MSNBC host Brian Williams and New York Times Editorial Board Member Mara Gay faced a growing backlash on social media Friday after falsely claiming Mike Bloomberg’s campaign budget could have given every American $1 million.
“It’s an incredible way of putting it,” said Williams.
“It’s an incredible way of putting it. It’s true,” Gay agreed.
MSNBC’s Brian Williams reads a tweet: "Bloomberg spent $500 million on ads. U.S. Population, 327 million. He could have given each American $1 million"
NYT Editorial Board Member Mara Gay: “It’s an incredible way of putting it. It’s true. It’s disturbing”
It's $1.53 per person pic.twitter.com/dIiwCESgh8
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) March 6, 2020
Both journalists failed to catch the blatant math error. Mike Bloomberg spent $500 million on his 2020 presidential campaign. There are 300 million Americans, meaning the billionaire could have given each resident $1.53.
“Turns out Mara and I got the same grades at math. I’m speaking of the tweet we both misinterpreted. He could give each American $1. Again, I didn’t have it in high school. I don’t have it tonight. I stand corrected. Sorry about that. The tweet is wrong,” Williams told viewers later in the evening. “Garbage in, garbage out.”
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
Watch Williams’ comments above.