Hathos Alert

Andrew Sullivan —  Jan 16 2015 @ 5:25pm

The headline says it all:

“I have not seen ‘American Sniper’,” writes New Republic’s reviewer of ‘American Sniper’

Well, almost all:

Update from a reader:

The headline most assuredly does NOT say it all. It is an opinion piece about the characterization of American Sniper put forward by the marketing of the movie.  The author disagrees with this characterization.  It is not in any way, shape or form a “movie review,” but if you just lie and say it is, then you can create another phony right-wing Gotcha! moment to chew up the next news cycle.

By the way, thank you for not having a comments section.

Another reader retorts:

Unfortunately, the headline does say quite a bit. Look at what the article actually says.

In the fourth paragraph, the author states that he’s reminded of Zero Dark Thirty, and that in that movie the use of torture is given such a nuanced portrayal, that people who supported and defended the practice left “believing their views were validated.” Next, “I have not seen American Sniper. But if the trailer is any indication, Eastwood’s film, like Zero Dark Thirty, tries to make a straightforward situation more complex than it is.”

So I guess he’s saying … Zero Dark Thirty takes a nuanced view of something that, perhaps, one doesn’t need to take a nuanced view. Based solely on the trailerAmerican Sniper sure looks like it might do the same thing. He doesn’t actually know, because he hasn’t actually watched it.

Fair enough: this isn’t a movie review. It’s poseur clickbait that doesn’t stand on solid ground, but wants you to think that it does. I had higher expectations of my students when I taught a first-year undergraduate course on written communications at the University of Illinois. 

Finally, I do not know if the commenter’s other point was meant to be sarcastic, but I applaud your the lack of a comment field, for reasons all too eloquently put by The Oatmeal here.