MEDIA
04/07/2017 07:54 am ET Updated Apr 07, 2017

Brian Williams Uses Leonard Cohen Lyric To Describe 'Beautiful' Strike On Syria

It has not gone down well.

MSNBC’s Brian Williams faced an immediate backlash late Thursday for repeatedly describing the U.S. military strike on Syria as “beautiful.”

The journalist appeared unable to contain his wonder as he spoke over footage of U.S. Navy destroyers launching Tomahawk missiles toward a Syrian military airfield. He even misused a Leonard Cohen lyric to set the scene. 

“We see these beautiful pictures at night from the decks of these two U.S. Navy vessels in the eastern Mediterranean,” Williams said.

He then lifted a line from late singer-songwriter Cohen’s 1988 hit “First We Take Manhattan,” saying, “I am guided by the beauty of our weapons.”

Williams went on to describe the images as “beautiful pictures of fearsome armaments making what is for them a brief flight over to this airfield.”

Internet users tore into Williams over his “surreal” commentary of the strikes, which were carried out following a chemical weapon attack allegedly ordered by the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Twitter users brought up Williams’ exaggeration of his accounts of his Iraq War reporting, accused him of trying to glorify war and suggested he’d completely misinterpreted the lyric.

Here’s a sampling of the responses:

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