- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Michael Moore explained Monday in a lengthy interview with Vice that his infamous “snipers aren’t heroes” tweet stemmed from his annoyance that “American Sniper” released on the same weekend honoring Martin Luther King Jr., “a great American who was killed by a sniper.”

On Jan. 18, two days after the release of the box-office smash biopic about America’s deadliest sniper, slain Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, Mr. Moore tweeted: “My uncle killed by sniper in WW2. We were taught snipers were cowards. Will shoot u in the back. Snipers aren’t heroes. And invaders r worse.”

The comments received wide backlash from everyone from Arizona Sen. John McCain to Kyle’s friend and actor, Dean Cain.

Mr. Moore explained Monday that he was “very uncomfortable” that the film released three days before MLK Day.

“I certainly wrote what I wrote because that weekend there was a lot of talk about snipers because of the movie, but also because it was Martin Luther King weekend and I just found it uncomfortable that something called ‘American Sniper,’ a film about a sniper, would be released on the weekend where we’re honoring a great American who was killed by a sniper,” he told Vice.

“The appliance store doesn’t take out a Holocaust Day ad for you know, ‘Today, ovens on sale,’” he continued. “I mean that would be the most extreme and bizarro example, but it just shows a bit of a tin ear. Or does it? Maybe the plan was, ‘Well, you know, “Selma” has just been released. Are white people going to go see that movie? Let’s give white people something to watch on Martin Luther King weekend.’ I don’t know, but it felt really uncomfortable. It got me thinking about snipers, and you had to have grown up in my family to understand the intense sort of raw nerve that the idea of a sniper created.”


SEE ALSO: Kevin Costner: Michael Moore should be ‘brave enough’ to take back sniper remark


Mr. Moore emphatically defended his original tweet, but blamed Twitter’s 140-character restraint for him not being as clear or concise as he may have intended.

“I feel really no need to clarify or defend what I wrote,” he told Vice. “I’m proud of what I wrote. I take nothing back, and in fact I’ve only added more to it. I am not bullied by these people who bullied a whole nation into a senseless, illegal war. So really, in terms of impact, this has none on me. I say what I say. Of course if I were wrong, or made an error, I would certainly correct it, but that’s not the case here.

“I think that the reason we’re having this conversation too — and I’ve shared this with nobody else, I’ve turned down all requests for TV shows — is that the problem with Twitter and why you do need to, we’ll use the word ‘clarify,’ is because 140 characters can’t really convey things that have enormous depth to them,” Mr. Moore added.

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