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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke February 14, 2020

No evidence Bill Murray said this about lawmakers lying

If Your Time is short

  • We found no evidence Bill Murray said this but a parody Twitter account posing as the actor tweeted it in 2013.

Are we reliving the same day over and over, or are people still sharing apocryphal Bill Murray quotes? 

Very nearly a year ago, in 2019, we debunked the claim that Murray said the best way to teach kids about taxes is to eat a third of their ice cream. 

Now, the actor is allegedly weighing in on politics. 

"So, if we lie to the government, it’s a felony," reads the quote attributed to Murray in this Jan. 26 Facebook post. "But if they lie to us its (sic) politics."

This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.) 

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Searching online for the quote’s origins, we found no credible source crediting Murray. 

Barry Popik, an etymologist who studies the origins of terms, has a 2011 post on his website exploring a similar quote: "If we lie to Congress, it’s a felony and if Congress lies to us it’s just politics."  According to Popik, Ken Huber wrote that line in an editorial published in the Iosco County News Herald in 2010. Similar sentiments are older, Popkik says in the post, dating back to the late 1980s. But he doesn’t mention Bill Murray. 

In 2013, however, a parody Bill Murray Twitter account tweeted the quote that appears in the Facebook post, right down to the misspelling of "it’s."

"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." 

We rate this Facebook post False.

Correction: This story was updated to correct the spelling of etymologist. 

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No evidence Bill Murray said this about lawmakers lying

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