FACT CHECK: Did Bill Murray Say, ‘So, If We Lie To The Government, It’s A Felony. But If They Lie To Us It’s Politics’?

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook claims that actor Bill Murray said, “So, if we lie to the government, it’s a felony. But if they lie to us it’s politics.”

Verdict: False

There is no evidence that Murray said this quote. It likely got linked to him after a parody Twitter account tweeted the statement in 2013.

Fact Check:

An award-winning actor with a career spanning more than four decades, Murray has starred in dozens of films, including “Ghostbusters” and “Groundhog Day.” (RELATED: Did Groucho Marx Say, ‘Politics Is The Art Of Looking For Trouble’?)

Although Murray has spoken publicly about politics in the past, there is no evidence that he ever made the statement attributed to him in the Facebook post. An internet search revealed no credible sources linking the quote to the “Ghostbusters” actor.

It likely got attributed to Murray after a Twitter account with the same name tweeted the quote in 2013, even though the account disclaims in its bio that it is not Murray’s official Twitter, but rather a parody account. (Murray doesn’t have a Twitter account, according to The New Yorker.)

“I AM NOT BILL MURRAY,” reads the account’s bio. “This is a parody account. This account is not in any way affiliated with the actor Bill Murray.”

The exact origin of the expression is unknown, but variations have appeared in print since at least 1987, according to etymologist Barry Popik.

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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