Talk show host Bill Maher called the late Navy SEAL Chris Kyle a “psychopath patriot” that Americans can easily support. The comedian pointed to the success of “American Sniper” as proof of his assertion.
Referencing quotes from Kyle’s book, which served as the inspiration for the Clint Eastwood film “American Sniper,” Mr. Maher took issue with the lack of remorse the veteran had for shooting Iraqi threats during the war. He added that a good Christian wouldn’t call his battlefield targets “savages.”
“If you’re a Christian, I know this is a Christian country, ‘I hate the [expletive] savages, I don’t give a [expletive] what happens to them,’ that doesn’t sound like a Christian thing to say,” Mr. Maher said, Mediaite reported Saturday.
Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean agreed with Mr. Maher and added that the film’s biggest fans were ultra conservative Tea Party members.
“I bet if you look at a cross section of the tea party and people who go see this movie I bet there’s a lot of intersection,” Mr. Dean said, Mediaite reported.
Bret Stephens, author of “America in Retreat,” argued that Mr. Maher had missed the point of the film, and said that Kyle was not so black and white.
“I can’t believe you came away with that impression of the film,” Mr. Stephens said to Mr. Maher. “What I saw was a movie that treats what veterans and soldiers go through in way that was subtle. It was not just about war it was about PTSD. It’s about what the wives of soldiers go through. And by the way the savages he’s talking about aren’t ordinary Iraqis, the savages are al Qaeda killers who put drills into children to enforce orders.”
Comedian Bill Burr backed up Mr. Stephens, telling Mr. Maher “You can’t sum up a man by one quote taken out of context.”