As the US missile attack on Syria unfolded on Thursday night, MSNBC's Brian Williams called it "beautiful" — twice — in a TV moment that quickly sparked outrage.
In the clip ahead, Williams comments on the missile attack, referring to the photos and video coming out of Syria as "these beautiful pictures of the night." Williams even compares the images to a Leonard Cohen song: "I am tempted to quote the great Leonard Cohen — 'I am guided by the beauty of our weapons.'" Williams then once again calls the moment beautiful, saying, "They are beautiful pictures of fearsome armaments, making what is for them a brief flight over this airfield. What did they hit?" You can watch it ahead.
The internet quickly reacted with anger.
In spite of what Brian Williams says, missile strikes are never "beautiful" especially if you are on the receiving end. Not a video game.
— still kimberly (@bkimberlyb) April 7, 2017
still weirded out by Brian Williams quoting song lyrics on TV to talk about how pretty cruise missiles are
— Matt Pearce (@mattdpearce) April 7, 2017
Hey "Brian Williams". There is nothing beautiful about firing 50 missiles into a country Killing their own people with chemical weapons.
— RS (@RS_Amaze15) April 7, 2017
Others were confused about why he quoted "First We Take Manhattan" by Leonard Cohen.
Brian Williams misinterpreting a Leonard Cohen lyric in an attempt to glorify war is hysterical in that I both laughed and lost my mind.
— Brand Manager (@MadeOfSpiders) April 7, 2017
Brian Williams calls DOD video of missile strikes "beautiful", unironically quotes Leonard Cohen, "Im guided by the beauty of our weapons"
— Adam H. Johnson (@adamjohnsonNYC) April 7, 2017
And some took the time to make fun of Williams for his previous lies about an event that happened in Iraq.
"I rode into Syria on one of the missiles. It was beautiful!" - Brian Williams
— Matthew Kick (@MatthewKick) April 7, 2017
Others just made fun of the entire situation.
"Beautiful!" -Brian Williams after witnessing Hiroshima
— Michael Blackman (@MBlackman37) April 7, 2017
This is how I talk about my girlfriend when I miss her and I've had six beers. https://t.co/z4Ti7Qeak0
— pat muldowney (@patmuldowney) April 7, 2017
Some defended Williams.
For the record, Brian Williams seems like a pretty good dude. He just fetishizes these "big news" nights a bit too much for my liking. https://t.co/W3JFlPys72
— Christian Finnegan (@ChristFinnegan) April 7, 2017
We have a feeling Williams will be choosing his words more carefully next time.