Twitter blows collective gasket when Brian Williams waxes poetic over ‘beautiful’ weapons flying to Syria

Brian Williams has made a laughing-stock of himself again.

On Thursday the MSNBC anchor delivered the news that the United States struck Syria with more than 50 tomahawk missiles, but for Williams it was more like the Fourth of July.

Missile to Syria. Photo credit: AP.

“We see these beautiful pictures at night from the decks of these two U.S. Navy vessels in the eastern Mediterranean,” the anchor said as he interviewed retired Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer, and intelligence expert, Malcolm Nance “I am tempted to quote the great Leonard Cohen: ‘I am guided by the beauty of our weapons.’”

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“They are beautiful pictures of fearsome armaments making what is for them what is a brief flight over to this airfield,” Williams continued before he asked Nance “What did they hit?”

The song he was quoting was Leonard Cohen’s “First We Take Manhattan” which Cohen described as a pro terrorist anthem.

I’m guided by a signal in the heavens
I’m guided by this birthmark on my skin
I’m guided by the beauty of our weapons
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin


During a backstage interview after a Toronto concert in 1988 Cohen explained what he meant.

I’m not sure of what it means right now because I had this long voyage from Chicago. I think it means exactly what it says. It is a terrorist song.
I think it’s a response to terrorism. There’s something about terrorism that I’ve always admired. The fact that there are no alibis or no compromises. That position is always very attractive. I don’t like it when it’s manifested on the physical plane – I don’t really enjoy the terrorist activities – buy Psychic Terrorism. I remember there was a great poem by Irving Layton that I once read, I’ll give you a paraphrase of it. It was ‘well, you guys blow up an occasional airline and kill a few children here and there’, he says. ‘But our terrorists, Jesus, Freud, Marx, Einstein. The whole world is still quaking…


It is unlikely that Williams knew what the artist meant by the lyrics in the song.

But the anchor’s cavalier attitude towards war did not sit well with many on Twitter, especially the left-wing crowd that gets its news from MSNBC.

Poor Williams, whenever he is trending on Twitter it’s not because he did anything good.

It didn’t take long for social media to mock Williams, who was removed as an NBC anchor and sent to MSNBC Siberia because of his penchant for stretching the truth.

And the meme mockery was top notch.

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