MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell attempted to fact-check Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) after he quoted Shakespeare, and Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin rushed to mock his supposed stupidity. As it turns out, Cruz — not Mitchell — was correct. Mitchell had the good sense to apologize, but it seems Rubin has yet to do so.
During an appearance on the Fox News show America’s Newsroom, Cruz quoted The Bard to summarize the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump.
“It’s reminiscent of Shakespeare — that it is full of sound and fury, and yet signifying nothing,” said Cruz, referencing part of a well-known soliloquy from “Macbeth.”
Yet Mitchell claimed that Cruz got his authors mixed up. “[Cruz] says [the impeachment trial] is like Shakespeare full of sound and fury signifying nothing. No, that’s Faulkner,” she tweeted.
Rather than checking her facts, Rubin rushed to mock the senator. She claimed “it says volumes about his lack of soul. That’s Any Thinking Person.”
New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof set them straight. “Faulkner wrote the book ‘The Sound and the Fury.’ But the phrase comes from Shakespeare’s Macbeth: ‘It is a tale, told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.’ The whole passage is beautiful,” Kristof tweeted.
“Methinks she doth protest too much,” Cruz responded. “One would think NBC would know the Bard. Andrea, take a look at Macbeth act 5, scene 5: ‘[Life] struts & frets his hour upon the stage, And then is heard no more. It is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound & fury, Signifying nothing.'”
Methinks she doth protest too much.
One would think NBC would know the Bard. Andrea, take a look at Macbeth act 5, scene 5:
“[Life] struts & frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound & fury,
Signifying nothing.” pic.twitter.com/3GbvoLSJTh
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) February 11, 2021
Responding to both Mitchell and Rubin, Cruz quipped, “Between NBC & the Washington Post, you’d think somebody would have read Macbeth.”
To her credit, Mitchell apologized. “I clearly studied too much American literature and not enough Macbeth. My apologies to Sen. Cruz,” she responded.
It does not seem Rubin has yet responded.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.