10:08 GMT23 January 2021
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    MSNBC’s Brian Williams and New York Times editorial board member Mara Gay were taken back to school by netizens on Friday after they both failed to demonstrate basic math skills Thursday night in reference to former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s spending in 2020 campaign advertisements.

    While discussing the spending by Bloomberg during his short-lived attempt at securing the Democratic nomination, “The 11th Hour with Brian Williams” host referenced an impassioned tweet authored by journalist Mekita Rivas which said:

    “Bloomberg spent $500 million on ads. The US 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,” Williams said before narrating the tweet.

    “It’s an incredible way of putting it,” the MSNBC host said - to which Gay replied in agreement that “it’s an incredible way of putting it. It’s true; it’s disturbing; it does suggest what we’re talking about here, which is there’s too much money in politics.”

    While many would agree that “there’s too much money in politics,” the math behind the example clearly doesn’t add up, considering the fact that there are more than 500 people in the US. While the host made an apology after returning from a commercial break, the internet caught hold of the footage and, well, the rest went as expected.

    Shortly following the program, the “11th Hour” official Twitter account issued an apology for quoting “a tweet that relied on bad math.”

    Gay appeared to own up to her poor math skills in a Friday morning tweet.

    Even Rivas has protected their tweets as a result of the incident. “I know, I’m bad at math,” they noted in their updated bio.

    Twitter profile of user @MekitaRivas on March 6, 2020.
    Twitter profile of user @MekitaRivas on March 6, 2020.

    To be fair, Bloomberg would have been able to cut each American a check from the amount of cash he poured into his campaign ads. Those checks would only be for around $1.53 apiece, though.


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    math, Twitter, US Election 2020, Bloomberg, Michael Bloomberg, Brian Williams, New York Times, MSNBC, social media
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