For The Daily Beast: What 'American Sniper' Gets Right

For The Daily Beast: What ‘American Sni...

Lost in the right/left debate over the new Clint Eastwood film is how few Americans fought this century’s wars, and how the suffering of their families has often gone unnoticed. During the course of any normal day I usually pay more attention to assembling a grocery list than I do to reading movie reviews, although there are a more than a...
For The Daily Beast: What 'American Sniper' Gets Right

For The Daily Beast: Meet Cardinal Raymond Bu...

Pope Francis demoted the reactionary Burke, but that hasn’t stopped him popping off about how the Church panders to radical feminism. Cardinal Raymond Burke is a 66-year-old guy who lives in Rome, dresses like Queen Elizabeth, and talks like someone who majored in misogyny at some bogus, backwoods, Bible-banging tent school. Until Pope Fr...
For The Daily Beast: What 'American Sniper' Gets Right

For The Daily Beast: Extremism Is Our Untreat...

It all started back in November 1979. We couldn’t do much about extremism then, and it seems we can do even less now. By early November 1979, America was exhausted. The ever-shrinking president, Jimmy Carter, had been attacked by a rabbit while running and that July had taken to the television to tell us the country was suffering from a b...
For The Daily Beast: What 'American Sniper' Gets Right

For The Daily Beast: Mario Cuomo, Always Movi...

His ambition for himself wasn’t great enough (he should have run!), but his ambition for America was as noble as a politician’s could be. I looked up to Mario Cuomo the first time I ever met him. He was standing in the batter’s box at Joe DiMaggio Park in the North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco on the July morning of the day he was ...
For The Daily Beast: What 'American Sniper' Gets Right

Mike Barnicle tells the story of the Bedford ...

On Morning Joe, marking the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion, Mike Barnicle tells the story of the Bedford Boys, 19 young soldiers from a small Virginia town who lost their lives in the battle that spelled the beginning of the end for Hitler’s Third Reich.
For The Daily Beast: What 'American Sniper' Gets Right

For The Daily Beast: Any Outrage Out There fo...

Will those who protested Eric Garner’s death rush to the side of Rafael Ramos’ two sons, or Wenjian Liu’s widow, married only two months? Now, in New York City, where tourists are often surprised by the relative sense of safety on streets and subways, it is Officer Rafael Ramos, 40 years old, and his partner, Wenjian Liu, 32, who cannot b...
For The Daily Beast: What 'American Sniper' Gets Right

For The Daily Beast: Dick Cheney’s Creepy Tor...

A new movie and a visit to the 9/11 memorial remind us what’s at stake when America doesn’t live up to its ideals. On a Saturday buffeted by a cold December wind, thousands strolled with somber step through one of New York City’s two historic cathedrals. Outside, hundreds more waited patiently in a long line to enter; once inside, their v...
For The Daily Beast: What 'American Sniper' Gets Right

For The Daily Beast: Human Moments at the Eri...

The story of a mother, her son, the police who protected them, and the peaceful protest that brought them all together. Alice Domingues came through the big crowd gathered last Wednesday night at New York City’s Columbus Circle, a container of Starbuck’s hot chocolate in her right hand as she held her son Micah’s hand even more firmly wit...
For The Daily Beast: What 'American Sniper' Gets Right

For The Daily Beast: Freedom From Fear for Dr...

Meet the children at a small Catholic school in Massachusetts who will directly benefit from President Obama’s executive order. So here they were, some of the people Barack Obama was telling the country about Thursday night, seated, smiling, clearly happy, and outfitted splendidly in the first-grade classroom at Lawrence Catholic Academy,...
For The Daily Beast: What 'American Sniper' Gets Right

For The Atlantic: Postcard From New Hampshire...

Riding around Manchester with Lou D’Allesandro as he rounds up votes and frets over Senator Jeanne Shaheen’s chances against Scott Brown MANCHESTER, N.H.—Here he is in his campaign headquarters, the front seat of his Toyota Camry, driving along downtown Elm Street, past banks reluctant to lend, storefronts somewhat empty, and ...
For The Daily Beast: What 'American Sniper' Gets Right

‘The Glove’ narrated by Robert Re...

Inspired by an essay by Mike Barnicle. Produced by his sons Nick Barnicle, Colin Barnicle and colleague Jeff Siegel. Narrated by Robert Redford. A winning combination to commemorate the 4th of July holiday only on ESPN.
For The Daily Beast: What 'American Sniper' Gets Right

IN A SPECIAL MORNING JOE PROGRAM ON D-DAY: A ...

In a special Morning Joe program on D-Day: A Celebration of Heroes, Mike speaks with 94-year-old veteran Lawrence Brannon from Morristown, TN, whose days have been forever shaped by what happened in Normandy seven decades ago. “It was…hell,” says Brannon. “I lived 1,000 years that day.” Adds Mike: “Those who died in Europe ser...
For The Daily Beast: What 'American Sniper' Gets Right

MIKE JOINED ESPN RADIO’S THE SPORTING LIFE TO...

Mike joined ESPN Radio’s The Sporting Life to reflect upon the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings. “There are going to be a lot of poignant moments at the conclusion of this year’s Marathon. Obviously many people will be thinking about those who died…but more specifically [about] the youngest…of the victims. Martin...
For The Daily Beast: What 'American Sniper' Gets Right

A Year After Bombings, Boston Comes Back R...

> This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I’m Scott Simon. Boston Strong has become an American phrase over the past year after bombs exploded at the finish line of last year’s Boston Marathon. Three people were killed – Krystle Marie Campbell, who was 29, Lu Lingzi, a graduate student from China, and Martin William Richa...
For The Daily Beast: What 'American Sniper' Gets Right

The Timeless Beauty of Baseball

Put on a glove, watch a game, and the years fall away, time stands still, and the joy of baseball reminds you again of life’s eternal sweetness. It could be in a bottom bureau drawer beneath some old tee shirts, sweat pants that no longer fit or laundered dress shirts purchased during the first Reagan administration and not worn since the...
For The Daily Beast: What 'American Sniper' Gets Right

BARNICLE BROTHERS’ ONE FUND CHARITY VID...

By Jason Mastrodonato / MLB.com BOSTON — Brothers Colin and Nick Barnicle have long been in the field of video production, where they’ve found plenty of success and gratification, including “Down the Line,” a behind-the-scenes documentary on Boston’s Fenway Park released in 2011. So when the tragic bombings t...
For The Daily Beast: What 'American Sniper' Gets Right

IRAQ WAR AT 10

Early Wednesday, the day after the nation paused to remember a war that began exactly a decade ago, the grass and ground in Arlington National Cemetery was still soft as a sponge from the rain that fell Monday evening. As always, it was quiet as a cathedral with the only noise billowing from passenger jets that leaned into the cloudless s...
For The Daily Beast: What 'American Sniper' Gets Right

A PROMISE TO THE CHILDREN OF NEWTOWN

Now we witness a regiment of the wounded, the survivors, burying a whole company of the young dead in a small New England town filled with a grief that simply cannot be measured. Monday’s dead babies were Jack Pinto and Noah Pozner, both 6 years old. Tuesday’s funerals saw James Mattioli and Jessica Rekos, again, only 6, their small coffi...
For The Daily Beast: What 'American Sniper' Gets Right

ONE DEATH IN AFGHANISTAN: BEN SKLAVER’S STORY...

Last week, Laura and Gary Sklaver buried their oldest boy, Ben, who was 32 when killed by a suicide bomber in the remote village of Murcheh in the distant land of Afghanistan. Ben was a captain in the U.S. Army. Now he has become one of 804 Americans, 37 from Connecticut, to lose their lives in an expanding war that belongs mostly to the ...
For The Daily Beast: What 'American Sniper' Gets Right

Tito and Theo – Grantland

Tito Francona is tired. He is sitting at his desk in the manager’s office located at the far end of a small locker room in a ballpark — Fenway Park — approaching its 100th birthday. He is wearing white uniform pants, a red hot-top and black spike-less athletic shoes, a Red Sox cap on his hairless head. And he is staring at a cluster...
For The Daily Beast: What 'American Sniper' Gets Right

The Afghan War Through a Marine Mother’s Eyes...

Mélida Arredondo, of Roslindale, Mass., center, holds boots worn by her son, Marine Lance Corporal Alexander Arredondo, who was killed in Iraq in 2004, as she joins demonstrators in Boston Dec. 2 in opposition to President Obama’s plan to commit an additional 30,000 troops to the war in Afghanistan. Josh Reynolds / AP Nearly everyth...
For The Daily Beast: What 'American Sniper' Gets Right

Barnicle on Kennedy: Of Memory and the Sea – ...

Here was Ted Kennedy, 74-year-old son, brother, father, husband, Senator, living history, American legend. He was sitting on a wicker chair on the front porch of the seaside home that held so much of his life within its walls. He was wearing a dark blue blazer and a pale blue shirt. He was tieless and tanned on a spectacular October morni...
For The Daily Beast: What 'American Sniper' Gets Right

Boston getting used to idea of beating New Yo...

How did this happen? Was there a specific date, a single event that erased the burden of history and allowed the weight of municipal inferiority to be lifted from the shoulders of every fan in New England who has been witness to decades of humiliation delivered by New York teams? Think about it. Saturday, the Patriots play the Giants at e...
For The Daily Beast: What 'American Sniper' Gets Right

When murder’s not enough; Grim details just w...

  This time, homicide came to a quiet cul-de-sac in a peaceful suburb, apparently driven by a growing wave of debt built on delusion that collapsed into a despair so deranged that the only escape route Neil Entwistle could allegedly think of was to grab a gun and kill his wife and 9-month-old daughter as both slept in a rented home o...
For The Daily Beast: What 'American Sniper' Gets Right

A Bit of Humor Goes A Long Way – Boston Globe...

BELFAST — It is a balmy, lemon-yellow evening and I am standing outside a large glass and cement structure called Waterfront Hall, completed last year along the River Lagan in Belfast where people have the capacity to loathe a stranger based solely on beliefs or a baptism. Community input here means a funeral or a fire, yet it occurs to m...
For The Daily Beast: What 'American Sniper' Gets Right

Getting a fix on the real thing – Boston Glob...

  Like most major American cities, Boston is like a layer cake. Some elements are as obvious to the eye as frosting while others remain obscured by simple geography. Yesterday, for example, a gray Monday, if you walked from the Public Garden to Kenmore Square and back along Newbury Street you could easily think the city was filled by...
For The Daily Beast: What 'American Sniper' Gets Right

Silent Dreams Coming True – Boston Globe

  Hong’s incredible journey began on the day 11 years ago when he sat confined to the dust of his fishing village near Can Tho in Vietnam and suddenly heard someone mention America. Of course, Hong did not actually hear what the person was saying because he has been deaf since birth. But he sure did understand the primitive sign lang...
For The Daily Beast: What 'American Sniper' Gets Right

Firefighters’ heroic effort in blaze that cla...

“I was driving the chief,” Walter Cobe was saying. “We got there just as Engine 48 pulled up. It was maybe three or four minutes after the alarm was sounded. I jumped out of the car and one of the people standing outside said there was kids still inside so I went right up the ladder.”     Walter Cobe is 5...
For The Daily Beast: What 'American Sniper' Gets Right

A HERO IS FOREVER

When the old man swung the imaginary bat through the fresh air of a clear, sunlit afternoon, the weight and dust of all the years fell away like marbles toppling off the edge of a three-legged table. Adults clapped. Little kids hung from the rail and sat atop a parent’s shoulder. Some men and women, of a certain age, and with a cert...
For The Daily Beast: What 'American Sniper' Gets Right

We died for the 4th of July – Boston Globe

  It’s the Fourth of July weekend. A time when much of America marches and sings and stops to do all sorts of different things for all kinds of reasons. Where are you today? At the beach? On the front step? Down the Cape? Up in Vermont? Just sitting around the house hoping the sun will clear that clutter of clouds and provide you wit...
For The Daily Beast: What 'American Sniper' Gets Right

The clock takes a holiday at Fenway – Boston ...

  Baseball is a game of memory, and it returns tomorrow to a place where grass has not yet given way to a carpet. It comes home to a green haven filled with reminders of both heartbreak and happiness, a ballyard called Fenway Park where the cargo of past athletic time refuses to yield to sports’ current themes of greed and arrogance....
 
 
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For The Daily Beast: What ‘America...

Lost in the right/left debate over the new Clint Eastwood film is how few Americans fought this century’s wars, and how the suffering of their families has often gone unnoticed.

What ‘American Sniper’ Gets Right

During the course of any normal day I usually pay more attention to assembling a grocery list than I do to reading movie reviews, although there are a more than a few film critics who bring huge insight to their work. A.O. Scott of the Times, Joe Morgenstern of the Wall Street Journal and Ty Burr of the Boston Globe are always in my lineup.

But for the past several days it’s been interesting to scan the landscape of different views surrounding American Sniper, the Clint Eastwood-Bradley Cooper film about the life of Chris Kyle, a Navy SEAL who grew up in Texas and served his country – that’s us as in the United States of America—during four tours in Iraq, a war that has managed to mangle two nations, ours and theirs.

Like nearly everything else—a ball game, a rock concert, a political debate—anyone who buys a ticket or takes the time to watch instantly becomes a critic. And today, with twitter and texting and all the other tools we have literally at our fingertips, a debate quickly turns into a cyber-space brawl.

People on the left go back and forth with those on the right about the movie’s merits. Is it pro-war? Is it anti-war? And while a platoon of professional essayists, film aficionados and all around ‘I’m smarter-than-you’ folks attack one another’s opinions, there seem to be a couple items that have been forgotten along the side of the long road we’ve traveled for 15 years—15 years!—in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The most obvious is the lack of attention paid to the fact that only about one percent of our population has borne the weight of war. Then there are the families left behind while those fighting are deployed multiple times to both theaters—Iraq and Afghanistan—breaking the military and too often breaking those who sit state-side, worrying, waiting, while 99% of everyone around them dances through the day without any real prospect of danger or death knocking on their door.

In a lot of the reviews of American Sniper that obvious fact is not mentioned. Instead there is amazement at how popular the movie has been since it was released nation-wide a week and half ago, wracking up record box-office returns.

But a strong case can be made that Eastwood and Cooper have produced one of the few films that go beyond an attempt to put the reality of war on a big screen. That is an impossible venture. Nothing can ever come close to the actual violence, fear, noise, clamor, courage, carnage, and the mind altering, lingering, lasting damage done by war to those charged with fighting it.

Yet there is a scene in Sniper that gets to what veterans of wars carry forever and what that burden has meant to all those who wore the uniform from Cemetery Ridge, Somme, The Bulge, Iwo Jima, Chosin Reservoir, Hue City, Mosul, Helmand Province and hundreds of other spots scarred by war: the scene in which Bradley Cooper and his son are in a garage waiting to pick up their car.

The boy is approached by a young Marine who lost his leg in Fallujah. He tells Chris Kyle’s child that his dad is a true hero who saved his life and the lives of other Marines through the devastating skill of his marksmanship, a sniper watching over the constant danger on the urban battlefield below.

Cooper barely moves, hardly utters a line. Instead, the toll of who he is and what he has done and what he must surely never want his little boy to endure is in his eyes and on his face, a portrait of inner pain he wrestles with daily.

A friend of mine who worked on American Sniper for months and attended several screenings in places as different as Dallas, Los Angeles, New York City and Washington D.C. had an interesting observation that mutes some of the ideological ‘wars’ that have consumed multiple critics conducting operations from the safety of their laptops and iPhones.

It revolved around the scene where Chris Kyle sights, shoots and kills the major-league caliber Iraqi sniper from a distance of more than a mile away. In a sand storm.

At a screening in L.A. and New York, the crowd cheered. In Dallas there was no cheering. And when the film was screened at one site in Washington there was only a heavy silence.

Where was that location? Walter Reed National Medical Center, where the wounded, the limbless, the brain damaged are treated for injuries that linger forever and are largely forgotten by a country and a culture where more attention is paid to deflated footballs than the needs and cost of caring for men and women who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan.

American Sniper is a movie. War is a grim reality and with us still.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/01/25/what-american-sniper-gets-right.html

Mike Barnicle and Richard Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations, ...

Mike Barnicle asks Richard Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations, about immediate U.S. policy options in dealing with the recently deposed government of Yemen. “You’re forced to have a counter-terrorism strategy rather than a creative political strategy,” says Richard Haass. On Morning Joe.

Mike Barnicle asks NBC Foreign Correspondent Ayman Mohyelden about Saudi Arabia&...

In light of the passing of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, Mike Barnicle asks NBC Foreign Correspondent Ayman Mohyelden about the country’s neighboring challenges. “Saudi Arabia is actually facing several existential threats,” reports Ayman on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. Listen to the exchange here.

Mike Barnicle and sportswriter Bob Ryan discuss the Bill Belichick mindset

On Morning Joe, Mike Barnicle and sportswriter Bob Ryan discuss the Bill Belichick mindset and the New England Patriots’ preparation for the Super Bowl. “The tortured mind of Bill Belichick is that he is a detail oriented person to the max… and nobody who has followed his career can believe that he is so ignorant about the game day preparation of the most important thing in the game, the football,” says Bob Ryan. Hear the rest of their conversation here.

On Morning Joe, Mike Barnicle and Tim Pawlenty

On Morning Joe, Mike Barnicle asks Tim Pawlenty, former Republican Governor of Minnesota, about the possibility of the Republican-majority Congress governing productively. “The correlation between winning elections and getting stuff done recently isn’t high,” answers Gov. Pawlenty. Watch the conversation here.