Michael Moore Calls Snipers 'Cowards' & Instantly Loses His Own Argument

Michael Moore snipers cowards

I saw American Sniper last weekend, and I thought it was a really solid movie. Bradley Cooper clearly put his all into this role (the weight gain is transformative, but his emotional performance outshines his muscles), the story is nuanced and highlights the folly of reducing a man altered by war to a bumper-sticker description. It’s easy to call Chris Kyle a hero — or demonize him as a villain, if that’s where your political feelings lie — but I thought the movie did a great job of showing how he was a human being who dealt with trauma that’s unimaginable to most of us. I don’t think Kyle was a saint, above any and all reproach, and neither is the movie … but while it feels fair to question the man, or criticize the film, or the real-life wars depicted in it, I’m not sure filmmaker Michael Moore is adding anything useful to the conversation by referring to all snipers as “cowards.”


Moore has never been one to back away from inflammatory statements — and of course we all have the right to our opinions, contentious or not. That said, I actually felt my jaw drop when I read what he posted on Twitter last night:



He’s since expanded his statements this morning, writing “I never tweeted 1word bout AmericanSniper/ChrisKyle,” and stating,


See, this is the problem with issuing your grand political statements on Twitter. Your text limitations mean you have to get complex opinions into a 140-character blurb. Seth Rogen also showed his distaste for America’s involvement in the Iraq war by comparing American Sniper to the Nazi propaganda film shown in Inglourious Basterds:


Not everyone is going to cheer on that particular tweet, but at least he didn’t stoop to insulting soldiers. However you feel about America’s politics or Chris Kyle as a person, referring to snipers as cowards is a ridiculously low blow.

I have found Michael Moore’s past films powerful in their own right and I think he has interesting points to contribute to our national conversations about politics, gun control, health care, and other hot-button issues — but not like this. Sometimes, Twitter just isn’t the right place for it, and I think he did a fantastic job of illustrating how whatever point he was trying to make will surely get lost in the backlash about his choice of words.

What’s your reaction to Moore’s “coward” comment?

Image via Flickr/David Shankbone

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