MSNBC's Williams, NY Times' Gay mangle math on Bloomberg tweet

The MSNBC anchor, Times editorial board member fail to check the math on a Bloomberg tweet

Brian Williams
Brian Williams
(Alex Wong / Getty Images)
Last Updated:
March 6, 2020 - 9:18pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Other Media

Tweet URL

    Turns out the Bloomberg campaign staffers weren’t the only ones to severely miscalculate their numbers this week. On Thursday evening, MSNBC’s Brian Williams and New York Times editorial board member Mara Gay broadcast some embarrassing math on air as well.

    While pondering how the former NYC mayor might’ve better spent his dollars, the NYT writer cites a since deleted tweet claiming that Bloomberg could’ve given each member of the U.S. population $1 million with the money he spent on ad buys.

    “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,” read the tweet by Mekita Rivas.

    This would be correct were there only 327 people in the United States. But, tack on those back six zeros and the math is miles off.

    Tweet URL

    “It’s an incredible way of putting it,” said Williams after reading the tweet live on air.

    “It’s an incredible way of putting it. It’s true,” emphasized Gay.

    “Can someone stop and think for two seconds?,” asked disgruntled twitter user Michael Salfino after noticing the clearly flawed arithmetic.