Sarah Palin has never been one to shy away from controversy — and now she’s jumping into a new one over the film “American Sniper.”
On Friday, Afghanistan war veteran Dakota Meyer posted a photo to his Twitter account of himself and the former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate holding up a sign that said “F— you Michael Moore,” with the Os in Moore deliberately drawn as cross-hairs. In a blog post, Palin’s daughter Bristol confirmed that the photo was indeed really Sarah Palin.
The sign was a response to a controversial tweet in which Moore, a documentary filmmaker known for his left-wing views, called snipers “cowards,” saying: “My uncle killed by sniper in WW2. We were taught snipers were cowards. Will shoot u in the back. Snipers aren’t heroes. And invaders r worse.”
After receiving backlash from conservatives and supporters of “American Sniper,” Moore elaborated on his comments on Facebook but did not back down, clarifying that his comments were in reference to snipers but that he was not specifically commenting on the film.
In his follow-up Facebook post, Moore said: “I didn’t say a word about ‘American Sniper’ in my tweets.” He also explained his reasoning for his comments on snipers: “My dad was in the First Marine Division in the South Pacific in World War II. His brother, my uncle, Lawrence Moore, was an Army paratrooper and was killed by a Japanese sniper 70 years ago next month. My dad always said, ‘Snipers are cowards. They don’t believe in a fair fight. Like someone coming up from behind you and coldcocking you. Just isn’t right. It’s cowardly to shoot a person in the back. Only a coward will shoot someone who can’t shoot back.’”
“American Sniper” has become the subject of controversy since its release. The film, which some on the left have criticized as having a pro-war agenda, is based on the autobiography of former Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, who did four tours during the Iraq war and had more confirmed kills than any other American sniper. Kyle was murdered by a former Marine at a shooting range in February 2013. Even before the release of the film, Kyle’s stories were a source of contention: He was sued by retired professional wrestler and former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura for defamation over a story recounted in his book. Ventura won the case this past July and was awarded $1.845 million in damages from Kyle’s estate.
The film, which is directed by Clint Eastwood and stars Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller, has been nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Adapted Screenplay.