Mediaite has an account of a segment on Bill Maher’s Real Time where the film American Sniper was discussed. Maher complained of a lack of nuance in the film:
The controversy over American Sniper made its way into tonight’s Real Time, where Bill Maher took issue mainly with the real Chris Kyle being framed as some kind of “psychopath patriot” that everyone can easily get behind. Maher brought up Kyle’s quote about killing “savages” over in Iraq and getting a kick out of it, and Maher couldn’t help but ask why a decent Christian person would speak of anyone in that way.
Maher felt American Sniper painted a very easy black-and-white picture of good versus evil instead of presenting a more complex story. Bret Stephens shot back that Maher missed the point of the film, which was about what soldiers and veterans go through, and that the “savages” line was not about all Iraqis, but about the horrid, murderous ones.
Comedian Bill Burr also told Maher, “You can’t sum up a man by one quote taken out of context.”
Maher still thought the lack of subtlety and the very obvious “we’re good, they’re bad” message was troubling. He did admit, though, there is slightly more ambiguity in the movie than there was in Kyle’s book.
Note that Howard Dean actually believes that the only people seeing the film are Tea Party members. And I felt sorry for Bret Stephens, the Wall Street Journal columnist and author of the book America in Retreat. He kept trying to shed some light on the subtlety of the film, an effort that fell on deaf ears for the most part.
It’s clear that the film has touched something deep within the American psyche and that this scares the hell out of liberals. Tapping into a wellspring of patriotism and American exceptionalism threatens the left like no other cultural or political phenomena has in recent memory. It cancels most of their narrative that belittles America and taints anyone who demonstrates any outward manifestation of patriotism.
Because, of course — you have to be a psychopath to be a patriot.