There was a time in this country when Rolling Stone magazine had credibility. People would anxiously await the publication’s music reviews or its take on current events, and the magazine was relevant. Today, that relevance has completely evaporated to the point where the magazine literally publishes made up rape stories in order to grab headlines. At this point, if you are still reading Rolling Stone after that, you aren’t really big on journalistic integrity to start with.
The now infamous rape story debacle was not an isolated incident. Rolling Stone has been publishing morally and intellectually bankrupt stories for almost a decade. The hit piece on Gen. McChrystal that essentially cost him his career was one of my personal favorite examples of vindictive journalism. We also can’t forget the article from last year blaming John Kasich and the Tea Party for ruining Ohio’s economy when in reality the state has one of the strongest business climates in the country and Kasich won re-election by 20 points.
Finding examples of Rolling Stone promoting disingenuous points of view has become too easy at this point, so I won’t waste any energy citing story after story. A simple Google search will do. That being said, Matt Taibbi’s awful critique of American Sniper was just too offensive to dismiss. Liberals are very good at telling people what they should and shouldn’t like. American Sniper set box office records and earned several Oscar nominations but it’s “too stupid” for Rolling Stone. The thousands of people who thought the movie was well done, allegedly don’t know what they are talking about. Rolling Stone is apparently operating on a higher intellectual frequency that the rest of the country. Matt is a good writer in the sense that he uses a lot of big words and has the ability to reach into outer space to connect two unrelated points but it’s pretty clear from reading his review that he didn’t watch the movie. And if he did, he made his mind up that he hated it before it started.
One of the most important aspects of American Sniper that most liberal critics fail to understand is that the movie is not a referendum on how people feel about the Iraq War. It’s a story about a guy who was there. You are allowed to disagree with the war and not like President Bush, but still respect the hell out of Chris Kyle and his fellow troops. Soldiers don’t sign up to only fight in wars they agree with, they sign up to go where they are told and they do a damn good job. It’s well documented that ultra liberals don’t care about the military. Salon’s article last year about why soldiers aren’t heroes and how they don’t actually protect our freedoms thoroughly proved that.
The author made it very clear he doesn’t support the military either and if he does, he only supports them when they are on a mission he agrees with. The article wrote, “Eastwood, who surely knows better, indulges in countless crass stupidities in the movie. There’s the obligatory somber scene of shirtless buffed-up SEAL Kyle and his heartthrob wife Sienna Miller gasping at the televised horror of the 9/11 attacks. Next thing you know, Kyle is in Iraq actually fighting al-Qaeda – as if there was some logical connection between 9/11 and Iraq.” If that’s not a genuine disdain for America I don’t know what is. Read that again. Taibbi refers to the somber scene of the 9/11 attacks as obligatory, crass stupidity. Keep in mind, this movie was based on a book. The scene where Chris Kyle was fixed to the TV watching the horrible events of 9/11 actually happened to him just like it did millions of Americans. Except for Matt Taibbi maybe, because he knows better.
Taibbi continued, “No one expected 20 minutes of backstory about the failed WMD search, Abu Ghraib, or the myriad of other American atrocities and quick-trigger bombings that helped fuel the rise of ISIL and other groups.” Why would anyone expect that? Why in the world would Abu Ghraib be included in a story about Chris Kyle? That passive aggressive reference illustrates how society can’t even have a conversation about Iraq without the nonsensical liberal talking points about how WMDs weren’t found in Iraq. (Even though they were). Also, if Taibbi wants to talk about ISIL, can we talk about the fact that Al-Qaeda in Iraq was defeated and on the run after the 2007 troop surge, and when Obama took the wheel in 2009 and eased off the gas, the country fell apart and resulted in the advance of ISIS?
I get it, liberals can’t separate their feelings about George W. Bush from this movie. The hatred of anything and everything Iraq War related has taken control of their minds to the point where they can’t appreciate a very fair depiction of Chris Kyle’s life. The author not only fails to understand the message of this movie, but he thinks that disagreeing with the reasons for a war, means this movie has to be stupid. He even writes about how he is literally UNABLE to separate Bush and Rumsfeld from this movie.
He admits that he just can’t do it. “The really dangerous part of this film is that it turns into a referendum on the character of a single soldier. It’s an unwinnable argument in either direction. We end up talking about Chris Kyle and his dilemmas, and not about the Rumsfelds and Cheneys and other officials up the chain who put Kyle and his high-powered rifle on rooftops in Iraq and asked him to shoot women and children.” Try and stay with me here. For the millionth time, the movie is about the life of Chris Kyle. It’s not about Rumsfeld, WMDs, George Bush or Saddam Hussein; it’s not about any of that. It’s about Chris Kyle and his military career. It’s astounding that accomplished writers like Taibbi won’t let themselves understand that.
When did liberal columnists suddenly begin caring about history anyway? I don’t remember the scathing left wing attacks against other movies that actually contained falsehoods. Farenheit 9/11, Lincoln, Platoon, Green Zone, JFK. There’s a long list of liberal movies that haven’t gotten it 100% right but yet were given passes by the media. Not slammed for being too “stupid” to even talk about.
Not only does Taibbi not really understand how to objectively watch a movie, he has absolutely no grasp on foreign policy. After rambling on about how Forrest Gump was a bad movie and about how he was shocked people cheered in the theater he (allegedly) saw the movie at, he wrote, “The problem of course is that there’s no such thing as “winning” the War on Terror militarily. In fact the occupation led to mass destruction, hundreds of thousands of deaths, a choleric lack of real sanitation, epidemic unemployment and political radicalization that continues to this day to spread beyond Iraq’s borders.”
Again, the author fails to understand the movie is not about the merits of invading Iraq but rather the incredible life story of the most decorated military sniper in American history. He also reveals his interesting theory that this war on terror can’t be won militarily. Really? I wonder how exactly it is going to be won then. Withdrawing from the world stage? Being nicer to people who have been trying to kill us since the middle ages? I won’t speculate as to what the author’s ISIS game plan is but I bet it’s not exactly air tight. In the liberal mind, even producing a movie based on countering terrorism is illogical.
If you still aren’t convinced and want absolute proof that the author has no idea what he is talking about. Read this excerpt, “(The most disturbing passage in the book to me was the one where Kyle talked about being competitive with other snipers, and how when one in particular began to threaten his “legendary” number, Kyle “all of the sudden” seemed to have “every stinkin’ bad guy in the city running across my scope.” As in, wink wink, my luck suddenly changed when the sniper-race got close, get it? It’s super-ugly stuff).”
The most “disturbing” part of the movie was that Chris Kyle and his fellow soldiers competed to kill more bad guys. Taibbi has such little faith in the troops that he doesn’t even believe it was a friendly competition. He takes Kyle’s sarcastic joke about every bad guy running across his scope as an admission of guilt that Kyle was actually indiscriminately killing men women and children. That just doesn’t jive with reality. What Taibbi is missing is that Chris Kyle was killing BAD GUYS. People whose primary goal was to kill US soldiers. When you are a soldier, it’s your job to protect other soldiers. It’s not your job to get involved with the politics of war and question the decision of your leaders. Just like the fighter pilots who followed Obama’s orders to destroy Libya for no real reason. When is the Michael Moore documentary about the civilians killed in America’s unconstitutional and unprovoked aggression in Libya going to hit theaters? Never? Ok, got it. Soldiers are there to fight and kill the enemy. Period.
Taibbi also fell victim to the lazy journalism that has plagued fellow writers at other liberal publications. He completely and purposely mis-characterized comments made by Chris Kyle in his book and reports that Kyle openly talked about killing savages with no remorse, in an attempt to imply that Kyle was a bloodthirsty and cold-blooded killer. Kyle’s original comments are readily available and when you read them in context, it’s apparent he was not a thoughtless and racist murderer, but rather was doing his job to the best of his ability. The left wing media doesn’t really care about that for some reason. That quote attributed to Kyle has been misrepresented on hundreds of websites in order to make this movie somehow racist. To them, Kyle’s use of the word savages can only be a reference to the enemies race. To level headed observers, the term savages is a clearly a reference to the savage nature of the enemy which ISIS showcased this week when they murdered 13 children simply because they watched a soccer game. That savagery has nothing to do with racism but that’s liberalism 101. Inject racism into everything you disagree with.
Also, the movie does a very good job of being fair. Political expert Seth Rogen, who also must not have seen the film, referred to it as “Nazi-Propaganda”. Literally equating the Iraq War to Nazi Germany. People who have seen the movie will remember the character that fought alongside Kyle, who begins to vocally doubt the legitimacy of the war and writes a letter home expressing these thoughts, which his mother reads at his funeral after he is killed in action. Bradley Cooper’s character struggles with his actions throughout the entire movie including the film’s most recognizable scene where he has an Iraqi child in his cross hairs. The idea that this movie was propaganda is propaganda itself.
The title of this article says a lot. “American Sniper almost too dumb to criticize. Almost”. This is what liberals do. If they don’t understand something, they call it dumb. For years, Democrats have marginalized Republicans by insulting the South. Taibbi does it a couple times in the article. He made a comment about his dismay at the thought that if people were cheering for this film in a liberal part of New Jersey, then he can only imagine what film-goers would be doing in the South. It has become comical to call people in the South unintelligent. When you get past all the word play and unintelligible hate speech, that’s basically all this article is. People in the South who like guns and support the military are stupid. They are dumb because they talk funny, don’t have a Jones Town type reverence for gay marriage and abortion, and they read the Bible. It sounds simplistic but that’s really what it boils down to. There is a genuine animosity for the Southern lifestyle among liberal elites and this article sums it up beautifully.
I fully understand that liberal sites like Rolling Stone, Salon, and Daily Kos make money from posting salacious material full of vitriolic accusations. Articles like this take it to a level that should be universally shunned by main stream America. Occupy Wall Street is over. No sane person wants to deal with all the revisionist history, “no blood for oil”, and Halliburton should be charged with war crimes nonsense. It’s officially played out. Especially not while the current president is currently taking the word “lie” to new heights on a daily basis.
This is what the American left has deteriorated to. Equating a movie about an American hero to Nazi Germany is the new norm. Any attempt to label articles like Rolling Stone’s and comments like Rogen’s as anything other than a repudiation of America’s position in the world is wrong. Rather than apologize for America’s shortcomings at every turn, why not take a second to appreciate the incredible bravery and sacrifice Chris Kyle exemplified. It won’t turn you into a Republican. It won’t cancel your New York Times subscription. It won’t mean you hate Muslims. It won’t even take away your right to think American Sniper was a bad movie. It will simply make you look like a rational and grateful human being. Scary, I know.