New York Times editorial board member Mara Gay joined MSNBC’s Brian Williams Thursday night to talk about Michael Bloomberg’s campaign spending, affirming a wildly inaccurate social media claim that Bloomberg could have instead given every American $1 million and had money leftover.
Gay and Williams referenced a March 3 Tweet from journalist Mekita Rivas, which said, “Bloomberg spent $500 million on ads. The U.S. population is 327 million. He could have given each American $1 million and still have money left over. I feel like a $1 million check would be life-changing for most people. Yet he wasted it all on ads and STILL LOST.”
“When I read it tonight on social media, it kind of all became clear,” said Williams. “It’s an incredible way of putting it.”
“It’s an incredible way of putting it,” Gay agreed. “It’s true. It’s disturbing. It does suggest what we’re talking about here, which is there’s too much money in politics.”
"It's an incredible way of putting it." pic.twitter.com/HJ74AkOBr3
— Aaron Maté (@aaronjmate) March 6, 2020
Of course, if Williams or Gay or an MSNBC producer had paused to grab a calculator or think, they would have realized Bloomberg’s half-billion-dollar ad spree would be enough to give every American only about $1.50. Where’s Andrew Yang when you need him?
MSNBC, is this common core?
— Nic Nemeth (@HEELZiggler) March 6, 2020
You jerks are laughing at this but the fact is that Bloomberg really could have used that 500 million to buy everyone in America a box of Tic Tacs and two gumballs, and frankly I think that would have been a wiser use of his money
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) March 6, 2020
MSNBC’s math flub, while embarrassing, is the least of the mainstream media’s ineptitude. These are the same people that pushed Russiagate, botched impeachment, slandered Covington Catholic high school students, bought into the Jussie Smollett hoax, and most recently lied about President Donald Trump’s remarks concerning Democrats’ handling of coronavirus — all the while mocking conservatives, Middle America, and Trump voters for supposed ignorance.
A January CNN panel explicitly mocked Trump voters for their support for the president and criticism of the mainstream media, even mentioning the media’s math.
“Trump couldn’t find Ukraine on a map if you had the letter ‘U’ and a picture of an actual physical crane next to it,” said ex-GOP strategist and Never Trumper Rick Wilson. “He knows that this is an administration defined by ignorance of the world, and so that’s partly him playing to their base and playing to their audience — the credulous boomer rube demo that backs Donald Trump.”
“Donald Trump’s the smart one, and y’all — y’all elitists are dumb,” Wilson continued, imitating conservatives with a redneck accent.
“You elitists with your geography and your maps and your spelling!” CNN contributor Wajahat Ali added.
“Your math and your readin’!” Wilson scoffed as he, Ali, and Don Lemon laughed hysterically.
Correct math and readin’ could have spared the mainstream media some on-air humiliation in this case. As for journalist Rivas, she made her Twitter account private after the MSNBC math error began trending on social media, adding to her Twitter bio, “I know I’m bad at math.”