in the privacy of their own home, Michael Moore and Seth Rogen lashed out on Twitter so the world could see how truly petty they are.

Michael Moore American SniperUsing Michael Moore’s logic, anyone who uses cover and concealment during the course of battle is a “coward.” Perhaps we should do away with camouflage and just wear bright red jackets with white pants in the middle of open fields, but I digress.
Michael Moore Twitter American SniperOnce negative feedback came rolling in, Michael Moore decided to just make it abundantly clear that whenever he talks about cowards, he is really just projecting his own inner demons.

Michael Moore Chris Kyle

Translation: “What are you so upset about? I wasn’t disparaging Chris Kyle with my sniper comments, even though I made them on the very day millions of Americans were talking about him. Where would you get that idea?”

And then there is Seth Rogen, whose main achievement in life is that he made a dumb movie about North Korea (we all know why he didn’t target Iranian mullahs), which forced millions of Americans to confirm: yes, we will defend Hollywood actors’ right to the freedom of expression, even if they are classless imbeciles.

Seth Rogen American SniperSeth Rogen’s tweet proves that he did not see “American Sniper,” or that he is a hate-filled buffoon (perhaps both?). The movie wasn’t a celebration of war or a piece of propaganda similar to faux-Nazi films created by Quentin Tarantino; if anything it was a clarion call to policy makers to think long and hard before sending men like Chris Kyle into war zones. Only a miserable person as defined by John Stuart Mill could watch Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper” and think “coward.”

“The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.” — John Stuart Mill.

C.S. Lewis, who fought and almost died during World War I, puts it another way in his famous essay, “Why I am not a pacifist”:

“For let us make no mistake. All that we fear from all the kinds of adversity, severally, is collected together in the life of a soldier on active service. Like sickness, it threatens pain and death. Like poverty, it threatens ill lodging, cold, heat, thirst, and hunger. Like slavery, it threatens toil, humiliation, injustice, and arbitrary rule. Like exile, it separates you from all you love. Like the gallies, it imprisons you at close quarters with uncongenial companions. It threatens every temporal evil — every evil except dishonor and final perdition, and those who bear it like it no better than you would like it. On the other side, though it may not be your fault, it is certainly a fact that Pacifism threatens you with almost nothing. Some public opprobrium, yes, from people whose opinion you discount and whose society you do not frequent, soon recompensed by the warm mutual approval which exists, inevitably, in any minority group. For the rest it offers you a continuance of the life you know and love, among the people and in the surroundings you know and love.” — C.S. Lewis

Michael Moore and Seth Rogen are very much like the “miserable creatures” referenced in Mill’s “On Liberty.” On many levels they are not worth writing about; they run in social circles with like-minded fools who would never point out that maybe — just maybe — the dough-like man-boys disparaging Navy SEALs might have a few insecurities hiding in those rolls of skin. However, because of their Hollywood connections, men like Michael Moore and Seth Rogen do affect American culture. The bully pulpit they have access to almost demands that those who can push back against their attempts at character assassination, should.

Congratulations, Michael Moore and Seth Rogen: you’re the type of guys who take shots at deceased Navy SEALs and the creative works that respectfully honor their sacrifice. Try doing that outside Hollywood circles and see how much it endears you to the crowd.

Update: Seth Rogen is now backtracking with the incredibly lame “Apples remind me of oranges,” excuse. Next he’ll say that every once-in-awhile he sits down, bites into a banana, and thinks, “Zucchini.”

Seth Rogen American Sniper Twitter
Related: ‘American Sniper’: Clint Eastwood does Chris Kyle’s memory proud

Related: At long last, Michael Moore openly admits he hates the troops

Related: American Sniper: Chris Kyle, Guardian Angel who doesn’t know it

Related: In remembrance: Navy SEAL Chris Kyle

Related: Eastwood’s ‘American Sniper’ trailer is out, and it looks like a movie Chris Kyle fans will appreciate

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About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

22 comments

  1. I thought exactly the same thing as Seth Rogen when I saw American Sniper. It IS a lot like the propaganda film-within-the film (about a heroic Nazi sniper) in Inglorious Basterds! And audiences are reacting the same way the audience of Nazi elite did in Tarantino’s movie, applauding with the excitement of patriotic feeling.

    That’s no comment on Chris Kyle one way or the other, to notice that movies often imitate other movies. Try watching Triumph of the Will with an open mind sometime. It makes you want to worship Hitler. Movies can be powerful persuasion tools.

    I don’t agree with Michael Moore’s comment, but I also don’t think it’s a slam on Kyle as much as a re-frame of whether ANY of the activities of war are heroic. He’s speaking from the mindset of WW2 vets (his uncle), so he’s entitled to express that. It is more true that it used to be regarded as cowardly for soldiers to lie in wait and ambush, or shoot from hidden positions. It’s basically standard procedure now.

    Men (mostly) in combat are required to suspend their compassion in support of missions that are often unclear. Sure, Chris Kyle was protecting his fellows, but why did he have to be there to protect them at all?

    It could have been a more balanced, more important movie so easily. We get to see all the reasons Chris Kyle became troubled by the stresses of combat. But we see very little of his rehab process, and just have to take it on faith that “he changed”. Without this balance, the complaints of his wife come across as whiny nagging.

    1. I thought exactly the same thing as Seth Rogen when I saw American Sniper. It IS a lot like the propaganda film-within-the film (about a heroic Nazi sniper) in Inglorious Basterds! […] That’s no comment on Chris Kyle one way or the other, to notice that movies often imitate other movies.

      I saw Inglorious Basterds. In fact, I enjoyed it quite a bit. You can sanitize what Seth Rogen said all you like (e.g., “Oh, he was just pointing out that movies are like other movies” — yeah, real shocker), but most people can see that his tweet was just a classless jab at a film that hardly resembles “propaganda.”

      He’s speaking from the mindset of WW2 vets (his uncle), so he’s entitled to express that.

      No, Michael Moore is not speaking from the mindset of his uncle — because Moore’s uncle probably had his life saved on numerous occasions by American snipers. Michael Moore is speaking from the mindset of a liberal who has made it crystal clear how he feels about American troops. That he hides behind his uncle’s sacrifice when he says mean and nasty things about U.S. troops further demonstrates that his “coward” digs are mere projection on his part.

  2. This kind of reminds me of when Passion of the Christ came out, there were those that disparaged it, yet many American film goers made it a success.

    I’ll assume his uncle was shot on foreign soil….? By his own logic, would not that sniper be a good neighbor? I say that tongue in cheek as it is awful many uncles, dads, brothers died in that war; but his logic is a mess. And keeping with old Gibson movie themes, I don’t think the Taliban was playing by Bravehart rules where both armies meet on a field and charged each other; if I were a soldier on patrol I’d be ecstatic if Chris Kyle were covering me. Happily for Moore, the president he backed for office is drone happy; snipers from the sky! Maybe he should worry more about that than hating on a popular movie and insinuating Kyle is a coward.

    1. The funny thing is, Moore is so ignorant that he doesn’t even realize that there were occasions where Chris Kyle went door-to-door with Marines and cleared buildings — even though he didn’t have to. The guy was no “coward.”

      Regardless, like you said, Moore’s logic is completely screwy. Are pilots “cowards”? Are sailors operating on aircraft carriers “cowards”? Are guys in tanks “cowards”? Where does it end if you want to play that game?

      My guess is that prior to Moore’s uncle being shot that he relied on the cover provided to him by American snipers on multiple occasions, and he did not call them “cowards.” When the enemy has a gun pointed at your head and you don’t know it, then you thank the American ally who takes that enemy out in without a moment to spare.

  3. Moore does not know what a coward is, what has he ever done that was brave. I hate the liberal spin to try to downplay people that risked and lost their lives to protect our freedom. I commented about this in your other post about the movie (I read that one first). This behavior of hating the people that protect us is just sick.

    1. I tip my hat to those who sign on the dotted line to allow the U.S. government to send them anywhere in the world — for any reason Uncle Sam wishes. I’m not sure what Michael Moore has done that gives him the credibility to call Chris Kyle a “coward,” but I’d like to hear about it.

    1. One of the reasons why I write blog posts like this is because I can see in my WordPress stats that a lot of people do care what Hollywood celebrities think. You’re right — it is sad that so much intellectual stock is put in men who get paid to make fart jokes for a living. Hopefully, by pushing back and saying, “Hey, this is why this guy is completely off base,” it will break down some of that unwarranted credibility that celebrities have on issues unrelated to their craft.

    1. My only experience with snipers came during field training exercises in Germany. I once walked directly over one without knowing it — and then he shot me in the back a second later.* It was an incredibly humbling experience…

      Even though we were only going through training scenarios, it really affected me to think as I was pinned down behind some tree, “Crap. If these were real bullets, then I’d be dead.” It makes you take all your training much more seriously.

      *We were obviously wearing MILES gear

    2. Here’s a good piece by the guys over at SOFREP.

      Mr. Moore illustrates a complete lack of understanding of how a sniper operates if he thinks they lack bravery. Snipers – American snipers, anyway – usually operate in two-man teams, along with a spotter, in precariously solitary surroundings, usually in hostile territory. They have nothing but their rifles and spotters to protect them, typically, and are removed to some degree from friendly forces.

      I would venture to guess that Mr. Moore would equate his “courage” in firing off a contrarian Tweet with a sniper’s role in combat, because men like him actually somehow believe they are brave. To think that someone who operates as a sniper lacks courage is simply uneducated, at best, and willfully ignorant, at worst. You can be a pacifist and think war is wrong, but that does not make you an expert on war, nor on those who fight it. It especially does not make you an expert on the constitution of those who step up to serve. I would guess Mr. Moore has very little understanding of that realm of the human condition.

    1. I’m not too concerned about some random blogger who obviously never read “American Sniper,” because on so many levels he just sounds like an ignorant fool.

      “American Sniper” is 400 pages long. The “story” about “Scruff Face” (Jesse Ventura’s name is never mentioned in the book) is … 1 page. And it’s vague. It says a bunch of SEALs were in a bar after a wake and a stupid 9/11 conspiracy theorist was making everyone upset with his comments. Chris said he pulled the jerk aside and told him to stop. “Scruff Face” then allegedly said the SEALs deserved to lose a few because of U.S. foreign policy, and that’s when “Scruff Face” got decked.

      In any drunken fight, there are always going to be two different versions of events. In this case, it’s probably two drunk veterans who were off to the side of the main party and no one will ever know exactly what happened. I do know that Jesse Ventura is a 9/11 conspiracy theorist and he does say pretty despicable things about the U.S. publicly. Why would he change while drinking in a bar with SEALs?

      Ventura decided it was a good idea to try and clear his reputation … by suing the widow of a Navy SEAL after her husband was murdered while helping a fellow veteran with PTSD. Good job, Jesse! You’re a real stand-up guy. That sort of says it all right there, doesn’t it?

    2. Why even respond to something like that? Even if any of that were true (Do you think everyone in your workplace likes you? I’m guessing that in your workplace failures don’t result in someone’s death, the amputation of limbs, etc.), how does that take anything away from the fact that Chris Kyle is the deadliest sniper in American history? How would that take away from the fact that he saved countless American lives? How would that take anything away from the fact that he went out of his way to help veterans who struggle with PTSD? It wouldn’t.

    3. Just a follow up to your question: Rorke Denver, Chris Kyle’s teammate on SEAL Team 3, wrote a piece defending him in The Wall Street Journal.

      The bulk of Chris Kyle’s remarkable exploits took place in the Al Anbar province of Iraq in the summer of 2006. He and I were teammates at SEAL Team Three. Chris had always been a large figure in the SEAL teams. He became a legend before our eyes in Ramadi.

      My fellow special-operations brothers might be shocked, but I think the comments by Messrs. Rogen and Moore have had the ironic effect of honoring Chris Kyle’s memory. They inadvertently paid Chris a tribute that joins the Texas funeral procession and “American Sniper” book sales and box office in testifying to the power of his story.

      For more info on Mr. Denver, you can see my review of his book, “Damn Few.”

    4. Being from Minnesota, I can assure you that Ventura is a moron, pure and simple. Not to mention a complete embarrassment to this state, with his 9/11 conspiracy gibberish. I think his conspiracy mindset stems from him having been hit on the head one too many times during his wrestling career. I thought it was beyond pathetic that he won his lawsuit against Chris Kyle’s widow.

      Emmanuel, you shouldn’t believe everything you read on the internet. Like Doug said, that random blogger knows jack s*** about Chris Kyle and obviously bought into the left’s narrative about him.

    5. It’s quite bizarre to me to see people who waited until after Chris Kyle was killed to start attacking him with this level of vitriol. Slow clap for those who take pot shots a man who can’t defend himself — because he’s dead. That’s pretty low.

    6. “It’s quite bizarre to me to see people who waited until after Chris Kyle was killed to start attacking him with this level of vitriol. Slow clap for those who take pot shots a man who can’t defend himself — because he’s dead. That’s pretty low.”

      It is pretty low, and Ventura and Michael Moore should be ashamed of themselves. I’ve always despised Michael Moore, and already disliked Ventura because of his despicable anti-American conspiracy theories, but his decision to sue Chris Kyle’s widow really cemented my dislike of him.

  4. Doug, do you have any proof to back any of this up?

    Yeah I know Ventura is a huge douche, but was he right in this instance and was Chris Kyle making it all up.

    Also, what is your take on people who don’t like the movie because of their view of the Iraq War and Afghanistan being unjust wars and on this:

    “Eastwood plays for cheap applause and goes super-dumb even by Hollywood standards when one of Kyle’s officers suggests that they could “win the war” by taking out the evil sniper who is upsetting America’s peaceful occupation of Sadr City.”

    1. Doug, do you have any proof to back any of this up? Yeah I know Ventura is a huge douche, but was he right in this instance and was Chris Kyle making it all up.

      What do you mean, “proof”? I read the book. I told you what’s in there. Jesse Ventura isn’t named — once. Fact. Find his name in the book. You can’t, and neither can Jesse Ventura. I don’t have the time nor the energy to go trolling through the court records to see how it all went down, but from what I did read it seemed like a B.S. decision on the judge’s part. It would have been nice if Chris Kyle was alive for the trial, but he died. He couldn’t defend himself in court. So all we’re left with is that Jesse Ventura essentially sued a Navy SEAL’s widow over “Scruff Face.” Seriously, I don’t want to talk about him any more. Take it someplace else, because he disgusts me and I don’t want this thread turned into a conversation about a 9/11 conspiracy theorist.

      In regards to people who don’t like the movie because they were opposed to the wars, oh well. That’s their problem. I haven’t run across one review by a liberal hack who seems to have actually read more than five pages of the book (and that’s being generous) so it’s no surprise that they would try to latch onto anything they can in the movie to try and pick it apart. They’re the losers who opposed the surge, and they’re also the losers who supported President Obama’s decision to completely yank the rug out from under a fragile Iraqi government by leaving zero troops behind in Dec. 2011. I don’t think too highly of their opinions on U.S. foreign policy.

      Michael Moore called the groups of Sunni radicals that would morph in the Islamic State group “freedom fighters.” They have now basically run all Christians out of Iraq and they’ve created mountains of chopped off heads across the entire region.’Nuff said.

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