'American Sniper' co-author discusses the real Chris Kyle, criticism from Michael Moore

On radio today, 'American Sniper' co-author Jim DeFelice joined the radio show to talk about the incredible success of the 'American Sniper' movie, the Chris Kyle he knew, and the criticism coming from the progressive voices in Hollywood.

Below is a rough transcript of the segment:

GLENN: Jim DeFelice is the coauthor of the book. He wrote it with Chris Kyle. He is with us now.

Jim, how are you, sir?

JIM: I'm great, guys. And, you know, you guys can just keep going.

[laughter]

GLENN: First of all, in your wildest dreams, you or Chris when you were writing this that it would be this huge?

JIM: No way. No way. I remember one afternoon Chris and I we were a little tired from -- we kind of kicked back a bit. We were sitting around and having a couple of beers. So Chris asked me how I though the book would do. I knew it was a great story, and I knew that it would resonate. I hoped, I should say, that it would do well. You know, you don't know. He asked me would it sell a lot? And I said, I hope so. I think it's a great story.

He goes, well, if it sells a couple, I don't really care. I've done my part. Thanks a lot, dude. It's just been phenomenal.

GLENN: So, Jim, how do you -- I mean, how are you making sense of the -- of the vitriol that is coming out about this movie now from the left?

JIM: Here's the thing. There's been a lot of criticism really since the book was first published. The problem is -- listen, you know, we're American. I love the fact that people can say what they think. It's our privilege. And, you know, we live --

GLENN: And our responsibility.

JIM: And our responsibility. And I'm cool with it. You can say whatever you want. The only thing I would wish is that when you voice an opinion, I think it would be useful, you know, work with some facts. Read the book, for crying out loud. You know, most of the people who have problems with either the book or the movie, a lot of them haven't read the book. I can tell three words out of their mouth, and I can tell. You know, if you read the book and you've seen the movie or whatever, and you want to discuss it intellectually and intelligently, hey, listen, that's cool. That's fine. But please have some facts behind you. Or I'm not going to listen to you.

GLENN: Let's go off this. Page 324. In the end I was all right with being scheduled for another deployment, I still loved war. That's the kind of thing that they're seizing on.

PAT: The fact he said it was fun and he loved war. Can you clarify those?

JIM: Do you want a soldier who do not like what he does? I don't know. Do you live what you do? In my job, I love what I do. That's what gets me up in the morning every day. Listen --

GLENN: Everybody I've met that's good at their job. They don't love killing.

JIM: Right.

GLENN: I shouldn't say that. I do believe they love killing the bad guys. They don't mind killing the bad guys. And I don't think any of them take it lightly. As you watched the movie, I thought that Bradley Cooper did a really good job of showing, he was not into killing for killing. Every time he squeezed that trigger when he was not sure, it bother him deeply.

JIM: First of all, Bradley Cooper did a phenomenal job. The other thing I have to say, the rules of engagement were so tight. The requirements so strict. And, you know, Chris was always being -- you know, there was always somebody there. That's how we know the real number of the people he killed. He never had a doubt when he squeezed that trigger. He always knew that the guy that he was fighting was -- was a terrorist. Was either trying to kill him or trying to kill an Iraqi.

He actually -- the truth is that he was more protecting -- he was certainly protecting fellow Americans, but the bulk of the people that he was protecting over the course of those four deployments were Iraqis. You know, whether they were being attacked directly or they were IEDs going off or whatever. That was actually Chris' job.

If it weren't just for not just Chris, actually, you know, for all Americans who were there, the Iraqis would never have been able to form their government. They wouldn't have even been able to go to school or what have you. And you see what ISIS is doing now. Well, that's what -- a lot of those people, they're involved in ISIS, in Mosul and some of the other places, are actually the old, you know, [inaudible word] that the Americans had chased or quieted down. They've come back out of the woodwork.

GLENN: You know the scene where they're -- they're trying to get the guy, you know, who is drilling people. And they go in and they're across the street, you know, in the upstairs room with, you know -- with one of the bad guys. And they go across, and they're in this torture chamber. They come out and they're chasing the bad guys through a tunnel. And all of a sudden, you see this crowd of Iraqis carrying the dead in the street. Here's a torture chamber, of not Americans, but anybody who stands against these guys. There's a torture chamber, and these guys are standing in the streets and shouting down the Americans.

And Chris and everyone was just really cool said, let's go. This thing is falling apart. Let's go.

I will tell you that my visceral reaction in watching that was, shoot them. Kill them all. They're all animals. Shoot them all. I was impressed and I think anybody who was honest if you were into this movie, you were impressed that the American shoulders had so much restraint and they didn't just shoot them. After walking through a torture chamber and seeing what you saw, that just screws you up. Did you ever -- did you ever talk to him about the restraint that it took to not just at times see people as animals and not just shoot them?

JIM: Sure, absolutely. From Chris' perspective, that's what his training was all about. And, you know, the ROEs they're all about -- obviously, it's very difficult to make yourself a professional and to get into that role and say, well, okay, this is what I have to do. I don't necessarily like it, but I have to follow just these rules.

And listen, the SEALs that's why they're selected. They go through a process to find -- it's not just physical. They want to find the guys that can mentally do those things. We're talking about the evil in Iraq. And, look, people don't have to take my word for it or Chris Kyle's word for it. I happened to be very privileged to work with an Iraqi, you know, who worked with American forces as well as Iraqi forces. And can, you know, talk -- he lays out -- not everything, but some of the things that the terrorists, both Sunni and Shia were doing. "Code Name: Johnny Walker." You know, go to your library or even better, buy it, and find out when an Iraqi thinks of that war and thinks of Americans like Chris Kyle.

STU: It was amazing watching some of the reaction from people like Seth Rogen comparing the movie and the book to Nazi propaganda. First reaction to that.

JIM: You know -- I'll tell you something, if you don't know a lot about World War II and you don't know a lot about Nazi propaganda, I guess you can say anything you want.

GLENN: How about Michael Moore who said, you know, my uncle or somebody was killed by a sniper. And snipers are cowards.

JIM: First of all, I appreciate his uncle having fought in that war. Because of his uncle and many men like him you and I enjoy our freedoms today. So, you know, I thank Mr. Moore's uncle and the entire family. But, you know, snipers today, I think this is a common misunderstanding of what snipers did in Iraq.

You know, World War II unfortunately when we were trying to liberate France, Italy, Germany, a lot of countries, to get the enemy, we would blow up a building, you know, where there were some soldiers, and unfortunately blow up -- whole villages were wiped out and towns and parts of cities. That's no longer -- we don't want to do that. That's bad. We're killing innocent civilians. We're causing collateral damage. Even if we're not killing innocent people, we're destroying their buildings.

The whole idea of snipers, the thing they did in the Iraq war, is they were highly trained. Given precision weapons and equipment and very strict rules of engagement so that the people they were killing were only terrorists and insurgents who were trying to kill other Iraqis and trying to kill Americans.

So it's kind of ironic that people say, oh, this guy was, you know, whatever they say. When what he was really doing was trying to, you know, not harm civilians. But, you know, I guess you can say whatever you want if you don't have the facts.

STU: We're talking to Jim DeFelice. He was the coauthor of "American Sniper" with Chris Kyle.

And one of the things you did both -- in telling the story in the book and, of course, to the movie, that I thought was really impressive was the price that Chris and his family paid for what he did. He thought this was so vitally important to the country that he was willing on to pay the price of putting himself in an impossible situation, watching his best friends die and really ripping his family apart almost to the point where it couldn't be repaired.

JIM: Absolutely. And that's -- actually every veteran, everybody that serves in service is in the military, is giving, you know -- is giving you and me a blank check on their lives. But at the same time, they're also giving a blank check on the lives of their loved ones and their families.

And one of the things I think -- one of the reasons I think the people reacted to "American Sniper" the book and now the movie, so favorably is because we were able to talk about what Taya Kyle went through. A little bit about what the kids and the family went through. And getting her voice into "American Sniper" -- you know, if you want to and me what I'm most proud of in that book, was being able to do that because she's a remarkable woman.

As remarkable as she is, she is no different than the wives and mothers and the daughters of every service person that really is protecting our freedom today.

PAT: Jim, can you discuss a little bit the incident that Chris had with Jesse Ventura?

JIM: You know, that's the one thing I've been told not to talk about. The case is under appeal. Look, I was deposed for an entire day. Eight or nine hours, whatever it was. I testified for an hour. I'm on record a lot about it. There were a lot of guys who testified to it. At the end of the day, the jury does what the jury does.

PAT: It's an unbelievable decision.

STU: I will say, I was interested in the story. I love Chris Kyle. At least 20 percent of the reason I went to the movie was to piss off Jesse Ventura.

JIM: I will tell you one thing, whatever the differences were, Chris always honored Mr. Ventura's service. Whatever the circumstance, he was -- to the effect, you know, he did serve in the military. I'm proud of that. I honor that. Whatever else -- and I'm sure there was a lot of else in some of those sentences, but whatever else, that was still valuable to him. Still important to him, no matter who it was.

GLENN: So let me just ask one quick question. The thing that bothered me. I have someone on my team that is on my protective detail that served with Chris' brother. And he said, that was not Chris' brother.

JIM: Yeah, that's not Jeff. I don't know. I didn't write the screenplay. I wasn't on the set. You know, sometimes people have -- you know, they have to -- it's a movie. It's not real life. I can tell you, Jeff Kyle is -- change of circumstances in Jeff would be, you know, Chris. He's a great guy. He's a brave marine. He's a marine recon.

GLENN: He's not a guy who is --

PAT: Oh, he was in recon? I didn't -- wow. He was not presented as marine recon.

JIM: Jeff is so low-key. He's just under the radar. That's cool with him. That's who he is. He's really a hero in his own right.

GLENN: I thought it was important to correct the record here. If you saw the movie, that is not who he is.

JIM: Yeah. It's an actor. And they have roles they have to do.

GLENN: I know.

JIM: Cram a whole life in two hours, that's pretty hard.

GLENN: I know. Thank you so much for being there for Chris and writing this story and being a part of the true American history.

I was struck a couple of weeks ago when the president came out and spoke about the ESPN anchor that died. He came out and did a big deal about him, but has never said anything about an American hero, Chris Kyle. And I'm glad that the American people are now speaking in the sales of the books and in the movie, to show that we do honor him, his family, and the service of all those who fight for us. Thank you so much.

JIM: Oh, I am honored to be part of it.

GLENN: God bless you. Thanks a lot. We'll talk again.

Faced with an oppressive government that literally burned people at the stake for printing Bibles, America's original freedom fighters risked it all for the same rights our government is starting to trample now. That's not the Pilgrim story our woke schools and corporate media will tell you. It's the truth, and it sounds a lot more like today's heroes in Afghanistan than the 1619 Project's twisted portrait of America.

This Thanksgiving season, Glenn Beck and WallBuilders president Tim Barton tell the full story of who the Pilgrims really were and what we must learn from them, complete with a sneak peek at the largest privately owned collection of Pilgrim artifacts.

Watch the video below

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Saule Omarova, President Joe Biden's nominee for comptroller of the currency, admitted she wants to fight climate change by bankrupting coal, oil, and gas companies. Alarmingly, Biden's U.S. special climate envoy, John Kerry, seemed to agree with Omarova when he said "by 2030 in the United States, we won't have coal" at the COP26 conference in Glasgow, Scotland, earlier this month. But that could end in massive electrical blackouts and brownouts across the nation, BlazeTV host Glenn Beck warned.

Carol Roth, author of "The War On Small Business," joined "The Glenn Beck Program" to explain what experts say you can do now to prepare your family for potential coming power outages.

"It's interesting. Usually when I go out and talk to experts in areas that are not 100% core to my area of expertise and I say, 'I would like to give you credit.' Usually I get, 'OK, here's how you credit me.' But everyone is like, 'No, no. Let me tell you what happened, just don't use my name.' And this is across the country," Roth said. "This isn't just a California issue, which obviously [California] is leading the nation. But even experts out of Texas, people who are monitoring the electric grid are incredibly concerned about brownouts or blackouts now, already. So forget about 2030."

"You want to have a backup source of power," she continued. "Either a propane, diesel, or combo generator is something that you're going to want to have. Because in a state, for example like Texas, I'm told that once the state loses power, it will take a minimum of two weeks to restore plants back to operations and customers able to use grid power again. So, this isn't something that we've got nine years or whatever to be thinking about. We should be planning and preparing now."

Watch the video clip below to catch more of this important conversation:

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This year marks the four hundredth anniversary of the first Thanksgiving celebrated by the Pilgrims and their Wampanoag allies in 1621. Tragically, nearly half of the Pilgrims had died by famine and disease during their first year. However, they had been met by native Americans such as Samoset and Squanto who miraculously spoke English and taught the Pilgrims how to survive in the New World. That fall the Pilgrims, despite all the hardships, found much to praise God for and they were joined by Chief Massasoit and his ninety braves came who feasted and celebrated for three days with the fifty or so surviving Pilgrims.

It is often forgotten, however, that after the first Thanksgiving everything was not smooth sailing for the Pilgrims. Indeed, shortly thereafter they endured a time of crop failure and extreme difficulties including starvation and general lack. But why did this happen? Well, at that time the Pilgrims operated under what is called the "common storehouse" system. In its essence it was basically socialism. People were assigned jobs and the fruits of their labor would be redistributed throughout the people not based on how much work you did but how much you supposedly needed.

The problem with this mode of economics is that it only fails every time. Even the Pilgrims, who were a small group with relatively homogeneous beliefs were unable to successfully operate under a socialistic system without starvation and death being only moments away. Governor William Bradford explained that under the common storehouse the people began to "allege weakness and inability" because no matter how much or how little work someone did they still were given the same amount of food. Unsurprisingly this, "was found to breed much confusion and discontent."[1]

The Pilgrims, however, were not the type of people to keep doing what does not work. And so, "they began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop than they had done, that they might not still thus languish in misery."[2] And, "after much debate of things" the Pilgrims under the direction of William Bradford, decided that each family ought to "trust to themselves" and keep what they produced instead of putting it into a common storehouse.[3] In essence, the Pilgrims decided to abandon the socialism which had led them to starvation and instead adopt the tenants of the free market.

And what was the result of this change? Well, according to Bradford, this change of course, "had very good success; for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been."[4] Eventually, the Pilgrims became a fiscally successful colony, paid off their enormous debt, and founded some of the earliest trading posts with the surrounding Indian tribes including the Aptucxet, Metteneque, and Cushnoc locations. In short, it represented one of the most significant economic revolutions which determined the early characteristics of the American nation.

The Pilgrims, of course, did not simply invent these ideas out of thin air but they instead grew out of the intimate familiarity the Pilgrims had with the Bible. The Scriptures provide clear principles for establishing a successful economic system which the Pilgrims looked to. For example, Proverbs 12:11 says, "He that tills his land shall be satisfied with bread." So the Pilgrims purchased land from the Indians and designated lots for every family to individually grow food for themselves. After all, 1 Timothy 5:8 declares, "If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever."

We often think that the battle against Socialism is a new fight sprouting out of the writings of Karl Marx which are so blindly and foolishly followed today by those deceived by leftist irrationality. However, America's fight against the evil of socialism goes back even to our very founding during the colonial period. Thankfully, our forefathers decided to reject the tenants of socialism and instead build their new colony upon the ideology of freedom, liberty, hard work, and individual responsibility.

So, this Thanksgiving, let's thank the Pilgrims for defeating socialism and let us look to their example today in our ongoing struggle for freedom.

[1] William Bradford, History of Plymouth Plantation (Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1856), 135.

[2] William Bradford, History of Plymouth Plantation (Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1856), 134.

[3] William Bradford, History of Plymouth Plantation (Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1856), 134.

[4] William Bradford, History of Plymouth Plantation (Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1856), 135.

Like most people, biologist and science journalist Matt Ridley just wants the truth. When it comes to the origin of COVID-19, that is a tall order. Was it human-made? Did it leak from a laboratory? What is the role of gain-of-function research? Why China, why now?

Ridley's latest book, "Viral: The Search for the Origin of COVID-19," is a scientific quest to answer these questions and more. A year ago, you would have been kicked off Facebook for suggesting COVID originated in a lab. For most of the pandemic, the left practically worshipped Dr. Anthony Fauci. But lately, people have been poking around. And one of the names that appears again and again is Peter Daszak, president of EcoHealth Alliance and a longtime collaborator and funder of the virus-hunting work at Wuhan Institute of Virology.

If you watched Glenn Beck's special last week, "Crimes or Cover-Up? Exposing the World's Most Dangerous Lie," you learned some very disturbing things about what our government officials — like Dr. Fauci — were doing around the beginning of the pandemic. On the latest "Glenn Beck Podcast," Glenn sat down with Ridley to review what he and "Viral" co-author Alina Chan found while researching — including a "fascinating little wrinkle" from the Wuhan Institute of Virology called "7896."

Watch the video clip below or find the full interview with Matt Ridley here:

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