It's been awhile since "Brian Williams" and "controversy" have been uttered in the same sentence, but might as well take a crack at it again now that we're solidly in 2017. The MSNBC newscaster was among those providing commentary Thursday night after the US launched dozens of Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian airfield, and while responses to the strike ran the gamut from "decisive" to "unlawful," Williams used a descriptor that few (if any others) did, per Adweek. "I am tempted to quote the great Leonard Cohen: 'I am guided by the beauty of our weapons,'" Williams waxed poetic (Variety notes it's a line from Cohen's "First We Take Manhattan"), as a video in the background showed the missiles hurtling from the US warships toward land.
"They are beautiful pictures of fearsome armaments making what is for them what is a brief flight over to this airfield," he continued. But instead of swooning over his lyrical analysis, most of the internet came down on Williams for what appeared to be a glamorization of a wartime maneuver. One commenter called it "obscene enjoyment," while Matt Pearce of the Los Angeles Times called the segment "surreal." Others called Williams a "dope" or said he should be fired again. One person who didn't seem to mind Williams' take: Malcolm Nance, the intel expert who was on air with Williams during his soliloquy-like sermon. "He has an extremely calming effect in serious crises," tweeted Nance. (Congress members are split on how they feel about the strike.)