Moore, of course, has been the bane of right wingers and corporate America throughout his career.
Beginning with “Roger & Me” in 1989, he’s tackled such controversial subjects as gun violence in 2002’s “Bowling for Columbine;” the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks in “Fahrenheit 9/11 and the nation’s health care system in 2007’s “Sicko.”
His comments about snipers, published over Twitter initially, seemed to come right out of left field.
“My uncle killed by sniper in WW2. We were taught snipers were cowards. Will shoot u in the back,” he wrote. “Snipers aren’t heroes. And invaders r worse.” he added.
His comments coincided with the release this weekend of “American Sniper,” a film about Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, one of the most decorated soldiers to come out of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
Eastwood, who is staunchly conservative, directed the movie. Their bad blood goes back to 2005 when both were honored for films by the National Board Review.
Eastwood was honored for his film “Million Dollar Baby,” starring Hillary Swank. Moore was being celebrated for “Bowling for Columbine,” which outraged Second Amendment gun nuts, including Eastwood.
When Eastwood accepted his award, he had a few biting words for Moore.
Michael Moore and I actually have a lot in common – we both appreciate living in a country where there’s free expression. But, Michael, if you ever show up at my front door with a camera – I’ll kill you.”
The audience, including Moore, laughed uproariously.
Then, Eastwood deadpanned: “I mean it. . .”
The actor and director said it with such conviction, the laughter turned to nervous twitters and Moore was left red-faced.
The joke was especially pointed because Moore interviewed a feeble Charlton Heston, then president of the National Rifle Association, in what turned out to be an ambush interview.
Heston ended up throwing Moore out of his house.
Now, suddenly Moore pipes up just as Eastwood’s latest film was hitting theaters. But the uproar was so great, more back-peddled in a rambling post on his Facebook page.
“Hmm, I never tweeted 1word bout AmericanSniper/ChrisKyle. I said my uncle killed by sniper in WWII; only cowards would do that 2 him, others,” he wrote.
“I didn’t say a word about ‘American Sniper’ in my tweets…” he added. “If they wanted to know my opinion of ‘American Sniper’ (and I have one), why not ask me?”
Moore actually praised the film and Bradley Cooper’s acting. He portrays Kyle.
As for snipers, he’s comments are still wildly off-base. Snipers are as old as warfare and were instrumental holding off vastly superior in number British troops in the early days of the Revolutionary War. Back then, they were called “sharpshooters.”
In Iraq and other wars, snipers have saved the lives of hundreds of American troops by picking off enemy soldiers, taking out their commanders and breaking up attacks.
There’s nothing cowardly about that.
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