Quotes: Villain with Good Publicity

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"A little camouflage and glue
To mask the evil that men do"
Elton John, "Postcards From Richard Nixon'"

"I built a little empire out of some crazy garbage
Culled the blood of the exploited working class
But they've overcome their shyness
Now they're calling me "Your Highness"
And the world screams 'Kiss me, son of god'"
They Might Be Giants, "Kiss Me, Son of God"

"Some have harsh words for this man of renown,
But some think our attitude
Should be one of gratitude,
Like the widows and cripples in old London town
Who owe their large pensions to Wernher von Braun"
Tom Lehrer, "Wernher Von Braun"

How bad can I be? I'm just building an economy
How bad can I be? Just look at me pettin' this puppy
How bad can I be? A portion of proceeds goes to charity
How bad can I possibly be? Let's see:
All the customers are buying
And the money's multiplying
And the PR people are lying
And the lawyers are denying
Who cares if a few trees are dying?
The Lorax, "How Bad Can I Be?"

And no wonder, for even Satan masquerades as an angel of light.

O villain, villain, smiling, damned villain!
My tables—meet it is I set it down,
That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain;
At least I'm sure it may be so in Denmark.

But in calling Moriarty a criminal you are uttering libel in the eyes of the law—and there lie the glory and the wonder of it! The greatest schemer of all time, the organizer of every deviltry, the controlling brain of the underworld, a brain which might have made or marred the destiny of nations—that’s the man! But so aloof is he from general suspicion, so immune from criticism, so admirable in his management and self-effacement, that for those very words that you have uttered he could hale you to a court and emerge with your year’s pension as a solatium for his wounded character. Is he not the celebrated author of The Dynamics of an Asteroid, a book which ascends to such rarefied heights of pure mathematics that it is said that there was no man in the scientific press capable of criticizing it? Is this a man to traduce? Foulmouthed doctor and slandered professor—such would be your respective roles! That’s genius, Watson.
Sherlock Holmes, "The Valley of Fear"

If the devil himself was walking this Earth, he’d definitely be working in PR.
Oswald Danes, Miracle Day

Fontaine's got us out there ladling soup for the purpose of building an army — not to share the milk of human kindness.

One is evil, but you can deal with him, because he actually harbors beliefs. The other one will tell any lie, wear any mask, to become president, and not only that, he fucking hates you, and he's doing this just so he can make your lives hell. And who do you think they vote for? Stupid.
Spider Jerusalem, Transmetropolitan

Do you think you've won? You see, when I die, they'll build a statue. And you? The city didn't stop for your grieving family. Because you don't matter.
Lucky Quinn, Watch_Dogs

Noah Cross: Exactly what do you know about me?
J.J. Gittes: Mainly that you're rich, and too respectable to want your name in the newspapers.
Cross: 'Course I'm 'respectable'. I'm old. Politicians, ugly buildings, and whores all get respectable if they last long enough.

Your powerful GDI forces have been emasculated, and you yourself are a 'killer of children.' Now of course it's not true, but the world only believes what the media tells them to believe — and I tell the media what to believe. It's really quite simple.

Max Shrek: "Crime Boss"? Shows what you know, Mister! To the manor born, the silver spoon! Oswald is Gotham's new golden boy. If his parents hadn't eighty-sixed him, you two might've been bunkies at prep school.
Bruce Wayne: Oswald controls the Red Triangle gang. I can't prove it yet, but—
Shrek: Wayne, I'll not stand for mudslinging in this office!

Mudder singing "The Ballad of Jayne Cobb": He robbed from the rich and he gave to the poor / Stood up to the man and he gave him what for / Our love for him now, ain't hard to explain / The hero of Canton, the man they call Jayne! ♪
Simon: This must be what going mad feels like.
Firefly ("Jayneston")

No one with a good public reputation is actually good, Orgullo. They’re just charlatans skilled at making themselves look good. Most people are easily fooled, so we can get away with it.
Akira Hidaka, Ultimo

I can't stop the horrible respect people have for me.
Tracy Jordan, ThirtyRock

I have the Americans believing I am a nice guy. In their polls, I'm more popular than their President!
Mikhail Gorbachev, The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad''

Skitter: I’m not taking you hostage. It’s really your choice how this plays out. I’m not sure if you heard me say it before, but I described you as a jury. Now it’s time for you to vote.
Defiant: That’s not how it works, Skitter!
Skitter: Stand if you side with me. I won’t make any big speeches here. That’s not who I am. I won’t feed you lies or guilt you into this. It’s your call.
(Almost one hundred students stand up and stand with Skitter)
Skitter demonstrates the effectiveness of this trope, Worm, Chrysalis 20.5

    real life 
The soul of wit may become the very body of untruth.
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited

A culture is made — or destroyed — by its articulate voices.
Ayn Rand, The Voice of Reason

Much is now being made, among the tears, of Nixon's foreign policy triumphs. He went to Moscow and then détente. He went to Beijing and then, later, saw the Great Wall. Other presidents could have done what he did, but none dared because of—Nixon. One could hear that solemn hollow baritone: 'I am not saying that President Johnson is a card-carrying Communist. No. I am not even saying that his presence on that wall in China mean that he is a Communist. No. But I question...' As Nixon had been assigned to the part of the Nixon, there was no other Nixon to keep him from those two nice excursions, ostensibly in search of peace.
Gore Vidal, Palimpsest

If a fraction of what they said about me was true—a fraction—I wouldn't be here. I've not only not been convicted of anything, I've never been indicted for anything. Now I think that's where you finally have to look at the, quote, critics and say, "Hey. Put up or shut up. Let's see some evidence.
David Miscavige, Chairman of the Church of Scientology

The military junta that ruled Argentina, and was responsible for killing 20,000 of its own citizens during the 'Dirty War,' in 1982 invaded the Falkland Islands, which the Argentinas called the Malvinas. The junta, which had been on the verge of collapse and beset by violent street demonstrations and nationwide strikes in the weeks before the war, instantly became the saviors of the country. Labor union and opposition leaders, some of whom were still visibly bruised from beatings, were hauled out of jail cells before cameras to repeat what was a collective mantra: 'Las Malvinas son Argentinas'...Stories of the heroism of the Argentine military—whose singular recent accomplishment was the savage repression of its own people—filled the airwaves.
Chris Hedges on The Falklands War, War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning

Of all my master schemes to take over the world—the thousands I killed with my army of robotic suicide squirrels, the millions I spent trying to kill you all with Push n' Eat macaroni in a tube, my even-as-of-yet uncompleted orbital death ray—and all I had to do was run for president?! NYAHAHAHAHAH!! I wasn't really even taking all this all that seriously! I even used my real name! You voted for a guy named Dr. Insano! My election platform was to build a giant robot sawblade that would cut Canada off the top and then attach it to Australia so they wouldn't bother us anymore! My vice president is Fu Manchu! What the hell is wrong with you people?!
Noah "The Spoony One" Antwiler as Dr. Insano

The Penguin gets out of jail and starts to run for mayor with the intent of pretty much legalizing crime, gaining support through theatrics and charisma, while Batman runs against him, taking a beating in the polls because he’s such a goody-goody square. Like, he won’t kiss a baby because it’s really unhealthy for everyone involved, so the Penguin casts him as a dude who hates kids by kissing babies while smoking a cigarette.
—Chris Sims on Batman (“Hizzoner the Penguin”/”Dizzoner the Penguin”)