Skip to main content

Brian Williams Criticized for Describing Syria Missile Images as ‘Beautiful’

Brian Williams has found himself in hot water again.

MSNBC’s breaking news anchor, who was suspended in 2015 for fabricating stories, described images of the U.S. airstrike on Syria as “beautiful.”

“I am tempted to quote the great Leonard Cohen, ‘I’m guided by the beauty of our weapons.’” said Williams during his segment that interrupted Rachel Maddow’s show. “And they are beautiful pictures of fearsome armaments, making what is for them a brief flight over this airfield.”

you dope

— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) April 7, 2017

His soliloquy quickly generated responses on Twitter.

This is truly a surreal segment. Brian Williams: "I am guided by the beauty of our weapons."

— Matt Pearce (@mattdpearce) April 7, 2017

Guys I just realized that I did not hallucinate Brian Williams quoting Leonard Cohen to talk about the "beauty" of air strikes.

— Andi Zeisler (@andizeisler) April 7, 2017

I kind of feel like perhaps this is not what Leonard Cohen meant

— Vincent Bevins (@Vinncent) April 7, 2017

If Brian Williams @MSNBC had ever spent real time in war zones, instead of making up fake memories, he'd know better. #Syria#Damascus

— Farnaz Fassihi (@farnazfassihi) April 7, 2017

We're mad at Brian Williams, but looking at that video and going, "we never hear about war from the missile's POV" is just good storytelling

— Andrew Ti (@ANDREWTI) April 7, 2017

Williams’ MSNBC appearance also fired people up for interrupting Rachel Maddow’s show.

so brian crashes into rachels show - and when 11 hits - he takes over and she disappears - no goodbye - WTF MSNBC? - so sexist - so rude

— ROSIE (@Rosie) April 7, 2017

Rachel Maddow would never refer to a Tomahawk launch as "beautiful". What in the ever living hell is Brian Williams doing on her air time?

— Charles Clymer (@cmclymer) April 7, 2017

Jessika is content engagement director of Broadcasting + Cable, Multichannel News and NextTV. She has been with the brands in various roles since 2013. In her current role, she works primarily behind the screen, keeping an eye on the website and fixing any site bugs. A graduate of USC Annenberg, Jessika has edited and reported on a variety of subjects for NextTV, including profiles on industry leaders and breaking news.