NYT Editorial Board Member, MSNBC’s Brian Williams Questioned After Incorrect Math About Bloomberg Campaign

New York Times Editorial Board Member Mara Gay and MSNBC’s Brian Williams are being questioned about a mathematical breakdown of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s campaign.

On Thursday, Gay appeared on “The Eleventh Hour” with Williams, where they discussed Bloomberg’s campaign and an interesting tweet circulating on Twitter.

The tweet read, “Bloomberg spent $500 million on ads. The U.S. Population, 327 million. He could have given each American $1 million and have had lunch money left over.”

Gay and Williams both agreed the numbers raised concerns. “It’s an incredible way of putting it,” Williams said.

Gay also echoed Williams’ sentiments. “It’s an incredible way of putting it,” It’s true. It’s disturbing.”

Check out the interview clip.

However, Twitter users were concerned for a different reason. The person who posted the original tweet criticized Bloomberg’s campaign based on incorrect math.

Many have tweeted their reactions to the mathematical oversight offering a correct answer to the equation. When $500 million is divided between 327 million people, each person would only around $1.53 — nothing near $1 million.

One Twitter user offered the same breakdown. He tweeted, “So [MSNBC] just put that tweet up seriously that said that Bloomberg spent $500 million and there are 300 million people in the U.S. so that means he could have given everyone in the U.S. a million dollars. Come on Brian Williams. It’s $1 and change.”

Check out some of the other reactions:

In wake of the debate over the figures, Mekita Rivas —author of the original tweet and Washington Post writer— has made her Twitter account private. Her bio now says, “I know, I’m bad at math.”

MSNBC’s “The Eleventh Hour” also tweeted an apology for the “bad math.”

“Tonight on the air we quoted a tweet that relied on bad math. We corrected the error after the next commercial break and have removed it from later editions of tonight’s program. We apologize for the error,” the tweet read.


  1. Maybe ALL reporters and politicians should be forced to win “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader” before being allowed office or to report.

    1. This also brings to mind an “easy” test to determine eligibility for citizenship. Play Jeopardy. In English. First prize is a green card.

  2. Brian Williams and credibility….wasn’t he fired for repeatedly lying?
    Yet here he is again on MSNBC, which has no credibility after two years of Muellergate and Russian collusion.

  3. Brought to you by the same “whizzes” who came up with Biden’s “150 million killed by guns” figure and Obozocare will “save families money”. Are we seeing a pattern?

    Math can be hard, especially for the Party of Science™.

    1. That the original author of the tweet works for the WaPo says everything about innumeracy, wishful thinking, and a the credulousness of those who repeated her error.

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