MSNBC Math Attempt Goes Awry
Michael Bloomberg may be the eighth richest man in the world, but redistributing his fortune, or even just what he spent on the 2020 election, wouldn’t make us all millionaires.
Fueled by the atrocious math of a Washington Post writer, MSNBC tried to claim otherwise in a universally ridiculed segment last night. “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,” writer Mekita Rivas tweeted on Super Tuesday.
That tweet made it onto MSNBC last night. “When I read it tonight on social media, it kind of all became clear,” host Brian Williams said, reading the tweet. “Don’t tell us if you’re ahead of us on the math…It’s an incredible way of putting it.”
The (failing) New York Times’ Mara Gay agreed, then said it proves that there’s too much money in politics, even though the failures of billionaires like Bloomberg and Tom Steyer seem to prove the exact opposite. “It does suggest what we’re talking about here. There is too much money in politics,” she said. “What we want in politics — the point is to have competition.”
The writer responsible for the tweet has since locked her twitter account, with her bio now reading “I know, I’m bad at math.” The Washington Post also issued an unnecessary fact check on her claim. Gay says she’ll be purchasing a calculator, which unfortunately won’t help her gain any common sense.
Buying a calculator, brb 🙈
— Mara Gay (@MaraGay) March 6, 2020
I’d ask “how did they not think this one through” – but it wasn’t just Williams and Gay responsible for repeating this falsehood. Someone pitched including this tweet in a story, and numerous others must have looked at and signed off on it. Apparently, at no stage in the process did anyone divide 500 by 327. Just think about the implications of if their Common Core math was correct – it would imply that Bloomberg’s entire $60 billion fortune would be enough to give everyone a whopping $120 million.
While we can all wish that was true, it isn’t.
Now if only someone would get Bernie Sanders a calculator…