MSNBC’s Brian Williams is being called out for a theory he supported about the money Michael Bloomberg spent in his presidential bid. He, in a major math error, claimed the money could have gone towards making everyone in the United States a millionaire.
During a segment on his show, Williams and his guest discussed a tweet that got the math terribly wrong.
See if you notice the error.
“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 people. Yet he wasted it all on ads and STILL LOST,” the since-deleted tweet read.
The tweet was shared on the show and Williams applauded its perspective.
“It’s an incredible way of putting it,” Williams said after reading the tweet aloud.
“It’s an incredible way of putting it. It’s true,” his guest echoed.
Needless to say, Bloomberg’s $538 million spent in the campaign could not have otherwise been allocated to giving every American $1 million.
Fox News reports: “In reality, however, had Bloomberg divvied his advertising dollars among all Americans, the per-capita cash-out would have been more like $1.53 per person – not even enough to take a ride on New York City’s subway.”
This clip is just incredible. When he said “if you’re ahead of us on the math,” I thought he was about to correct the terrible math, but NO. pic.twitter.com/kAH3GDuPNl
— Jessica Fletcher (@heckyessica) March 6, 2020
— Tré Goins-Phillips (@tregp) March 6, 2020
@BWilliams @MaraGay @MSNBC how do you 2 not realize that five hundred million dollars for 327 million Americans is about $1.50? How bad are you both it math? How dumb is your producer? pic.twitter.com/3wjHMQRoZw
— David Brody (@DavidBrody) March 6, 2020
Math, how does it work? https://t.co/x2KvSV7BXI
— Ashe Schow (@AsheSchow) March 6, 2020
They didn’t just say it, Brian Williams called to go whole screen with it. “It’s an incredible way of putting it.”
An incredible way that’s also total BS. https://t.co/k8SFA3dBCn
— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) March 6, 2020
This little segment should serve as a reminder that Brian Williams is still doing the television.
— Tim Murtaugh – Text TRUMP to 88022 (@TimMurtaugh) March 6, 2020
327 million times 1 million is 327 *trillion*.
Which is 654K times larger than the $500M Bloomberg spent on ads, 5,450 times larger than his entire $60 billion fortune, and probably more than the net worth of the entire US, if not the world.
Does MSNBC not have calculators? https://t.co/044rgYIq0h
— Joé McKen (@joemcken) March 6, 2020
I thought they were going to mock the stupidity of the tweet, but then she says it's true and I can't believe it's real.
— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) March 6, 2020
The program, 11th Hour, apologized for the error shortly after a media break and echoed the apology in a tweet online.
“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 account said.
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.
— 11th Hour (@11thHour) March 6, 2020
Mekita Rivas, who initially posted the tweet, was notified of the error and admitted to her own “bad” math.
Okay this is objectively hilarious pic.twitter.com/7OWe2hcQCG
— JERRY DUNLEAVY (@JerryDunleavy) March 6, 2020
Despite her bad math, Rivas suggested her point should remain that Bloomberg could afford to pay every American a million dollars.
“blah blah math blah blah people are telling me my numbers are wrong but the point still stands: he [Bloomberg] could easily afford to give everyone $1 million and literally never notice,” she said in a follow-up tweet.
No. He. Couldn’t.
Even calculating his net worth at a generous $60 billion. He would not even remotely get close to the $327 trillion he would need to hand out to give every American $1 million.
She can't be convinced that Bloomberg doesn't have $327 trillion pic.twitter.com/ID64fmqqdl
— Eddie Zipperer (@EddieZipperer) March 6, 2020
Here’s more from Fox News:
National Review editor Charles C. W. Cooke wrote that the math is obviously “spectacularly off” but so it’s also very telling.
“This, right here, is why so many left-leaning Americans think that ‘the billionaires’ can pay for everything. It’s why Elizabeth Warren was enthusiastically boosted by the media despite her ridiculous pretense that she could pay for a series of gargantuan initiatives without raising taxes on anyone but the extremely rich,” Cooke wrote. “It’s why Democrat after Democrat promises not to raise ‘middle class taxes’ while promising programs that require the raising of middle class taxes. How did this bad tweet make it onto TV to be endorsed? Why did Mara Gay agree with it? Why didn’t Brian Williams notice? Because the people involved in this clip thought it was true. This is how they see the world.”