Bill Doskoch: Media, BPS*, Film, Minutiae

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The lying ways of Chris Kyle

Former U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle is the subject of a forthcoming movie, “American Sniper,” and the author of a book on his experiences in Iraq (he was shot to death in 2013 at a Texas gun range).

If you accept a court’s 2014 libel judgment in favour of former Navy commando and Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura and the word of blogger Michael McCaffery, Kyle is also a liar. McCaffery faults the some of the news media for putting Kyle’s image before the truth.

From, posted July 19, 2014 (a long read):

Chris told many people, and some reporters, that just after his return from Iraq in 2009, he was carjacked by two men at a gas station on a remote Texas highway. Chris asked the men if he could reach into his truck to get his keys, and as he did he pulled a pistol from his waistband and shot both men in the chest from under his armpit. The two men were killed instantly. Chris called the police and waited for them while leaning against his truck. The police came, Chris handed them a phone number to call at the Pentagon. The cops called the number, and the people at the Pentagon told the cops that Chris Kyle was a war hero and a Navy SEAL. The police also went inside and watched the gas station surveillance video of the incident. The cops then let Chris go on his way. Chris claimed he got emails from cops all across the country after the incident thanking him for “keeping the streets clean”. Great story. Except none of it is true.  Not a word. There were no carjackers, no dead bodies, no cops, none of it. He made the whole thing up. His big mistake was then telling the story to his SEAL friend, Marcus Lutrell, author of Lone Survivor, and Marcus put the story in his second book, Service: A Navy SEAL at Work. Now it wasn’t just a tall-tale, it was in the public record, and it is demonstrably a lie. The New Yorker magazine and other journalists have investigated the story. They all come to the same conclusion. There were no carjackers. There were no dead bodies. There were no cops. None of it happened. No police departments know anything about it, no coroner ever saw the bodies, no gas station had any surveillance video or ever heard of such a thing and no cops ever responded to the scene and called the Pentagon.

Superdome during Hurricane Katrina


The second story that was told by Chris Kyle was that he and another SEAL were sent by the government to New Orleans in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. Once they got to New Orleans, Chris and another sniper went to the roof of the Superdome, and started shooting looters in the city. Chris Kyle said this to many people, he also said this on tape. Chris claims to have killed thirty looters all on his own. Helluva story. Only problem is…there’s not a speck of truth in it. Once again this is a total fabrication, or to put it less delicately, a complete, bold faced lie. Chris Kyle never went to New Orleans after Katrina. He never shot ‘looters’. Just like with the carjackers, there are no bodies and no documentary or corroborating evidence it occurred. None. Chris Kyle lied. Again.

Don’t take my word for it…Here are two links to in-depth articles about these two stories. (New Yorker–  LINK     Washington Post –   LINK)

Taya Kyle, Chris’s wife, fought in court to make sure that both of those stories were kept out of the Jesse Ventura defamation lawsuit because she didn’t want her husband to be “labelled a liar”. Smart woman. The stories were kept out of the lawsuit, and yet, incredibly, Ventura still proved Kyle was lying about the bar room fight (or non-fight, as it turned out). …

So why would Chris Kyle lie about shooting carjackers and looters, and “baby killer” signs and WMDs? The answer is two-fold. Firstly, he did it to reinforce his status as a hero. Chris Kyle embodied the Hero Archetype. His fans would be the first to tell you this. He was a hero for fighting for his country, he was a hero for killing so many Iraqis, he was a hero for saving American lives. This is his story, and it’s the story he tells in American Sniper, and it is why he is beloved by so many. But, like all archetypes, the Hero Archetype has a life of it’s own. Chris Kyle was submerged in it and overcome by it. He even says in his book that he felt “invincible”. It could be easy to see how he would be swept away by all the hype and praise and glory. He knew he didn’t kill any carjackers or looters, but he could haveand that was all that mattered in his mind. He BELIEVED that he did, even while he KNEW that he didn’t. The archetype made him BELIEVE it, his rational mind KNEW it was false, but the rational mind almost always takes a back seat when the archetype is in town.

he Usual Suspects

What has been interesting in the aftermath of the verdict against Chris Kyle is that the media has gone into hyper-drive in attacking Jesse Ventura, and not Chris Kyle. Kyle is a proven liar, yet no one talks about that. They all talk about how could Jesse Ventura sue a poor widow. I find this baffling. What is even more baffling, and frankly appalling, is how they so thoroughly misrepresent the facts of the case and misinform the populace.

Have you no shame, Anderson?


Anderson Cooper, of CNN, proved once again there is no depth so low that his journalistic integrity won’t sink to it, when he said of Ventura, “Has he no shame?” Cooper had nothing at all to say about Chris Kyle and his lying, and made no mention of the very public and provable other lies Kyle told besides his Ventura lie. Shouldn’t the question be, “Chris Kyle, have you no shame?”, but it isn’t. Proving once more, that truth has no meaning for Anderson Cooper.

The question becomes…why isn’t the media up in arms over Chris bullshitting them? Remember when Oprah had a conniption when she discovered author James Frey had lied to her about his book A Million Little Pieces? Why aren’t the media directing their venom at Chris Kyle for having lied to make himself out to be more than he was, rather than attacking Jesse Ventura? The answer, of course, is that the media is in the same business as Chris Kyle … the “giving people what they want” business.

Every media outlet, all the cable channels and every other talking head, is saying how disgusting Ventura is, and not saying a word about Chris Kyle except to call him a hero. The question from everyone is, “Jesse…why won’t you give the money back to this widow?” As opposed to being, why did Chris Kyle lie about this incident to enrich himself and what other lies has he told? Everyone is up in arms that Ventura would “sue a widow”. The facts of the case are, he sued Chris Kyle, and then Kyle died in the lead up to the trial. All along Ventura said he’d drop the suit if Kyle just retracted the statement. Kyle wouldn’t do that. He decided to stick to the lie, then tragically, Kyle was killed. Why is that Ventura’s problem? Ventura didn’t lie, Kyle did.

Sun, January 4 2015 » Film, Main Page, Media