American Sniper, Duck Dynasty, Free Speech and the Court of Public Opinion

Joes Barbell
Comments Off on American Sniper, Duck Dynasty, Free Speech and the Court of Public Opinion
Like many other Americans I recently watched American Sniper.  The film has to be striking the right cord.  American Sniper is currently on pace to be the highest grossing R rated film of all time.  The public is supporting the film and its message with their hard earned dollars.  Will we begin to support its Hero and message with our actions?
What!?! Who?!? How!?!
Recently Chris Kyle was reported to be a self-declared racist on a killing spree by Aymin Mohyeldin of MSNBC on Morning Joe.  I couldn’t believe it myself, see for yourselves.
When in the world did the American media become so detached from the men who fight to uphold their freedom of speech?   It’s a crime that an MSNBC correspondent can publically slander the character and motives of a man whose sole purpose as a soldier was to protect this county without NBC forcing a public apology and the public demanding further explanation.   
It’s happened before and will surely happen again and the court of public opinion is pretty damming at times.  Take for instance Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty.  In a candid interview Robertson called gays sinners, not logical and compared them to terrorist and drunkards.  His faith.  His views.  His right. 
The American public, news syndicates and Network airing Duck Dynasty all chimed in.  The Show’s ratings have been on a steady decline since Phil Robertson’s comments.   A quick google search and you’ll see that every major news outlet reported on Phil Robertson’s comments (Huffington Post, CNN, Entertainment Weekly, Fox News and CBS to name a few).   A&E decided that the view of one of their employee did not mesh with their own and suspended Phil and the Show from the schedule.  Interestingly enough the suspension only lasted a week.  However, as stated above the ratings since the return are not as strong.    
Let’s wrangle all this together and find the point.    
Like many American’s I enjoyed the film American Sniper.  Like some Americans I hold military personnel like my wife, uncles, grandfathers, father in law and friends from college in high regard.  Admittedly, I consider high speed soldiers like Chris Kyle to be heroes.  Through crossfit I have actually trained with and met former SEALS and would put as much distance between those great men and the term racist as possible.  It’s also my opinion that if more Americans developed and lived by steadfast principles that aligned with men like Chris Kyle, as great as I believe this country to be, this country would be a better place. 
The comments made by MSNBC correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin on Morning Joe are his views and it’s his right to make those comments, same as Phil Robertson.  My question to all Americans (that includes you my close friends and family), NBC, The Huffington Post, CNN, Entertainment Weekly, Fox News, and CBS is why aren’t we defending the character of an American Hero like Chris Kyle from slanderous anti-soldier propagandist like Ayman Mohyeldin with the same enthusiasm as gays being bashed by Phil Robertson. 
We seem to like the film?  Who out there will say a bad thing about a soldier, aside from Ayman Mohyeldin?  It’s time we do more than sit on the couch, spend money, and talk about heroes like Chris Kyle.  He protected us now it’s our turn to protect his legacy and family name.    
I’ll start.  I want a public apology and I’m off MSNBC, well who isn’t anymore, until I get it.  Flood Mohyeldin and MSNBC’s facebook page, twitter account, whatever until it happens.  Why not take a walk instead of watching the Superbowl?  I honestly will have a hard time watching the big game on NBC knowing they support an employee who considers a patriot like Kyle a racist on a killing spree.          
I’ll close this out on one final point.  Mohyeldin tried and say that Kyle was self-admitted racist.  I call BS on that.  I’ll speculate but Mohyeldin may have concluded Kyle was a racist based on an excerpt from Kyle’s own biography:

People ask me all the time, “How many people have you killed?” My standard response is, “Does the answer make me less, or more, of a man?”

The number is not important to me. I only wish I had killed more. Not for bragging rights, but because I believe the world is a better place without savages out there taking American lives. Everyone I shot in Iraq was trying to harm Americans or Iraqis loyal to the new government.

I had a job to do as a SEAL. I killed the enemy — an enemy I saw day in and day out plotting to kill my fellow Americans.

Just as I didn’t get racist on a killing spree from the film American Sniper I don’t get racist on a killing spree from Kyles own words.  Words like Protector, American, and Hero come to mind.  If you read this, watch the film American Sniper, listen to MSNBC Correspondents like Aymen Mohyeldin and conclude differently it’s your right.  All I ask is respect be paid to guys like Kyle who hand deliver you that right on a plate of stars and stripes.