MSNBC anchor and pundit ridiculed over glaring mathematical error live on air

Anchor Brian Williams suggested that the cost of Bloomberg's campaign amounted to one million dollars for every person in America

Louise Hall
Friday 06 March 2020 20:34 GMT
MSNBC anchor and pundit ridiculed over glaring mathematical error live on air

An MSNBC news anchor and pundit are being ridiculed after suggesting that Michael Bloomberg could have given every American a million dollars with the amount of money spent on his campaign.

While discussing Bloomberg’s huge investment in advertising campaigns throughout his 2020 Democratic-run, anchor Brian Williams discussed a tweet making the claim with a glaringly obvious mathematical calculation.

He suggested that because Bloomberg had spent $500 million on his campaign and there were 327 million people in America, he could have given each member of the population a million pounds with money to spare.

Williams showed a screen-grab of the tweet during the broadcast that read: “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.”

Speaking in disbelief, Williams said: “When I read it tonight on social media it kind of all became clear.”

Even more embarrasingly, in the middle of reading out, the tweet remarked: “Don’t tell us if you’re ahead of us on the math.”

NYT Editorial Board Member Mara Gay then agreed: “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.”

A Twitter with the username Andrew Kaczynski posted a clip of the mistake on Twitter with the caption “how did this end up on tv?”

The post has gone viral with almost 30,000 likes.

$500 million divided by 327 million people would allow each person to take home around $1.53 each, a far stretch from a million dollars.

To be able to give a million dollars to 327 million people, Bloomberg’s campaign would have had to have cost $327 trillion.

Commenters are mocking the blunder, one user wrote: “Brian Williams just shared this on screen like it was accurate, and did it with enough confidence he had me pulling out a calculator and thinking *I* was tripping.”

Another one commented: “He really should have listened to those who were ahead of him on the math.”

The Twitter user who posted the original tweet's personal bio now reads “I know, I’m bad at math.”

While in light of the humiliation Ms Gay tweeted: “Buying a calculator, brb”, underneath which she has received multiple messages of support from fans about the blunder.

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