This may be one of the mainstream media’s most embarrassing mistakes


HeadlineWATCH: MSNBC’s Brian Williams, New York Times’ Mara Gay Make Embarrassing Math Error

What’s Up: During a segment on Brian Williams’ MSNBC show, he and his guest, New York Times editorial board member Mara Gay, made an embarrassing error by saying that if all the money Mike Bloomberg spent on his campaign ($500 million) was distributed to the U.S. population (327 million), it would be enough to give everyone $1 million. The only problem? The math is horribly wrong. It’s actually $1.53.

Quote: “It’s an incredible way of putting it. It’s true. It’s disturbing.”

The First take: No, Mara, it’s not true. But what’s most embarrassing is where the information came from. Williams and Gay were citing Mekita Rivas, a verified Twitter user who has written for such bulwarks of economics like Glamour magazine and Wine Enthusiast. For the record, Rivas now includes this statement in her Twitter bio: “I know, I’m bad at math.” In the end, this is just one more media black eye that erodes the public’s trust in the institution. But it is a little surprising coming from someone like Williams and a New York Times editorial board member. Ah, who are we kidding, this is now par for the course.

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