While appearing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Ayman Mohyeldin suggested that Chris Kyle, the late Navy SEAL whose service is featured in the blockbuster “American Sniper,” was a racist who engaged in “killing sprees” during his service in Iraq, Newsbusters reported Thursday. The comment sparked a great deal of criticism, and a demand for an apology from NBC by Media Research Center president Brent Bozell.
Mohyeldin admitted the movie is “very compelling, very thought-provoking” and “very emotional.” But, he added, Kyle had racist tendencies against Iraqis and Muslims, based on stories that guest Willie Geist said may have not been true.
“A lot of his stories when he was back home in Texas, a lot of his own personal opinions about what he was doing in Iraq, how he viewed Iraqis,” Mohyeldin said. “Some of what people have described as his racist tendencies towards Iraqis and Muslims when he was going on some of these, you know, killing sprees in Iraq on assignment.”
“Wait, wait. Killing sprees?” Joe Scarborough asked, incredulous. “Chris Kyle was going on killing sprees?”
“When he was involved in his — on assignments in terms of what he was doing,” Mohyeldin said. “A lot of the description that has come out from his book and some of the terminology that he has used, people have described as racist.” Geist stepped in to explain the movie and educate Mohyeldin.
“It wasn’t a commentary about the war,” he said. “It wasn’t about the politics of the war. It was a character study of what this guy went through. And you don’t have to like him and all the comments about him calling Iraqis savages. He was calling the people he was shooting savages. He was calling people who he thought had IEDs, who he thought were going to kill his buddies savages. He didn’t — some people have seized on that term that he thought all Iraqis or everyone in the Middle East is a savage. That’s just not what he said. It’s not what he said. He was talking about the people he was fighting in the theater, calling them savages.”
While appearing on Fox News’ “The Kelly File,” Bozell said Mohyeldin got his start at Al Jazeera around 2011. He later moved to CNN before going to NBC. Now, Bozell said, Mohyeldin is “projecting an Islamic agenda” and “propaganda” as a Mideast correspondent.
“What does the news organization do now,” Kelly asked. “They saw what he did.” Bozell responded by asking when would NBC start doing things right and called on the network to apologize.
“Absolutely,” he said when Kelly asked if the network should apologize. “They darn well better apologize to the family of Chris Kyle for suggesting he was a racist on a killing spree.” Bozell observed that Mohyeldin offered no substantial proof to back up his claims that Kyle was a racist who went on “killing sprees.”
Kyle served four tours in Iraq, and is credited with some 150 sniper kills. He was shot and killed on February 2, 2013, while trying to help a fellow veteran who suffered from PTSD. Liberals celebrated Kyle’s death and some used it to advance gun control. Recently, wealthy filmmaker Michael Moore took a gratuitous swipe at Kyle and snipers in general, sparking a great deal of anger. Video of Mohyeldin’s comments can be seen above.