'American Sniper' Triggers New War: Conservatives vs. Liberals
The box-office smash "American Sniper" is a hands-down hit with audiences, but it's triggered a culture war in Hollywood — with conservatives battling complaints by some liberals that the movie glorifies war and late Navy SEAL sharpshooter Chris Kyle.
Before the movie had even opened, journalist Max Blumenthal of Alternet.org tweeted, "I haven't seen American Sniper, but correct me if I'm wrong: An occupier mows down faceless Iraqis but the real victim is his anguished soul."
The Tinseltown pile-on heated up after the film's opening over the weekend, with director Michael Moore tweeting "snipers aren't heroes," actor and comedian Seth Rogen comparing the movie to Nazi propaganda, and some unnamed members of the Hollywood film academy telling the Wrap they wondered if Kyle had been a "sociopath," and if the movie was dangerous.
According to Bloomberg News, the anonymous Oscar voters claimed they'd been passing around an article by a Penn State professor for the New Republic that attacked the movie for lionizing Kyle.
Meanwhile, conservatives lined up against the liberal backlash with a pushback of their own — a rally that has attracted the support of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin,
ex-House Speaker Newt Gingrich and the PAC Move America Forward.
Bloomberg News reports Move America Forward has put out an appeal for audience support of the movie, promising for every donation of $100 or more, "we will send you a gift certificate to go see 'American Sniper' in theaters."
"With one donation you can help out our troops who really need your support, as well as treat yourself to a great Pro-Troop Movie Night!" the appeal says, Bloomberg News reports.
The culture war is playing out on cable TV as well, with liberal filmmaker Robert Greenwald's assessment of the movie as a "neocon fantasy" drawing the ire of former Pennsylvania congressman Patrick Murphy — a vet — on MSNBC, Mediaite reports.
When Greenwald opined that the film's message is "there is no good Iraqi except for a dead Iraqi," Murphy called his assessment an exaggeration that doesn't take into account how the movie also shows Iraqis who worked with Americans.
Greenwald said he was sickened at how "people in the movie theater were cheering after every time an Iraqi got shot."
The culture war over the war pic has even colored praise from actress Jane Fonda, a frequent target of veterans' disdain for her visit to Hanoi during the Vietnam war. Her tweet praising the film was immediately pounced on by some vets.