Glenn Beck challenged LA Weekly’s head film critic Amy Nicholson to read her scathing review of “Lone Survivor” to former Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell, on whom the movie was based.
Luttrell received the Navy Cross for his actions in 2005 during a dangerous operation to kill Taliban commander Mohammad Ismail, also known as Ahmad Shah. Luttrell co-authored a book on the incident, Operation Redwing, in 2007 and it became the basis for the new film “Lone Survivor” staring Mark Wahlberg.
Nicholson said the movie is too violent and promotes an overly aggressive foreign policy in a review published Dec. 26.
The movie is a “jingoistic snuff film about a Navy SEAL squadron outgunned by the Taliban in the mountainous Kunar province,” she wrote.
“Berg's flick bleeds blood red, bone-fracture white, and bruise blue,” she said.
“We're meant to cheer, not that anyone in my theater did,” she added. “But there will be audiences who do, and I'm not entirely sure I'm comfortable with what they're cheering for. This is death. Look at death."
She claimed Luttrell didn’t actually write his book, but that the Navy hired British novelist Patrick Robinson to do it for him. "Rather than sitting in front of a word processor, he was back in action in Iraq," she wrote.
She said Robinson embellished Luttrell's story, upping “the number of enemy Taliban fighters from 10 to 200.”
Beck was outraged at Nicholson’s “sanctimonious” attitude. He said it’s irrelevant who wrote the book.
“Navy SEALs are not dummies. Their IQ is off the chart. If Marcus decided to write this book … he could do it. He chooses not to. He’s living these stories,” he said.
“She’s sitting behind her sanctimonious word processor, to put it in her words – who uses a word processor?” he quipped. “Miss MS Dos is so heroic sitting behind her word processor. This is what bothers her. She doesn’t have the balls to say these things in front of him.”
“I mean this sincerely – I will fly you first class,” Beck said on his radio show, addressing Nicholson. “I will put you up at the Four Seasons … You will dine on the finest possible food, and you will come in here and you will sit down and speak these words to Marcus Luttrell. If you have the balls to say what you just said to Marcus Luttrell and back it up, go for it.”
“She doesn’t have the balls that he has,” Beck said.
“She has no idea what a hero is. She has no idea what bravery is,” he added.
Nicholson responded to Beck’s listeners via Twitter on Wednesday.
“Glenn Beck listeners: My review calls the SEALS heroes. My problems were with the director, not Luttrell,” she wrote.
Nicholson does refer to Luttrell and the other SEALs as heroes in her review: “These four men were heroes. But these heroes were also men. As the film portrays them, their attitudes to the incredibly complex War on Terror, fought hillside by bloody hillside in the Afghan frontier with both U.S. and Taliban forces contributing to an unconscionably high civilian body count, were simple: Brown people bad, American people good.”