Chris Kyle was a “psychopath patriot,” according to Bill Maher in the latest episode of his HBO night-time talk show, Real Time.
With Michael Moore and Seth Rogen sounding off on Clint Eastwood’s box office smash, and the conservative backlash that followed, it was only a matter of time before the controversial Maher let his thoughts be known on the Navy SEAL’s most decorated sniper.
To make his point that the real Chris Kyle was a guy not worth emulating, Maher shared some quotes from Kyle’s book on which the film is based.
“I hate the d*** savages,” said Maher reading from a list of Kyle’s actual quotes, “and I’ve been fighting and I always will. I love killing bad guys. Even with the pain, I loved what I was doing. Maybe war isn’t really fun, but I certainly was enjoying it.”
Maher also seemed to condemn Americans for embracing this film to the point of doing $105 million on a January weekend — “previously unheard of,” he said — while the “more ambiguous” film The Hurt Locker only did $17 million. Why such a difference between what many have called two great films about the Iraqi War?
“He’s a psychopath patriot, and we love him,” Maher said, paraphrasing conservative Americans.
Not everyone present agreed with Maher’s assessment. Comedian Bill Burr, in particular, took issue with Maher’s quoting of the “savages” comment.
“You can’t sum up a man by one quote taken out of context,” he said, while Foreign Affairs Correspondent Bret Stephens with the Wall Street Journal clarified what Chris Kyle meant when he referred to the Iraqis by the derogatory term.
“What I saw was a movie that treats what veterans and soldiers go through in a way that was subtle. It was not just about war. It’s about PTSD. It was 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 order.”
Ultimately, Maher admitted that he was not condemning the film. He even seemed to like the movie about Chris Kyle more than the real person, noting that the film had “more ambiguity than the real Chris Kyle.”
What about you, readers? Have you seen American Sniper yet? What were your impressions of Chris Kyle as portrayed by Bradley Cooper in the film? Sound off in the comments section.