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Film critic who said 'Lone Survivor' was about bashing 'brown people' challenged

Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell with 'blood brother' Afghan villager Mohammad Gulab
Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell with 'blood brother' Afghan villager Mohammad Gulab
60 Minutes via Marcus

Amy Nicholson wrote a scathing review of the hit movie "Lone Survivor" for LA Weekly last month, which went largely unnoticed until media mogul Glenn Beck challenged the review on his radio show today, as reported at theBlaze.

The film is based on the book "Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10" by Marcus Luttrell, a Navy SEAL who was the only surviving member of a mission that went horribly wrong in Afghanistan.

Nicholson challenged Luttrell immediately by noting condescendingly that he used a ghostwriter, claimed that Luttrell inflated the number of the Taliban attackers in his book from 10 to 200, and further said that "as the film portrays them," the Navy SEALS were racist.

She writes,

"As the film portrays them [the Navy SEALS], 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." [emphasis added]

Luttrell, whose life was saved by his "blood brother," Afghan villager Mohammad Gulab, would likely take issue with that remark. Cheryl Carpenter Klimek at BizPacReview has more on the friendship between Marcus Luttrell and Mohammad Gulab.

There were many other offensive comments in the review, which echo sentiments by Andrew O'Hehir, who reviewed the film for Salon. He wrote that 'Lone Survivor' is a "pro-war propaganda surprise hit" and says, "this SEAL team was based at Bagram Air Force base, where some of the worst acts of CIA or military torture were committed..."

Calum Marsh at the Atlantic said,

"Films like this contribute to subtle shifts in public perception, helping to legitimize feelings of xenophobia and American exceptionalism."

Michael Dorstewitz of BizPacReview discussed the reviews and noted that Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer said,

"what they're calling ‘propaganda’ is the reality for 0.4 percent of the nation who has gone over there for the last 12 years."

Jason Howerton of theBlaze yesterday wrote that Marcus Luttrell responded to critics who say that the "Lone Survivor" is pro-war propaganda by saying in part,

“Bottom line is that there’s bad people everywhere. And every now and again we are going to have to step to them to make sure that we preserve our way of life,” Luttrell added. “It’s people like my teammates and I that have to do that, and the men and women in the military. But there’s nothing glorious about it, there’s nothing pro-war — nobody wants war, it’s the most horrible thing in the world.”

Glenn Beck challenged Amy Nicholson to read her review to Marcus Luttrell in person. After quite a bit of surprise publicity, Nicholson tweeted, "My review calls the SEALS heroes. My problems were with the director, not Luttrell..."

Follow Renee Nal on Twitter @ReneeNal and Facebook.

Check out her news and political commentary on Liberty Unyielding, Gather and for news you won't find in the mainstream media. Renee is also a guest blogger for the Shire Blog.

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